The Info List - Iranian Languages

Pontic Steppe

Domestication of the horse Kurgan Kurgan
culture Steppe cultures

Bug-Dniester Sredny Stog Dnieper-Donets Samara Khvalynsk Yamna

Mikhaylovka culture





Eastern Europe

Usatovo Cernavodă Cucuteni

Northern Europe

Corded ware

Baden Middle Dnieper

Bronze Age

Pontic Steppe

Chariot Yamna Catacomb Multi-cordoned ware Poltavka Srubna

Northern/Eastern Steppe

Abashevo culture Andronovo Sintashta


Globular Amphora Corded ware Beaker Unetice Trzciniec Nordic Bronze Age Terramare Tumulus Urnfield Lusatian


BMAC Yaz Gandhara grave

Iron Age




Thraco-Cimmerian Hallstatt Jastorf




Painted Grey Ware Northern Black Polished Ware

Peoples and societies

Bronze Age

Anatolians Armenians Mycenaean Greeks Indo-Iranians

Iron Age





Scythians Persians Medes



Gauls Celtiberians Insular Celts

Hellenic peoples Italic peoples Germanic peoples Paleo-Balkans/Anatolia:

Thracians Dacians Illyrians Phrygians

Middle Ages




Balts Slavs Albanians Medieval Europe


Medieval India


Greater Persia

Religion and mythology


Proto-Indo-European religion Proto-Indo-Iranian religion






Buddhism Jainism





Yazidism Yarsanism






Paleo-Balkans Greek Roman Celtic

Irish Scottish Breton Welsh Cornish


Anglo-Saxon Continental Norse


Latvian Lithuanian

Slavic Albanian


Fire-sacrifice Horse sacrifice Sati Winter solstice/Yule

Indo-European studies


Marija Gimbutas J.P. Mallory


Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European


Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture The Horse, the Wheel and Language Journal of Indo-European Studies Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch Indo-European Etymological Dictionary

v t e

The Iranian languages, or Iranic languages,[2][3] are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, which in turn are a branch of the Indo-European language family. The speakers of Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are known as Iranian peoples. Historical Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are grouped in three stages: Old Iranian (until 400 BC), Middle Iranian (400 BC – 900 AD) and New Iranian (since 900 AD). Of the Old Iranian languages, the better understood and recorded ones are Old Persian
Old Persian
(a language of Achaemenid Iran) and Avestan
(the language of the Avesta). Middle Iranian languages
Iranian languages
included Middle Persian
Middle Persian
(a language of Sassanid
Iran), Parthian and Bactrian. As of 2008, there were an estimated 150–200 million native speakers of Iranian languages.[4] Ethnologue
estimates that there are 86 Iranian languages,[5][6] the largest among them being Persian, Pashto, Balochi and the Kurdish dialect continuum.


1 Term 2 Classification 3 Proto-Iranian 4 Old Iranian

4.1 Isoglosses

5 Middle Iranian languages 6 New Iranian languages 7 Comparison table 8 See also 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 External links

Term[edit] See also: Indo-Iranian languages

Iranian languages
Iranian languages
family tree

The term Iranian is applied to any language which descends from the ancestral Proto-Iranian language.[7] Iranian derives from the Persian and Sanskrit
origin word Arya. The use of the term for the Iranian language family was introduced in 1836 by Christian Lassen.[8] Robert Needham Cust
Robert Needham Cust
used the term Irano-Aryan in 1878,[9] and Orientalists such as George Abraham Grierson and Max Müller
Max Müller
contrasted Irano-Aryan (Iranian) and Indo-Aryan (Indic). Some recent scholarship, primarily in German, has revived this convention.[10][11][12][13] The Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are divided into the following branches:

The Western Iranian languages subdivided into:

Southwestern, of which Persian is the dominant member; Northwestern, of which the Kurdish languages
Kurdish languages
are the dominant members.

The Eastern Iranian languages subdivided into:

Southeastern, of which Pashto
is the dominant member; Northeastern, by far the smallest branch, of which Ossetian is the dominant member.




Northwestern I


Kurmanji - 15 million speakers Sorani - 7 million speakers Palewani - 3 million speakers


Zaza - 1.6 million speakers Gorani - 250,000 speakers

Northwestern II

Balochi - 30 million speakers Khuri Tatic

Talysh - 900,000 speakers Tati - 248,000 speakers Ashtiani - 21,000 speakers Central


Khunsari - 21,000 speakers Mahallati


Gazi - 7,000 speakers Sedehi


Arani Bidgoli


Zoroastrian Dari - 8,000 speakers Nayini - 7,000 speakers

Northwestern III


Semnani proper - 60,000 speakers Sangsari - 36,000 speakers Lasgerdi - 1,000 speakers Sorkhei - 10,000 speakers


Gilaki - 4 million speakers Mazanderani - 6 million speakers


Persian (including Dari and Tajik) - 80 million speakers Persid

Dezfuli Luri - 13 million Sivandi - 3,000 speakers Northwestern Fars - 7,500 speakers Kuhmareyi - 100,000 speakers


Achomi - 210,000 speakers Bashkardi - 7,000 speakers Kumzari - 2,300 speakers Bandari Minabi


- 60 million speakers Pamir

Wakhi - 58,000 speakers Shugni-Yazgulami

Shughni - 75,000 speakers Sarikoli - 16,000 speakers Yazghulami - 9,000 speakers


Munji - 5,300 speakers Yidgha - 6,200 speakers


Sanglechi - 2,200 speakers Ishkashimi - 3,000 speakers


- 6,000 speakers Parachi - 3,500 speakers


Yaghnobi - 12,000 speakers Ossetian - 570,000 speakers


Historical distribution in 100 BC: shown is Sarmatia, Scythia, Bactria (Eastern Iranian, in orange); and the Parthian Empire
Parthian Empire
(Western Iranian, in red)

All Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are descended from a common ancestor, Proto-Iranian. In turn, and together with Proto-Indo-Aryan
and the Nuristani languages, Proto-Iranian descends from a common ancestor Proto-Indo-Iranian. The Indo-Iranian languages
Indo-Iranian languages
are thought to have originated in Central Asia. The Andronovo culture
Andronovo culture
is the suggested candidate for the common Indo-Iranian culture ca. 2000 BC. It was situated precisely in the western part of Central Asia
Central Asia
that borders present-day Russia
(and present-day Kazakhstan). It was in relative proximity to the other satem ethno-linguistic groups of the Indo-European family, like Thracian, Balto-Slavic
and others, and to common Indo-European's original homeland (more precisely, the steppes of southern Russia
to the north of the Caucasus), according to the reconstructed linguistic relationships of common Indo-European. Proto-Iranian thus dates to some time after Proto-Indo-Iranian break-up, or the early second millennium BCE, as the Old Iranian languages began to break off and evolve separately as the various Iranian tribes migrated and settled in vast areas of southeastern Europe, the Iranian plateau, and Central Asia. Innovations of Proto-Iranian compared to Proto-Indo-Iranian include (from Witzel, 2001):[14]

*s other than *[ʃ] turns into *[h] *bʰ, *dʰ, *gʰ merge into *b, *d, *g Fricativization of voiceless stops

*p, *t, *k become *f, *θ, *x before another consonant in all positions, *pʰ, *tʰ, *kʰ become *f, *θ, *x

Old Iranian[edit] The multitude of Middle Iranian languages
Iranian languages
and peoples indicate that great linguistic diversity must have existed among the ancient speakers of Iranian languages. Of that variety of languages/dialects, direct evidence of only two have survived. These are:

Avestan, the two languages/dialects of the Avesta, i.e. the liturgical texts of Zoroastrianism. Old Persian, the native language of a south-western Iranian people known as Persians.[15]

Indirectly attested Old Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are discussed below. Old Persian
Old Persian
is the Old Iranian dialect as it was spoken in south-western Iran by the inhabitants of Parsa, who also gave their name to their region and language. Genuine Old Persian
Old Persian
is best attested in one of the three languages of the Behistun inscription, composed circa 520 BC, and which is the last inscription (and only inscription of significant length) in which Old Persian
Old Persian
is still grammatically correct. Later inscriptions are comparatively brief, and typically simply copies of words and phrases from earlier ones, often with grammatical errors, which suggests that by the 4th century BC the transition from Old Persian
Old Persian
to Middle Persian
Middle Persian
was already far advanced, but efforts were still being made to retain an "old" quality for official proclamations. The other directly attested Old Iranian dialects are the two forms of Avestan, which take their name from their use in the Avesta, the liturgical texts of indigenous Iranian religion that now goes by the name of Zoroastrianism
but in the Avesta
itself is simply known as vohu daena (later: behdin). The language of the Avesta
is subdivided into two dialects, conventionally known as "Old (or 'Gathic') Avestan", and "Younger Avestan". These terms, which date to the 19th century, are slightly misleading since 'Younger Avestan' is not only much younger than 'Old Avestan', but also from a different geographic region. The Old Avestan
dialect is very archaic, and at roughly the same stage of development as Rigvedic Sanskrit. On the other hand, Younger Avestan
is at about the same linguistic stage as Old Persian, but by virtue of its use as a sacred language retained its "old" characteristics long after the Old Iranian languages
Iranian languages
had yielded to their Middle Iranian stage. Unlike Old Persian, which has Middle Persian as its known successor, Avestan
has no clearly identifiable Middle Iranian stage (the effect of Middle Iranian is indistinguishable from effects due to other causes). In addition to Old Persian
Old Persian
and Avestan, which are the only directly attested Old Iranian languages, all Middle Iranian languages
Iranian languages
must have had a predecessor "Old Iranian" form of that language, and thus can all be said to have had an (at least hypothetical) "Old" form. Such hypothetical Old Iranian languages
Iranian languages
include Carduchian (the hypothetical predecessor to Kurdish) and Old Parthian. Additionally, the existence of unattested languages can sometimes be inferred from the impact they had on neighbouring languages. Such transfer is known to have occurred for Old Persian, which has (what is called) a "Median" substrate in some of its vocabulary.[16] Also, foreign references to languages can also provide a hint to the existence of otherwise unattested languages, for example through toponyms/ethnonyms or in the recording of vocabulary, as Herodotus did for what he called "Scythian". Isoglosses[edit] Conventionally, Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are grouped in "western" and "eastern" branches.[17] These terms have little meaning with respect to Old Avestan
as that stage of the language may predate the settling of the Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
into western and eastern groups. The geographic terms also have little meaning when applied to Younger Avestan
since it isn't known where that dialect (or dialects) was spoken either. Certain is only that Avestan
(all forms) and Old Persian
Old Persian
are distinct, and since Old Persian
Old Persian
is "western", and Avestan
was not Old Persian, Avestan
acquired a default assignment to "eastern". Confusing the issue is the introduction of a western Iranian substrate in later Avestan
compositions and redactions undertaken at the centers of imperial power in western Iran (either in the south-west in Persia, or in the north-west in Nisa/ Parthia
and Ecbatana/Media). Two of the earliest dialectal divisions among Iranian indeed happen to not follow the later division into Western and Eastern blocks. These concern the fate of the Proto-Indo-Iranian first-series palatal consonants, *ć and *dź:[18]

and most other Iranian languages
Iranian languages
have deaffricated and depalatalized these consonants, and have *ć > s, *dź > z. Old Persian, however, has fronted these consonants further: *ć > θ, *dź > *ð > d.

As a common intermediate stage, it is possible to reconstruct depalatalized affricates: *c, *dz. (This coincides with the state of affairs in the neighboring Nuristani languages.) A further complication however concerns the consonant clusters *ćw and *dźw:

and most other Iranian languages
Iranian languages
have shifted these clusters to sp, zb. In Old Persian, these clusters yield s, z, with loss of the glide *w, but without further fronting. The Saka
language, attested in the Middle Iranian period, and its modern relative Wakhi fail to fit into either group: in these, palatalization remains, and similar glide loss as in Old Persian occurs: *ćw > š, *dźw > ž.

A division of Iranian languages
Iranian languages
in at least three groups during the Old Iranian period is thus implied:

Persid ( Old Persian
Old Persian
and its descendants) Sakan (Saka, Wakhi, and their Old Iranian ancestor) Central Iranian (all other Iranian languages)

It is possible that other distinct dialect groups were already in existence during this period. Good candidates are the hypothethical ancestor languages of Alanian/Scytho-Sarmatian subgroup of Scythian in the far northwest; and the hypothetical "Old Parthian" (the Old Iranian ancestor of Parthian) in the near northwest, where original *dw > *b (paralleling the development of *ćw). Middle Iranian languages[edit] What is known in Iranian linguistic history as the "Middle Iranian" era is thought to begin around the 4th century BCE lasting through the 9th century. Linguistically the Middle Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are conventionally classified into two main groups, Western and Eastern. The Western family includes Parthian (Arsacid Pahlavi) and Middle Persian, while Bactrian, Sogdian, Khwarezmian, Saka, and Old Ossetic (Scytho-Sarmatian) fall under the Eastern category. The two languages of the Western group were linguistically very close to each other, but quite distinct from their eastern counterparts. On the other hand, the Eastern group was an areal entity whose languages retained some similarity to Avestan. They were inscribed in various Aramaic-derived alphabets which had ultimately evolved from the Achaemenid Imperial Aramaic
script, though Bactrian was written using an adapted Greek script. Middle Persian
Middle Persian
(Pahlavi) was the official language under the Sasanian dynasty in Iran. It was in use from the 3rd century CE until the beginning of the 10th century. The script used for Middle Persian
Middle Persian
in this era underwent significant maturity. Middle Persian, Parthian and Sogdian were also used as literary languages by the Manichaeans, whose texts also survive in various non-Iranian languages, from Latin to Chinese. Manichaean
texts were written in a script closely akin to the Syriac script.[19] New Iranian languages[edit] See also: Persian literature, Pashto
literature, Ossetian literature, Kurdish literature, and Tajik literature

Dark green: countries where Iranian languages
Iranian languages
are official. Teal: regional co-official/de facto status.

Following the Islamic Conquest of Persia
Islamic Conquest of Persia
(Iran), there were important changes in the role of the different dialects within the Persian Empire. The old prestige form of Middle Iranian, also known as Pahlavi, was replaced by a new standard dialect called Dari as the official language of the court. The name Dari comes from the word darbâr (دربار), which refers to the royal court, where many of the poets, protagonists, and patrons of the literature flourished. The Saffarid dynasty
Saffarid dynasty
in particular was the first in a line of many dynasties to officially adopt the new language in 875 CE. Dari may have been heavily influenced by regional dialects of eastern Iran, whereas the earlier Pahlavi standard was based more on western dialects. This new prestige dialect became the basis of Standard New Persian. Medieval Iranian scholars such as Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa (8th century) and Ibn al-Nadim (10th century) associated the term "Dari" with the eastern province of Khorasan, while they used the term "Pahlavi" to describe the dialects of the northwestern areas between Isfahan and Azerbaijan, and "Pârsi" ("Persian" proper) to describe the Dialects of Fars. They also noted that the unofficial language of the royalty itself was yet another dialect, "Khuzi", associated with the western province of Khuzestan.

Geographic distribution of modern Iranian languages

The Islamic conquest also brought with it the adoption of Arabic script for writing Persian and much later, Kurdish, Pashto
and Balochi. All three were adapted to the writing by the addition of a few letters. This development probably occurred some time during the second half of the 8th century, when the old middle Persian script began dwindling in usage. The Arabic script
Arabic script
remains in use in contemporary modern Persian. Tajik script, used to write the Tajik language, was first Latinised
in the 1920s under the then Soviet nationality policy. The script was however subsequently Cyrillicized in the 1930s by the Soviet government. The geographical regions in which Iranian languages
Iranian languages
were spoken were pushed back in several areas by newly neighbouring languages. Arabic spread into some parts of Western Iran (Khuzestan), and Turkic languages spread through much of Central Asia, displacing various Iranian languages
Iranian languages
such as Sogdian and Bactrian in parts of what is today Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan. In Eastern Europe, mostly comprising the territory of modern-day Ukraine, southern European Russia, and parts of the Balkans, the core region of the native Scythians, Sarmatians, and Alans
had been decisively been taken over as a result of absorption and assimilation (e.g. Slavicisation) by the various Proto-Slavic population of the region, by the 6th century AD.[20][21][22][23] This resulted in the displacement and extinction of the once predominant Scythian languages
Scythian languages
of the region. Sogdian's close relative Yaghnobi barely survives in a small area of the Zarafshan valley east of Samarkand, and Saka
as Ossetic in the Caucasus, which is the sole remnant of the once predominant Scythian languages in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
proper and large parts of the North Caucasus. Various small Iranian languages
Iranian languages
in the Pamir Mountains survive that are derived from Eastern Iranian.

Comparison table[edit]

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English Zaza Sorani Kurdish Kurmanji Pashto Tati Talyshi Balochi Mazanderani Persian Middle Persian Parthian Old Persian Avestan Ossetian

beautiful rınd, xasek nayab, cwan rind, delal, bedew x̌kūlay, x̌āista xojir ghašang sharr, soherâ, mah rang xoşgel, xojir zibā/xuš-čehr(e)/xoşgel(ak)/ghashanq/najib hučihr, hužihr hužihr naiba vahu-, srîra ræsughd

blood goyni xwên xwîn, xûn wīna xevn xun hon xun xūn xōn gōxan

vohuni- tug

bread nan, non nan nan ḍoḍəi, məṛəi nun nun nān, nagan nun nān nān nān


bring ardene /weranîn, hawirdin anîn, hînan (rā)wṛəl vârden, biyordon varde âurten, yārag, ārag biyârden āwurdan, biyār ("(you) bring!") āwurdan, āwāy-, āwar-, bar- āwāy-, āwar-, bar- bara- bara, bar- xæssyn

brother bıra brader, bra bra, brarg, brang, brat wror bərâr bira, boli brāt, brās birâr barādar brād, brâdar brād, brādar brātar brātar- æfsymær

come ameyene hatin, were hatin, atin, were, rā tləl biyâmiyan ome āhag, āyag,hatin biyamona, enen, biyâmuen āmadan āmadan, awar awar, čām āy-, āgam āgam- cæwyn

cry bermayene girîn, giryan grîn, griyan žəṛəl bərma berame, bame greewag, greeten birme gerīstan/gerīye griy-, bram- barmâdan


dark tari tarî/tarîk tarî skəṇ, skaṇ, tyara ul, gur, târica, târek toki thár sîyo, sîyu tārīk tārīg/k tārīg, tārēn

sâmahe, sâma tar

daughter keyne, çêneke kîj, kiç, kenişk, düet (pehlewanî) dot (daughter) keç(girl)

lūr titiye, dətar kinə, kila dohtir, duttag kîjâ, deter doxtar duxtar duxt, duxtar

duxδar čyzg (Iron), kizgæ (Digor)

day roce/roje/roze řoj roj wrəd͡z (rwəd͡z) revj, ruz ruj roç ruz, ruj rūz rōz

raucah- raocah- bon

do kerdene kirdin kirin kawəl korden karde kanag, kurtin hâkerden kardan kardan kartan kạrta- kәrәta- kænyn

door ber, keyber,çêber derge/derke, derga derî wər darvâca bə gelo, darwāzag dar, loş dar dar dar, bar duvara- dvara- dwar

die merdene mirdin mirin mrəl bamarden marde mireg bamerden murdan murdan

mạriya- mar- mælyn

donkey here ker ker xər astar, xar hə, hər har,her, kar xar xar xar


eat werdene xwardin xwarin, xwartin, xartin

xwāṛə, xurāk / xwaṛəl harden harde warag, warâk xerâk / baxârden xordan / xurāk parwarz / xwâr, xwardīg parwarz / xwâr

hareθra / ad-, at- xærinag

egg hak, akk hêk/hêlke, tuxm hêk hagəi merqâna, karxâ morqana, uyə heyg, heyk, ā morg merqâne, tîm, balî toxm, xāya ("testicle") toxmag, xâyag taoxmag, xâyag

taoxma- ajk

earth erd zemîn, zewî, ʿerz, erd erd, zevî d͡zməka (md͡zəka) zemin zamin zemin zamîn, bene zamīn zamīg zamīg zam- zãm, zam, zem zæxx

evening şan êware êvar māx̌ām (māš̥ām) nemâzi sar shav begáh nemâşun begáh ēvārag êbêrag


eye çım çaw/çaş çav stərga coš čaş,gelgan ch.hem, chem çəş, bəj čashm čašm čašm čaša- čašman- cæst

father pi, pêr bawk, ba bav, bab plār piyar, piya, dada piya, lala, po pit, piss pîyer, per pedar, baba pidar pid pitar pitar fyd

fear ters tirs tirs wēra (yara), bēra târs tars turs, terseg taşe-vaşe tars tars tars tạrsa- tares- tas

fiancé waşti dezgîran dergîstî, xwestî čənghol [masculine], čənghəla [feminine] numuzâ nomja nāmzād numze nāmzād - -


fine weş, hewl xoş xwaş, xweş, xaş,

x̌a (š̥a), səm, ṭik ( Urdu
origin) xojir, xar xoş wash, hosh xâr, xeş, xojir xoš, xūb, beh dārmag

srîra xorz, dzæbæx

finger engışte, gışte, bêçıke engust, pence tilî, pêçî gwəta anquš anqiştə lenkutk, mordâneg,changol angus angošt angust

dišti- ængwyldz

fire adır, adfır agir/awir, ahir agir wōr (ōr) taš otaş âch, âs taş, âtar ātaš, āzar âdur, âtaxsh ādur âç- âtre-/aêsma- art

fish mase masî masî kəb mâyi moy māhi, māhig mâhî māhi māhig māsyāg

masya kæsag

go şo (şiyayış) çûn, řoştin, řoyiştin çûn tləl šiyen, bišiyan şe jwzzegh, shutin şunen / burden ro/şo şow/row ay- ai- ay-, fra-vaz cæwyn

god homa, huma, oma, heq Yezdan, xwedê, xuda, xodê, xwa(y) xwedê, xweda, xwadê, xudê xwədāi xədâ Xıdo hwdâ xedâ xodā/izad xudā/yazdān

baga- baya- xwycaw

good hewl, rınd, weş baş, çak baş, rind x̌ə (š̥ə) xâr, xojir çok jawáin, šarr,zabr xâr, xeş, xojir xub, nīkū, beh xūb, nêkog, beh

vahu- vohu, vaŋhu- xorz

grass vaş giya/gya gîya, çêre wāx̌ə (wāš̥ə) vâš alaf rem, sabzag vâş sabzeh, giyāh giyâ giya viş urvarâ kærdæg

great gırd, gırs, pil gewre mezin, gir lōy, stər pilla yol, yal, vaz,dıjd mastar, mazan,tuh gat, pilla bozorg wuzurg, pīl, yal

vazraka- uta-, avañt styr

hand dest dest, des dest lās bâl dast dast das, bāl dast dast dast dasta- zasta- k'ux / arm

head ser ser ser sər kalla sə, sər saghar,sar, sarag kalle,sar sar sar

kalli sairi sær

heart zerri, zerre dil/dił/dir(Erbil)/zil dil zṛə dəl dıl dil, hatyr del, zel, zil del dil dil

aηhuš zærdæ

horse estor, (ostor/astor) asp/hesp/esp, hês(t)ir esp, hesp ās [male], aspa [female] asb, astar asp asp asp, as asb asp, stōr asp, stōr aspa aspa- bæx

house keye, ban mał, xanu, xang mal, xanî kor kiya ka log, dawâr,ges sere, xene, kime xāne xânag

demâna-, nmâna- xædzar

hungry veyşan birsî birçî lwəga vašnâ, vešir, gosna vahşian shudhagh veşnâ gorosne, goşne gursag, shuy veşnâg

language (also tongue) zıwan, zon, zuan, zuon, juan, jüan ziman, ziwan ziman žəba zobun, zəvân zivon zevān, zobān zivun, zebun zabān zuwān izβān hazâna- hizvā- ævzag

laugh huyayene kenîn/pêkenîn, kenîn kenîn xandəl/xənda xurəsen, bexandastan sıre xendegh, hendeg rîk, baxendesten xande xande, xand

karta Syaoθnâvareza- xudyn

life cu/cuye, cewiyayış jiyan jiyan žwəndūn, žwənd zindәgi jimon zendegih, zind zindegî, jan zendegi, jan zīndagīh, zīwišnīh žīwahr, žīw-

gaêm, gaya- card

man merdêk, camêrd, cuamêrd merd, pîyaw mêr səṛay, mēṛə mardak, miarda merd merd mard(î) mard mard mard martiya- mašîm, mašya adæjmag

moon aşme, menge (for month) mang meh, heyv spūgməi (spōẓ̌məi) mâng mang, owşum máh ma, munek mâh māh māh mâh- måŋha- mæj

mother maye, marde, maya dayek dayik, mak mōr mâr, mâya, nana moa, ma, ina mât, mâs mâr mâdar mâdar dayek mâtar mâtar- mad

mouth fek dem dev xūla (xʷəla) duxun, dâ:ân gəv dap dâhun, lâmîze dahân dahân, rumb

åŋhânô, âh, åñh dzyx

name name naw, nêw nav nūm num nom nâm num nâm nâm

nâman nãman nom

night şewe şew şev špa šö, šav şav šap, shaw şow shab shab

xšap- xšap- æxsæv

open (v) a-kerdene kirdinewe vekirin prānistəl vâ-korden okarde pabožagh, paç vâ-hekârden bâz-kardan, va-kardan abâz-kardan, višādag

būxtaka- būxta- gom kænyn

peace pêameyış, werêameyış aştî, aramî aştî, aramî rōɣa, t͡sōkāləi dinj aşiş ârâm âştî âshti, ârâmeš, ârâmî âštih, râmīšn râm, râmīšn šiyâti- râma- fidyddzinad

pig xoz, xonz beraz, beraz, soḍər, xənd͡zir (Arabic) xu, xuyi, xug xug khug xî xūk xūk

hū xwy

place ca je(jega), ga cîh, geh d͡zāi yâga vira hend, jâgah jâ jâh/gâh gâh gâh gâθu- gâtu-, gâtav- ran

read wendene xwendin/xwêndin xwandin, xwendin, xandin

lwastəl, kōtəl baxânden hande, xwande wánagh baxinden, baxundesten xândan xwândan


say vatene gutin, witin gotin, bêtin wayəl vâten, baguten vote gushagh baowten goftan, gap(-zadan) guftan, gōw-, wâxtan gōw- gaub- mrû- dzuryn

sister waye xweh, xweşk, xoşk, xuşk, xoyşk xwîşk, xwarg, xwang, xang

xōr (xʷōr) xâke, xâv, xâxor, xuâr hova gwhâr xâxer xâhar/xwâhar xwahar

x ̌aŋhar- "sister" xo

small qıc, qıyt, qıj, qıçkek, qıtek, werdi giçke, qicik, hûr biçûk, hûr kūčnay, waṛ(ū)kay qijel, qolâ hırd gwand, hurd peçik, biçuk, xurd kuchak, kam, xurd, rîz kam, rangas kam kamna- kamna- chysyl

son lac, laj, kaz, pısa law/kuř kur (son) law (boy)

d͡zoy (zoy) pur, zâ zoə, zurə baç, phusagh piser/rîkâ pesar, baça pur, pusar puhr puça pūθra- fyrt

soul roh, gan jan, giyan, rewan, revan can sā rəvân con rawân

ravân, jân rūwân, jyân rūwân, jyân

urvan- ud

spring wesar, usar behar, wehar behar spərlay vâ:âr əvəsor, bahar bhârgâh vehâr bahâr wahâr

vâhara- θūravâhara-

tall berz bilind/berz bilind/berz lwəṛ, ǰəg pilla barz, bılınd bwrz, borz bilen(d) boland / bârez buland, borz bârež

barez- bærzond

ten des deh/de deh ləs da da deh da dah dah

datha dasa dæs

three hirê, hiri, hirı sê sê drē so se, he sey se se sê hrē çi- θri- ærtæ

village dewe gund, dêhat, dê gund kəlay döh, da di helk, kallag, dê dih, male, kola deh, wis wiž dahyu- vîs-, dahyu- vîs qæw

want waştene xwastin, wîstin xwastin, xastin

ɣ(ʷ)ux̌təl begovastan, jovastan piye lotagh bexâsten xâstan xwâstan


water awe, owe, ou aw av obə/ūbə âv, ö ov, wat(orandian dialect) âp ow âb âb/aw aw âpi avô- don

when key, çı wext key kengê, kîngê kəla key keyna kadi,ked ke key kay ka

čim- kæd

wind va ba, wa (pehlewanî) ba siləi vâ vo gwáth vâ bâd wâd wa

vâta- dymgæ / wad

wolf verg gurg, wurg gur lewə, šarmux̌ (šarmuš̥) varg varg gurkh verg gorg gurg

varka- vehrka birægh

woman cêniye, cênıke jin jin x̌əd͡za (š̥əd͡za) zeyniye, zenak jen, jiyan jan,jinik zan zan zan žan

gǝnā, γnā, ǰaini-, sylgojmag / us

year serre sal/sał sal kāl sâl sor, sal sâl sâl sâl sâl

θard ýâre, sarәd az

yes / no ya, heya, ê / nê, ney, ni bełê, a / na, ne erê, arê, belê / na Hao, ao, wō / na, ya ahan / na ha / ne, na ere / na are / nâ baleh, ârē, hā / na, née ōhāy / ne hâ / ney yâ / nay, mâ yâ / noit, mâ o / næ

yesterday vizêri dwênê, duêke duho parūn azira, degiru zir, zinə zí dîruz diruz dêrûž

diya(ka) zyō znon

English Zaza Sorani Kurdish Kurmanji Pashto Tati Talyshi Balochi Mazandarani Persian Middle Persian Parthian Old Persian Avestan Ossetian

See also[edit]

Indo-Iranian languages Iranian peoples


^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Iranian". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Johannes Bechert; Giuliano Bernini; Claude Buridant (1990). Toward a Typology of European Languages. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-012108-7.  ^ Gernot Windfuhr (1979). Persian Grammar: History and State of Its Study. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-90-279-7774-8.  ^ Windfuhr, Gernot. The Iranian languages. Routledge
Taylor and Francis Group.  ^ " Ethnologue
report for Iranian". Ethnologue.com.  ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Report for Iranian languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Fifteenth ed.). Dallas: SIL International. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ (Skjærvø 2006) ^ Lassen, Christian. 1936. Die altpersischen Keil-Inschriften von Persepolis. Entzifferung des Alphabets und Erklärung des Inhalts. Bonn: Weber. S. 182. This was followed by Wilhelm Geiger in his Grundriss der Iranischen Philologie (1895). Friedrich von Spiegel (1859), Avesta, Engelmann (p. vii) used the spelling Eranian. ^ Cust, Robert Needham. 1878. A sketch of the modern languages of the East Indies. London: Trübner. ^ Dani, Ahmad Hasan. 1989. History of northern areas of Pakistan. Historical studies (Pakistan) series. National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research. "We distinguish between the Aryan languages of Iran, or Irano-Aryan, and the Aryan languages of India, or Indo-Aryan. For the sake of brevity, Iranian is commonly used instead of Irano-Aryan". ^ Lazard, Gilbert. 1977. Preface in: Oranskij, Iosif M. Les langues iraniennes. Traduit par Joyce Blau. ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger. 1994. Sprachzeugnisse alt- und mitteliranischer Sprachen in Afghanistan in: Indogermanica et Caucasica. Festschrift für Karl Horst Schmidt zum 65. Geburtstag. Bielmeier, Robert und Reinhard Stempel (Hrg.). De Gruyter. S. 168–196. ^ Lazard, Gilbert. 1998. Actancy. Empirical approaches to language typology. Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-015670-9, ISBN 978-3-11-015670-6 ^ Michael Witzel (2001): Autochthonous Aryans? The evidence from Old Indian and Iranian texts. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7(3): 1–115. ^ Roland G. Kent: "Old Persion: Grammar Texts Lexicon". Part I, Chapter I: The Linguistic Setting of Old Persian. American Oriental Society, 1953. ^ (Skjaervo 2006) vi(2). Documentation. ^ Nicholas Sims-Williams, Iranica, under entry: Eastern Iranian languages ^ Windfuhr, Gernot (2009). "Dialectology and Topics". The Iranian Languages. Routledge. pp. 18–21.  ^ Mary Boyce. 1975. A Reader in Manichaean
Middle Persian
Middle Persian
and Parthian, p. 14. ^ Brzezinski, Richard; Mielczarek, Mariusz (2002). The Sarmatians, 600 BC-AD 450. Osprey Publishing. p. 39. (..) Indeed, it is now accepted that the Sarmatians
merged in with pre-Slavic populations.  ^ Adams, Douglas Q. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 523. (..) In their Ukrainian and Polish homeland the Slavs were intermixed and at times overlain by Germanic speakers (the Goths) and by Iranian speakers (Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans) in a shifting array of tribal and national configurations.  ^ Atkinson, Dorothy; et al. (1977). Women in Russia. Stanford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780804709101. (..) Ancient accounts link the Amazons with the Scythians
and the Sarmatians, who successively dominated the south of Russia
for a millennium extending back to the seventh century B.C. The descendants of these peoples were absorbed by the Slavs who came to be known as Russians.  ^ Slovene Studies. 9–11. Society for Slovene Studies. 1987. p. 36. (..) For example, the ancient Scythians, Sarmatians (amongst others), and many other attested but now extinct peoples were assimilated in the course of history by Proto-Slavs. 


Bailey, H. W. (1979). Dictionary of Khotan Saka. Cambridge University Press. 1979. 1st Paperback edition 2010. ISBN 978-0-521-14250-2. Schmitt, Rüdiger (ed.) (1989). Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum (in German). Wiesbaden: Reichert. ISBN 3-88226-413-6. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Sims-Williams, Nicholas (1996). "Iranian languages". Encyclopedia Iranica. 7. Costa Mesa: Mazda. pp. 238–245.  Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.) (1996). "Iran". Encyclopedia Iranica. 7. Costa Mesa: Mazda. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Frye, Richard N. (1996). "Peoples of Iran". Encyclopedia Iranica. 7. Costa Mesa: Mazda.  Windfuhr, Gernot L. (1995). "Cases in Iranian languages
Iranian languages
and dialects". Encyclopedia Iranica. 5. Costa Mesa: Mazda. pp. 25–37.  Lazard, Gilbert (1996). "Dari". Encyclopedia Iranica. 7. Costa Mesa: Mazda.  Henning, Walter B. (1954). "The Ancient language of Azarbaijan". Transactions of the Philological Society. 53 (1): 157. doi:10.1111/j.1467-968X.1954.tb00282.x.  Rezakhani, Khodadad (2001). "The Iranian Language Family". Archived from the original on 2004-10-09.  Skjærvø, Prods Oktor (2006). "Encyclopædia Iranica". 13.  contribution= ignored (help) Delshad, Farshid (2010). Georgica et Irano-Semitica (PDF). Ars Poetica. Deutscher Wissenschaftsverlag DWV. ISBN 978-3-86888-004-5.  Mallory, J. P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (2006). The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929668-2 

External links[edit]

Society for Iranian Linguistics Kurdish and other Iranic Languages Iranian EFL Journal Audio and video recordings for over 50 languages spoken in Iran Iranian language tree in Russian, identical with above classification. Old Iranian Lessons (free online through the Linguistics Research Center at UT Austin)

v t e

Indo-Iranian languages

Indo-Aryan (Indic)

Old / Middle


Vedic Sanskrit

Classical Buddhist



Abahatta Apabhraṃśa Dramatic Prakrits

Magadhi Maharashtri Shauraseni

Elu Gāndhārī Paisaci Pāli Prakrit


Central (Hindustani)


Awadhi Bagheli Bhojpuri Bombay Hindi Braj Bhasha Bundeli Caribbean Hindi Chhattisgarhi Fiji Hindi Haflong Hindi Haryanvi Kannauji Khari Boli Sansi Boli


Dakhini Hyderabadi Urdu Rekhta (early form)


Danwar Parya



Assamese Bengali Bishnupriya Manipuri Chakma Chittagonian Hajong Kayort Kharia Thar Nahari Rajbanshi Rohingya Sylheti


Angika Vajjika Magahi Maithili Majhi Sadri


Odia Kosli Bodo Parja Kupia Reli


Halbi Bhatri Kamar Mirgan Nahari


Mal Paharia


Garhwali Kumaoni Nepali



Aer Dogri Hindko Kangri Kutchi Punjabi Sindhi Saraiki



Konkani Marathi


Maldivian Sinhala



Bhili Gamit


Bagri Goaria Gojri Jaipuri Malvi Marwari Mewari Dhatki (sociolect)


Domari Gujarati Kalto Khandeshi Parkari Koli Romani Saurashtra



Dameli Domaaki Gawar-Bati Kalami Kalash Kashmiri Khowar Kohistani Nangalami Palula Pashayi Shina Shumashti Torwali Ushoji


Old / Middle



Old Persian Median


Avestan Old Scythian



Middle Persian Parthian


Bactrian Khwarezmian Ossetic


Sakan (Sacian) Scythian Sogdian



Old Azari Balochi Central Iran Zoroastrian Dari Fars Gilaki Gorani Kurdic

Sorani Kurmanji Southern group Laki

Mazandarani Semnani Taleshi Deilami Tati Zazaki



Ishkashimi Sanglechi Wakhi Munji Yidgha Vanji Yazghulami Shughni Roshani Khufi Bartangi Sarikoli



Digor Iron


Central Pashto Northern Pashto Southern Pashto Wanetsi

Yaghnobi Ormuri Parachi




Caucasian Tat Dari Tajik


Feyli Bakhtiari Kumzari

Larestani Bashkardi

Other Indo-Iranian languages



Kamviri Kata-vari Mumviri


Askunu Kalasha-ala Kamkata-viri Tregami Vasi-vari

Italics indicate extinct languages.

v t e

Iranian peoples

Ethnic groups

Balochis Gilaks Kurds




Mazanderanis Ossetians



of Xinjiang

Pashtuns Persians Tajiks Talyshis Tats

Caucasus Iran

Wakhis Yaghnobis Zazas

Ancient peoples

Ancient Iranian peoples




Iranian languages

Iranian religions

Ætsæg Din Bábism Khurramites Manichaeism Mazdakism Mazdaznan Yarsanism Yazdânism Yazidism Zoroastrianism

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