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The below is incorrect according to the Academy of Persian Language and Literature,

Persian referred to by itself should indicate the language spoken by the country of Iran/Persia. Farsi or Western Farsi is the INCORRECT use of the word for the language. Farsi should only be used when speaking in Persian. This is like calling the German language German in English but Deutsch in German. Calling the language just Persian (instead of Western Farsi for Iran) is the correct use of the word in English. Since the academy controls the use of the language, we should probably follow their naming guidelines.

Exactly right. In the U.S., at least, 'Persian' is the proper name of Iran’s official standard national language. 'Farsi' is uneducated usage that appeared during the early 70s when many Persians entered the U.S. with minimal formal education and then studied English in the popular ESL courses taught by teachers who spoke only English, and neither the Iranian students nor their American teachers knew the English name of their language. Later, when some of the teachers learned that 'Farsi' was 'Persian,' they were flabbergasted. (They usually assumed it was some dialect of Arabic.)
Any U.S. college or university that offers the language as a course calls it 'Persian.' If you encounter a course entitled 'Farsi,' that indicates that it’s a crash course for tourists or businessmen, and/or that the instructors are not professional educators.
There are many closely related languages and dialects in and around Iran, and linguists resort to all sorts of tricks to differentiate one from another, including using the word 'Farsi' with assorted adjectives. It’s the same thing with German...there are many, many dialects of German, from High Alemanic to Hochdeutsch to Plattdüütsch to Dutch and Frisian and everything inbetween...and when dialectologists study the dialects and make comparisons, they fall back on all the variations of the words 'Aleman, 'German', 'Deutsch', 'Platt', 'Düütsch', 'Teuton,' and many others, all of them dialects of German. However, when you study the standard official language of Germany at any school or university, it’s just called 'German'...and in normal educated usage, the word 'German' means Standard Modern High German. In the same way, Persian is the one and only correct name of Standard Modern Persian in educated English usage (unless you’re discussing dialects of it). —Stephen 13:02, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The language[edit]

According to Persian as a linguistic entity refers to a family of languages which includes 10 languages:

  1. Aimaq [AIQ] in Afghanistan
  2. Bukharic [BHH] in Israel
  3. Darwazi [DRW] in Afghanistan
  4. Dehwari [DEH] in Pakistan
  5. Dzhidi [DZH] in Israel
  6. Eastern Farsi [PRS] in Afghanistan
  7. Western Farsi [PES] in Iran
  8. Hazaragi [HAZ] in Afghanistan
  9. Pahlavani [PHV] in Afghanistan
  10. Tajiki [PET] in Tajikistan

It is understood that these languages may be very similar and mutually inteligible. It is also understood that several of these are called simply "Persian" by various people, or that they have other alternate names. The use of these names should be preferred in the absence of sound linguistic reasons to the contrary, irrespective of local usages. When the term Farsi is used alone the reference should be presumed to be to the Western Farsi of Iran.

Eastern Farsi is sometimes referred to as Dari but that is also the name of another more distant language spoken in Iran. Eclecticology 2004-07-18 00:34:33

Ethnologue does not have expertise in Persian language. Its classification and naming is not acceptable. Yes, during last few years the word Dari has been used to refer to the language of Afghanistan. This naming has no academic basis. I am a native speaker from Iran. Dari is a general name and is certainly the language of Iran too. Dari is not a dialect. It is another name for modern Persian. I am aware of the fact that because of not having name for dialect of Afghanistan, people are using this word to call that dialect. However there is no academic basis for this. When we learn persian language in Iran, we learn that another name for our language is Dari.--Mehran Kashi15:15, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with you. Dari and Persian are the same thing, although it’s usual in English to reserve Dari for the Afghan pronunciation, and Persian for Iranian pronunciation. But the various dialects of Persian are very close, rather like British, Canadian, and American English, and Persian-speakers from China, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey can all understand each other very easily. Everybody in the West who actually deals with the Persian language calls it Persian, never Farsi. There are a number of broadcasters who offer Persian service (not Farsi service), and all American universities that teach it teach Persian (not Farsi).
A lot of faith is put in Ethnologue, but Ethnologue simply collects data from thousands of independent sources, mostly missionaries and other church groups and agents, and Ethnologue’s information, as great as it is, must still be taken with a grain of salt. That goes for their estimates on populations, literacy, and especially the language and dialect names. What a Baptist missionary on the Caspian sea calls the local language may be quite out of line with what geographical authorities and professional linguists call it. That’s one of the reasons that Ethnologue lists 40,000 names for 6000 languages. The formal name of the standard modern language of Iran in English is Persian. —Stephen 11:58, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The definition on this article is becoming very encyclopedic. Remember that this is just a dictionary. Information other than that needed to define the word can go on w:Persian languageHippietrail 14:05, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Persian and Iranian[edit]

Persian has two meaning: 1. Iranian 2. Persian (ethnic) Both of them are correct but not equivalent. Persian was equivalent to Iranian, as the name of the country was Persia until recenly. I reveted the edits of some users who deleted the information regarding this issue. Both definitions must be included as the word has been used in this way here and there. Ingmar Kuhn 21:59, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Persian vs persian[edit]

pl:persian suggests that "persian" is an Interlingua work meaning "Persian" in English. Could anyone please verify?--Jusjih 14:55, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Usage notes[edit]

In the plural entry there had been these usage notes: "In Afghanistan and Tadjikistan the Persian-speaking people are usually thought of as a sub-group and are referred to as Tajiks." - -sche (discuss) 20:56, 29 January 2016 (UTC)