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Thread: Arabic and Farsi

  1. #1
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    Arabic and Farsi

    Farsi writings inside an in-flight magazine grounded Midwest flight:
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/sep04/260507.asp

    Well, all jokes aside, there is an interesting phrase:

    "The director of Midwest's corporate security knew someone who could read the writing ("Arabic-type" - Mapster) and was told it was Farsi."

    I have a question: to what degree are Arabic and Farsi mutually intelligible? I read that there are many words borrowed from Arabic in Farsi (perhaps these are especially frequent in texts of "contemplative nature"), so could somebody who knows only Arabic tell in general what the Farsi text was about?

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    Farsi has a lot of borrowed words from Arabic, but they are in entirely different language families. Farsi is an Indo-European language, like German and Russian, whereas Arabic is an Afro-Asiatic language like Hebrew and Ethiopian. I would doubt that an Arabic speaker could understand the Farsi text, but maybe he'd be able to identify it as Farsi.

  3. #3
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    Regarding identifying Farsi:

    "A quick way to tell whether something is Arabic, Farsi or Urdu:

    Arabic never has three dots below the line. There are only two characters in Arabic with three dots, and they’re both above the line.

    Farsi and Urdu have almost identical alphabets (both the ch and p with 3 dots below the line), but Urdu also has a unique diacritical above the line, looking like a lowercase b (or more accurately, the Arabic “T” or emphatic t). This is used to indicate retroflex on t and d. If you don’t see that, it might be either language. I don’t know anything about common vocabulary or spelling rules that would distinguish them."
    http://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/002463.html

    > I would doubt that an Arabic speaker could understand the Farsi text

    Farsi speakers said the same. I wonder though if he would be able to identify the topic of the text, in particular that it was "of a contemplative nature."

    Now if the news gave as the text, we could experiment, but they did not.

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    Actually, there are many languages other than persian that use Arabic script. These languages include:
    Urdo, Punjabi, Sendi, Paluchi, Pashto, Osmanli(new Turkish), Swahili(before using Latinscript), also, Indonesian and malay were using arabic script.
    Of course, these languages used some more letters along with the 28 Arabic alphabets. This was to exress sounds such as p, v, zh, g, retroflexed t and d, etc.
    All these languages have been heavily influenced with huge amount of arabic vocabulary due to many reasons such as Arabic was the language of Muslim conquerors, the language of science and litterature at that time.
    Regarding persian it has about 49% arabic oorigin vocabulary and this percentage increases in Standard Persian rather than Slang and collequal persian. Of course, some words has the same arabic meaning and some has adapted a new meaning in persian such as Barq (lightning in Arabic) and it became the word for electricity in modern Persian.
    An arab reader can read persian script not withstanding the additional letters with three dots which represent p, v, zh, ch, and g but he will not be able to understand the whole thing and this depends on the subject (relatively religious topics have more arabic borrowed words) but this does not mean that persian and arabic are similar, they are totally diffferent and correspond to different language families.
    I become jealous
    of my words when
    i say them to you
    and you like them
    but not me.

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    Who started who?

    I was of the impression that Arabic was derived from Persian, not the other way around.And of the impression that Farsi was merely the modern form of Persian.It appears I'm pretty ill-informed.Can somebody please give me a little run down on how these languages are related? (respecting that you, True Arab mention some relations.But, I'm wondering about the historical relation.Is there a concise history that has been confirmed, or is it all just heresay?).Who started who? Isn't Persian the earliest language of all these, or is their a name for an even earlier language? And I thought Hindi or Sanskrit had a role to play in the developement of these languages.If I'm wrong about this, I'm going to be pretty embarassed.

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    Hi Brett:
    Actually, Arabic is one the Oldest languages if it is not so. It is a semitic Language( semitic languages include Hebrew, Amharic, Aramian, etc.>..) while Persian is an Indo-european Language.
    The Arabic language is a language of the most perfect phonetic, spelling and grammar systems.
    Regarding, the relation between Arabic and Farsi, it is a result of the fact that Arabs and persians are neighbors and have the religion. Of course,Farsi is the new Persian language and the name farsi is An Arabic name meaning related to Faris ( which is Iran).
    After, the Muslim conquer of Persia the Arabic was dominant language, it was the language the muslim empire and the language of literature.
    The old persian was written in an old alphabet ( a difficult one) and so the persians developed a new modified Arabic alphabet.
    Of course, the influence of Arabic over Farsi is very great that more than 40% of the Farsi vocabulary are Arbic in origin.
    Some words kept thier Arabic origin meaning while some others developed new meanings.
    Farsi is mainly the new dialect of Tehran (Mazindarani) nad it is used in Iran as an official and Lingua Franca and it is similar to the Dari persian of Afghanistan and the tajic persian in Tajekistan.
    I become jealous
    of my words when
    i say them to you
    and you like them
    but not me.

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    Shukran, for that.I now have a "language atlas".It's really exciting.They did a great job of researching and making it all make sense.Now, all I need to do is get up the effort to learn Arabic.I've done easier ones instead, but Arabic will be more useful I think.Though my local Lebanese youth don't seem to understand me much.Only the older generation who were brought up on Egyptian films know the words I use.

    I'd like ask anyone- Which Arabic (eg. Egyptian or Modern Standard) would be most useful to learn for me? I don't expect to go to a Middle East country, due to political problems.But, there are Arabic people all through the Western world, too.I'd like to learn the dialect/language that allows me to speak to the most amount of everyday Arabs.(As opposed to business purposes.Though they use English for that, anyway).Do many understand Egyptian, Modern Standard or another? Or don't Arabic people from different dialects neccessarily understand each other?

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    Afwan. brett,
    Actually, the Standard Arabic will be understood widely all over the Arab and Islamic world. But if you want ot learn a local dialect I suggest Egyptian dialect because it is widely used but it can not be compared to the elegant standard Arabic if you are interested in litterature.
    The Egyptian language is widely understood because of the Egyptian Media influence on the previous decades but of course, not nowadays.
    I become jealous
    of my words when
    i say them to you
    and you like them
    but not me.

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    So Modern Standard Arabic is only 'written', not a spoken dialect?

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    They speak it on the news too.

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    I have only Egyptian Arabic tapes and books. Will it still be worth learning from those, then only in the final stages learning MSA? Or is it different enough that I'll be better off to buy a new set of Arabic books and tapes right from the start? I'm annoyed.

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    Just use whatever you have, man. It's cool.

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    Hi friends
    My name is Arash . I’m Iranian . your knowledge about Iranians and Persian is fantastic . Most of Europeans and Americans don’t know much about Persian (Farsi) and differences between Persian and Arabic , but your knowledge is very good.
    Let me tell you some about history of Iran , because it could illustrate some expressions such is Persian , Farsi , Iran , Persia and Iranians.
    Between 3000-4000 years ago a large group of Aryans (Caucasians) immigrated from Caucasia ( or Siberia ) to Iran flat . ( Iran means the land of the Aryans) . This group divided into 3 groups , one groups went to west and north west of Iran (Kurds , Lors and Azaris are from this groups ) they called Mads , the second groups went to east and north east of Iran , this group called Partians and the third groups went to south and center of Iran , this group called Persians . For hundreds of years these three groups were living separately , but were under control of Mads , for example the kings of Mads were choosing the kings of Persians and Parthians . In about 2563 years ago son of the king of Persians who named Cyrus united these three Iranians groups and gave birth to Iran . The name of this land was Iran from the first time that Aryans came to this land but because the king of Iran (Cyrus) was a Persian other countries and people called us Persians but not Iranians until 1935 when Reza shah requested that all countries must say Iran and Iranians instead of Persia and Persians . Unfortunately from that time there is a little disorders for foreigners because some of them get used to hear Persians and they thought Iran is a new country and some of them mingle it with Iraq and couldn’t distinguish Iran and Iraq from each other .

    The other problem is Persian and Farsi . Persian and Farsi are the same . there isn’t any difference between them . We call our language Farsi and English call our language Persian . For example French call Germany as Alman but English says Germany , there isn’t any difference between Alman and Germany .
    The Alphabet of Persian is Arabic , we write Persian with Arabic alphabet , for example the Turks write Turkish with Latin alphabet but their language isn’t an Indo-European language . As you said Persian or Farsi is one of the Indo-European languages but we write it with Arabic alphabet . We can easily change our alphabet to Latin but Arabs Couldn’t .

    If you have any question about Iran and Persian I’d be glad if I could help you.

    Arash
    Tehran - IRAN

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    But there is differences between farsi in different countries... I tried to say cowareet misle naana sokht (your face looks like burned bread) to an iranian and he didn't understand, but it was because I learned it from an Afghan.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    I am learning Persian right now. It's a very interesting language. By the way, there is a great site for it here(and by great, I mean there is actual content, and lots of it): http://www.easypersian.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    But there is differences between farsi in different countries... I tried to say cowareet misle naana sokht (your face looks like burned bread) to an iranian and he didn't understand, but it was because I learned it from an Afghan.
    Yes , that's right . But even in Iran there is differences between Farsi in different locations and we are so many Farsi dialect even in Iran , for example we have Tehrani, Mazani , Gilaki , Taleshi , Araki , Mash'hadi , Sistani , Baluchi , Shirazi , Esfahani , Yazdi , Kashi , Jonubi , lori bakhtiari , lori , kermanshahi and ..... Farsi dialects that each one have some words and expressions that other dialect speakers maybe can not underestand them, but all of us , even Afghans and Tajik can underestand offical Farsi which all of our books and letters from 1000 years ago until now have been written with this kind of Farsi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    I am learning Persian right now. It's a very interesting language. By the way, there is a great site for it here(and by great, I mean there is actual content, and lots of it): http://www.easypersian.com/
    I'm very glad that you are learning Persian and you are interested in Perisan , If you have any problem in Persian(Farsi) please ask me , maybe I could help you.

  18. #18
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    Interesting page. Spaseeba Pravit.

  19. #19
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    Arash, to what degree would you be able to read Middle or Old Persian if at all?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Arash, to what degree would you be able to read Middle or Old Persian if at all?
    Old Persian ( about 1500-1000 BC) is what the original Parsa tribe of the Hakahmaneshinian (Achaemenid) era spoke and they have left for us samples carved on stone in cuneiform script. I can't read Old Persian or if somebody read an old Persian text for me I couldn't understand it (maybe I understand some words but in general it's impossible for me to find out the meaning of the sentences.)
    Middle Persian (about 100 BC- 600 AC) is the language spoken during the Sasanian era also known as Pahlavi. We have plenty of writings from that era in the form of religious writings of the Zarathushti religion, namely the Bundahish, Arda Viraf nameh, Mainu Khared, Pandnameh Adorbad Mehresfand etc. Because Middle Persian has written in Aramic script and I can't read Aramic script thus I can't read Middle Persian too , but If somebody read a Middle Persian text for me I can understand about 70% of the text .
    and modern Persian which spoken from 1000 years ago until now almost hasn't changed , and we can read and understand the books and letters which written 800 , 900 , or even 1000 years ago without any problem.

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