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Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the
Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europ ...
spoken in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
. Dari is the term officially recognised and promoted since 1964 by the
Afghan governmentThe politics of Afghanistan consists of the cabinet of ministers, provincial governors and the national assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people ...
for the Persian language,Lazard, G.
Darī – The New Persian Literary Language
, in ''
Encyclopædia Iranica ''Encyclopædia Iranica'' is a project whose goal is to create a comprehensive and authoritative English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...
'', Online Edition 2006.
hence it is known as Afghan Persian or Eastern Persian in many Western sources. As Professor
Nile GreenNile Green is Professor of History and the current holder of the Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He specializes in Islamic history of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including ...
remarks "the impulses behind renaming of Afghan Persian as Dari were more nationalistic than linguistic" in order to create an Afghan state narrative. Persian in Afghanistan is generally called ''Fārsi'' (فارسی) by Persian-speakers and ''Pārsi'' (پارسی) by ethnic
Pashtuns Pashtuns (, or ; ps, پښتانه, ; Pakhtuns or Pathans), historically known as Afghan (ethnonym), Afghans,, ''Afğân'' or Bactrian language, Bactrian Abgân - αβγανο are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to Central ...

Pashtuns
. Apart from a few basics of vocabulary, there is little difference between formal written Persian of Afghanistan and Iran. The term "Dari" is officially used for the characteristic spoken Persian of Afghanistan, but is best restricted to formal spoken registers. Persian-speakers in Afghanistan contend that the term "Dari" has been forced on them by the dominant Pashtun ethnic group as an attempt to distance Afghanistan from its cultural, linguistic, and historical ties to the rest of the Persian-speaking world, which includes Iran, Tajikistan and parts of Uzbekistan. As defined in the
Constitution of Afghanistan The 1964 Afghanistan Constitution was the constitution of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; /: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a at the crossroads of and . Afghanistan is bordered by to the east and so ...
, it is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan; the other is
Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It is known in Persian language, Persian literature as Afghani (, ). Spo ...

Pashto
. Dari is the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan and the
native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) ...
of approximately 40–45% of the
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ...
. Dari serves as the
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
of the country and is understood by up to 78% of the population. Dari served as the preferred literary and administrative language among non-native speakers, such as the Pashtuns and
Mughals The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. ...
, for centuries before the rise of modern nationalism. Also, like Iranian Persian and Tajiki Persian, Dari Persian is a continuation of
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
, the official religious and literary language of the
Sassanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sassanian Empire
(224–651 AD), itself a continuation of
Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the various peoples speaking ...
, the language of the
Achaemenids The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offic ...

Achaemenids
(550–330 BC). In historical usage, ''Dari'' refers to the
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
court language of the
Sassanids The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, '), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last before the in the mid-7th century AD. Named after the , it endured for over four centuri ...
. Frye, R. N., "Darī", ''
The Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an encyclopaedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or disc ...
'', Brill Publications, CD version


Etymology

Dari is a name given to the New Persian language since the 10th century, widely used in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
(compare ,
Al-Muqaddasi , birth_date = c. 945/946 CE , birth_place = Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλ ...
and
Ibn Hawqal Muḥammad Abū’l-Qāsim Ibn Ḥawqal (), also known as Abū al-Qāsim b. ʻAlī Ibn Ḥawqal al-Naṣībī, born in Nisibis Nusaybin (; '; ar, نُصَيْبِيْن, translit=Nuṣaybīn; syr, ܢܨܝܒܝܢ, translit=Nṣībīn), his ...
) and Persian texts. Since 1964, it has been the official name in Afghanistan for the Persian spoken there. In Afghanistan, Dari refers to a modern dialect form of Persian that is the
standard language A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology ...
used in administration, government, radio, television, and print media. Because of a preponderance of Dari native speakers, who normally refer to the language as ''Farsi'' (, "Persian"), it is also known as "Afghan Persian" in some Western sources. There are different opinions about the origin of the word ''Dari''. The majority of scholars believes that ''Dari'' refers to the Persian word ''dar'' or ''darbār'' (), meaning "court", as it was the formal language of the
Sassanids The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, '), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last before the in the mid-7th century AD. Named after the , it endured for over four centuri ...
. The original meaning of the word ''dari'' is given in a notice attributed to Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (cited by
Ibn al-Nadim Abū al-Faraj Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Nadīm ( ar, ابو الفرج محمد بن إسحاق النديم), also ibn Abī Ya'qūb Isḥāq ibn Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Warrāq, and commonly known by the '' nasab'' (patronymic) Ibn al-Nadīm ...
in ''Al-Fehrest''). According to him, "''Pārsī'' was the language spoken by priests, scholars, and the like; it is the language of Fars." This language refers to the
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
. As for ''Dari'', he says, "it is the language of the cities of Madā'en; it is spoken by those who are at the king's court. ts nameis connected with presence at court. Among the languages of the people of
Khorasan Khorasan may refer to: * Greater Khorasan, a historical region which lies mostly in modern-day northern/northwestern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan * Khorasan Province, a pre-2004 province of Iran, ...
and the east, the language of the people of
Balkh ), named for its green-tiled ''Gonbad'' ( fa, گُنبَد, dome), in July 2001 , image_flag = , flag_size = , image_seal = , seal_size = , image_shield ...

Balkh
is predominant." The Dari language spoken in Afghanistan is not to be confused with the language of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
called
Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Gr ...
or Gabri, which is a language of the Central Iranian subgroup spoken in some
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōr ...
communities.


History

Dari comes from
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
which was spoken during the rule of the
Sassanid dynasty The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of Is ...
. In general, Iranian languages are known from three periods, usually referred to as Old, Middle, and New (Modern) periods. These correspond to three eras in Iranian history, the old era being the period from some time before, during, and after the
Achaemenid The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subj ...
period (that is, to 300 BC), the Middle Era being the next period, namely, the Sassanid period and part of the post-Sassanid period, and the New era being the period afterward down to the present day. Although it is thought that the first person in Europe to use the term ''Deri'' for ''Dari'' was
Thomas Hyde Thomas Hyde (29 June 163618 February 1703) was an English oriental studies, orientalist. The first use of the word ''dualism'' is attributed to him, in 1700. Life He was born at Billingsley, Shropshire, Billingsley, near Bridgnorth in Shrops ...

Thomas Hyde
, at Oxford, in his chief work, ''Historia religionis veterum Persarum'' (1700). ''Dari'' or ''Deri'' has two meanings. It may mean the language of the court: : "the Zebani Deri (Zeban i Deri or Zaban i Dari = the language of Deri), or the language of the court, and the Zebani Farsi, the dialect of Persia at large (...)" It may also indicate a form of poetry used from
Rudaki , birth_name = Abū 'Abd Allāh Ja'far ibn Muḥammad al-Rūdhakī , birth_date = c. 859 , birth_place = Rudak, Samanid Empire The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, ''Sāmāniyān'', also known as the Samanian Empire, ...
to
Jami Nūr ad-Dīn 'Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī ( fa, نورالدین عبدالرحمن جامی; 7 November 1414 – 9 November 1492), also known as Mawlanā Nūr al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān or Abd-Al-Rahmān Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti, or simply as Ja ...

Jami
. In the fifteenth century it appeared in Herat under the Persian-speaking
Timurid dynasty The Timurid dynasty ( fa, ), self-designated as Gurkani ( fa, , translit=Gūrkāniyān, chg, , translit=Küregen), was a Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes refer ...
. The Persian–language poets of the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
who used the Indian verse methods or rhyme methods, like Bedil and
Muhammad Iqbal Sir Muhammad Iqbal ( ur, ; 9 November 187721 April 1938), was a South Asian Muslim writer, philosopher, Quote: "In Persian, ... he published six volumes of mainly long poems between 1915 and 1936, ... more or less complete works on philosop ...
, became familiar with the ''araki'' form of poetry. Iqbal loved both styles of literature and poetry, when he wrote: This can be translated as: ''Even though in euphonious
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
is sugar'' – ''Rhyme method in Dari (
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
) is sweeter'' ''Hendī'' here refers more accurately to
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
written in
Perso-Arabic script The Persian alphabet ( fa, الفبای فارسی, Alefbā-ye Fārsi) is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...
. ''Uzūbat'' usually means "bliss", "delight", "sweetness"; in language, literature and poetry, ''uzubat'' also means "euphonious" or "melodic". Referring to the 14th-century Persian poet
Hafez Khāwje Shams-od-Dīn Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī ( fa, خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمّد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hafez (, ''Ḥāfeẓ'', 'the memorizer; the (safe) keeper'; 1315-1390) and as "Hafiz", was ...

Hafez
, Iqbal wrote: English translation: Here ''qand-e Pārsī'' ("
Rock candy Rock candy or sugar candy, also called rock sugar, or crystal sugar, is a type of confection Confectionery is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical p ...
of Persia") is a metaphor for the Persian language and poetry. Persian replaced the Central Asian languages of the Eastern Iranics. Ferghana, Samarkand, and Bukhara were starting to be linguistically Darified in originally Khorezmian and Soghdian areas during
Samanid The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, Sāmāniyān) also known as the Samanian Empire, Samanid dynasty, Samanid amirate, or simply Samanids) was a Sunni Islam, Sunni Iranian peoples, Iranian empire, from 819 to 999. The empire was centred in G ...

Samanid
rule. Dari Persian spread around the Oxus River region, Afghanistan, and Khorasan after the Arab conquests and during Islamic-Arab rule. The replacement of the Pahlavi script with the Arabic script in order to write the Persian language was done by the Tahirids in 9th century Khorasan. The Dari Persian language spread and led to the extinction of Eastern Iranian languages like
BactrianBactrian may refer to *Bactria Bactria ( Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanis ...
, Khwarezmian with only a tiny amount of Sogdian descended Yaghnobi speakers remaining among the now Persian-speaking Tajik population of Central Asia, due to the fact that the Arab-Islamic army which invaded Central Asia also included some Persians who governed the region like the
Sassanids The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, '), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last before the in the mid-7th century AD. Named after the , it endured for over four centuri ...
. Persian was rooted into Central Asia by the Samanids. Persian phased out Sogdian. The role of lingua franca that Sogdian originally played was succeeded by Persian after the arrival of Islam.


Table of the important terms of the Persian poets

This table gives information on how many times the poets of Persian literature wrote the terms Iran, Turan, Parsi, Farsi, Dari, Khorassan, and Pahlevi. It is worth mentioning that many of Nazm ( = verse نظم) i Dari or ''Dastan i Dari'' (a tale of Dari), Tarz e Guftar e Dari (طرز گفتار دری style of Dari convers) have been spoken. Nazm (verse form) and Nassir (نثر = novel, short story, etc.) and درامه (drama) – are conidered the three main genres of literature. New Persian literature begins with Poems of
Rudaki , birth_name = Abū 'Abd Allāh Ja'far ibn Muḥammad al-Rūdhakī , birth_date = c. 859 , birth_place = Rudak, Samanid Empire The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, ''Sāmāniyān'', also known as the Samanian Empire, ...
. Counted according to sources from these Internet sites


Geographical distribution

Dari is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan (the other being
Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It is known in Persian language, Persian literature as Afghani (, ). Spo ...
). In practice though, it serves as the de facto
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
among the various ethnolinguistic groups. Dari is spoken natively by approximately twenty-five percent to eighty percent of the population of Afghanistan as a primary language.
Tajiks Tajiks ( fa, تاجيک، تاجک, ''Tājīk, Tājek''; tg, Тоҷик) are a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethni ...

Tajiks
, who comprise approximately 27% of the
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ...
, are the primary speakers, followed by
Hazaras The Hazaras ( fa, هزاره, Hazāra; haz, آزره, Āzra) are a Persian-speaking ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes ...
(9%) and Aymāqs (4%). Moreover, many
Pashtuns Pashtuns (, or ; ps, پښتانه, ; Pakhtuns or Pathans), historically known as Afghan (ethnonym), Afghans,, ''Afğân'' or Bactrian language, Bactrian Abgân - αβγανο are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to Central ...

Pashtuns
living in Tajik and Hazara concentrated areas also use Dari as a first language. The
World Factbook ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian ...
states that eighty percent of the Afghan population speaks the Dari language. About 2.5 million
Afghans in Iran Afghans in Iran are refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status ...
and
Afghans in Pakistan Afghans in Pakistan ( ur, افغان مهاجرين , ''Afghan Muhajreen'') primarily constitute refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safe ...
, part of the wider
Afghan diaspora Afghan diaspora refers to Afghan people The ethnonym Afghan ( Pashto/ Persian: ) has been used historically to refer to a member of the Pashtuns,
, also speak Dari as one of their primary languages. Dari dominates the northern, western, and central areas of Afghanistan, and is the common language spoken in cities such as
Mazar-i-Sharif Mazār-i-Sharīf (Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as auto ...
,
Herat Herāt (; Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) i ...

Herat
, Fayzabad, Panjshir, , and the Afghan capital of
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capital ...

Kabul
where all ethnic groups are settled. Dari-speaking communities also exist in southwestern and eastern Pashtun-dominated areas such as in the cities of
Ghazni Ghazni ( prs, غزنی, ps, غزني), historically known as Ghaznin () or Ghazna () and also transliterated as Ghuznee, is a city in southeastern Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the ...

Ghazni
, Farah,
Zaranj Zaranj or Zarang (Persian language, Persian/Pashto language, Pashto/ bal, زرنج) is a city in southwestern Afghanistan, near the Afghanistan–Iran border, border with Iran, which has a population of 160,902 people as of 2015. It is the capital ...
,
Lashkar Gah Lashkargāh ( ps, لښکرګاه; fa, لشکرگاه), historically called Bost or Boost (), is a city in southwestern Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghani ...
,
Kandahar Kandahar (; Kandahār, , Qandahār) is a List of cities in Afghanistan, city in Afghanistan, located in the south of the country on the Arghandab River, at an elevation of . It is Afghanistan's second largest city after Kabul, with a population ...

Kandahar
, and
Gardez fa, گردیز , settlement_type =City , image_skyline =gardez_paktya.jpg , imagesize = , image_caption =The Bala Hesar in the center of Gardez City , image_flag = , flag_size = , im ...
.


Cultural influence

Dari has contributed to the majority of Persian borrowings in several
Indo-Aryan languages The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages h ...
, such as
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
,
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
,
Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a ge ...
,
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
and others, as it was the administrative, official, cultural language of the
Persianate A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subd ...
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
and served as the
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
throughout the Indian subcontinent for centuries. Often based in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
, Turkic
Central Asian Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continent ...
conquerors brought the language into South Asia. The basis in general for the introduction of Persian language into the subcontinent was set, from its earliest days, by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties. The sizable Persian component of the Anglo-Indian loan words in English and in
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
therefore reflects the Dari pronunciation. For instance, the words
dopiaza Dopiaza ( fa, دوپیازه meaning "two onions") is the name of two separate dishes, one in the Greater Iran region and one in South Asia. It is prepared with many onions, both cooked in the spices and curry and as a garnish. Onions are added ...

dopiaza
and
pyjama Pajamas ( US) or pyjamas (Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, suc ...

pyjama
come from the Dari pronunciation; in Iranian Persian they are pronounced ''do-piyāzeh'' and ''pey-jāmeh''. Persian lexemes and certain morphological elements (e.g., the ''ezāfe'') have often been employed to coin words for political and cultural concepts, items, or ideas that were historically unknown outside the South Asian region, as is the case with the aforementioned "borrowings". The Dari language has a rich and colorful tradition of
proverb A proverb (from la, proverbium) is a simple and insightful, traditional saying A saying is any concisely written or spoken expression (linguistics), expression that is especially memorable because of its meaning or style. Sayings are categorize ...

proverb
s that deeply reflect Afghan culture and relationships, as demonstrated by U.S. Navy Captain
Edward Zellem Edward Zellem is a retired U.S. Navy captain and the 12-time award-winning author of 5 books. He is known for his work inside Afghanistan's Arg (Kabul), Presidential Palace and for authoring three bilingual Paremiography, collections of Afghan Prov ...
in his bilingual books on Afghan Dari proverbs collected in Afghanistan.


Differences between Iranian and Afghan Persian

There are phonological, lexical, and morphological differences between Afghan Persian and Iranian Persian. There are no significant differences in the written forms, other than regional idiomatic phrases.


Phonological differences

The phonology of Dari as spoken in Kabul, compared to Classical Persian, is overall more conservative than the standard accent of Iran. The principal differences between standard Iranian Persian and Afghan Persian as based on the Kabul dialect are: # The merging of ''majhul'' vowels and into and respectively in Iranian Persian, whereas in Afghan Persian, they are still kept separate. For instance, the identically written words شیر 'lion' and 'milk' are pronounced the same in Iranian Persian as , but for 'lion' and for 'milk' in Afghan Persian. The long vowel in زود "quick" and زور "strength" is realized as in Iranian Persian, in contrast, these words are pronounced and respectively by Persian speakers in Afghanistan. # The Classical Persian high short vowels and tend to be lowered in Iranian Persian to and , unlike in Dari where they might have both high and lowered allophones. # The treatment of the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s of early Classical Persian "ay" (as "i" in English "size") and "aw" (as "ow" in Engl. "cow"), which are pronounced (as in English "day") and (as in Engl. "low") in Iranian Persian. Dari, on the other hand, is more conservative, e.g. نخیر 'no' is realized as in Iranian but in Afghan Persian, and نوروز 'Persian New Year' is in Iranian but in Afghan Persian. Moreover, is simplified to in normal Iranian speech, thereby merging with the lowered Classical short vowel (see above). This does not occur in Afghan Persian. # The pronunciation of the labial consonant و, which is realized as a
voiced labiodental fricative The voiced labiodental fricative is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with ...

voiced labiodental fricative
in standard Iranian, is still pronounced with the (classical) bilabial pronunciation in Afghanistan; is found in Afghan Persian as an allophone of before voiced consonants and as variation of in some cases, along with . # The convergence of the
voiced uvular stop The voiced uvular plosive or stop is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with ...

voiced uvular stop
(ق) and the
voiced velar fricative The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound that is used in various spoken Spoken is the past participle form of "to speak". Spoken may also refer to: *Spoken (band), a Christian rock group from Arkansas *''Spoken (album)'', an a ...

voiced velar fricative
(غ) in Iranian Persian (presumably under the influence of Turkic languages like
Azeri Azerbaijanis (; az, Azərbaycanlılar) or Azeris (), also known as Azerbaijani Turks ( az, Azərbaycan Türkləri, ), are a Turkic ethnic group, living mainly in the sovereign Republic of Azerbaijan A republic ( la, res publica ''R ...

Azeri
and Turkmen) is absent in Dari, where the two are still kept separate. # and in word-final positions are distinguished in Dari, whereas is a word-final allophone of in Iranian Persian.


Dialect continuum

The dialects of Dari spoken in Northern, Central, and Eastern Afghanistan, for example in
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capital ...

Kabul
, Mazar, and
Badakhshan Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region File:Badakhshan in Afghanistan.svg, Afghanistan Badakhshan Province Badakhshan is a historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan, eastern Tajikistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Auton ...
, have distinct features compared to
Iranian Persian Iranian Persian, Western Persian or Western Farsi, natively simply known as Persian (, ), refers to the Variety (linguistics), varieties of the modern Persian language spoken in Iran and by minorities in neighboring countries, as well as by Irani ...

Iranian Persian
. However, the dialect of Dari spoken in Western Afghanistan stands in between the Afghan and Iranian Persian. For instance, the
Herat Herāt (; Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) i ...

Herat
i dialect shares vocabulary and phonology with both Dari and Iranian Persian. Likewise, the dialect of Persian in Eastern Iran, for instance in
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad is the List of Iranian cities by population, second-most-populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the northeast of the country. It has a populati ...

Mashhad
, is quite similar to the Herati dialect of Afghanistan. The Kabuli dialect has become the standard model of Dari in Afghanistan, as has the Tehrani dialect in relation to the Persian in Iran. Since the 1940s,
Radio Afghanistan National Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA; ps, ''Da Afġanistan Mīlī Radīo Telvizoon'', fa, ''Rādīo Telvizoon-e Mīlī-e Afġānestān'', branded as ملی (meaning ''national'')) is the public-broadcasting organization of Afghanistan ...
has broadcast its Dari programs in Kabuli Dari, which ensured the homogenization between the Kabuli version of the language and other dialects of Dari spoken throughout Afghanistan. Since 2003, the media, especially the private radio and television broadcasters, have carried out their Dari programs using the Kabuli variety.


Phonology


Consonants

* Stops // are phonetically dental stops []. * A glottal stop /ʔ/ only appears in words of Arabic origin. * A flap sound // may be realized as a trill sound [], in some environments, mostly word-final position; otherwise, they contrast between vowels wherein a trill occurs as a result of gemination (doubling) of [], especially in loanwords of Arabic origin. Only [] occurs before and after consonants; in word-final position, it is usually a free variation between a flap or a trill when followed by a consonant or a pause, but flap is more common, only flap before vowel-initial words. * When preceding a velar consonant, // becomes a velar nasal sound []. When preceding a bilabial stop, it is realized as a bilabial nasal []. * When occurring in a word-final position //, it is articulated with a slightly heard back vowel as []. * There is no presence of a voiced labio-dental fricative [] in Dari, however; when a // is preceding a voiced consonant, it becomes slightly voiced as [].


Vowels

* Vowel sounds // are realized as [] when occurring as lax. *


Political views and disputes on the language

Successive governments of Afghanistan have promoted New Persian as an
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
of government since the time of the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see int ...
(1206–1526), even as those governments were dominated by Pashtun people.
Sher Ali Khan Sher Ali Khan ( ps, شېر علي خان )(c. 1825 – February 21, 1879) was Amir An emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, can refer to a king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early ...

Sher Ali Khan
of the
Barakzai dynasty The two branches of the Barakzai dynasty (, "sons of Barak Barak ( or ; he, בָּרָק, Tiberian Hebrew: ''B-R-Q, Bārāq'', ar, البُراق ''al-Burāq'' "lightning") was a ruler of Ancient Israel. As military commander in the biblic ...
(1826–1973) first introduced the
Pashto language Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in ...
as an additional language of administration. The local name for the Persian variety spoken in Afghanistan was officially changed from Farsi to Dari, meaning "court language", in 1964. Zaher said there would be, as there are now, two official languages, Pashto and Farsi, though the latter would henceforth be named Dari. Within their respective linguistic boundaries, Dari and Pashto are the media of education. The term continues to divide opinion in Afghanistan today. While Dari has been the official name for decades, "Farsi" is still the preferred name to many Persian speakers of Afghanistan. Omar Samad, an Afghan analyst and ambassador, says of the dispute:


See also

*
Persian grammar Persian grammar ( fa, دستور زبان فارسی) is the grammar of the Persian language, whose dialectal variants are spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan (in Samarqand, Bukhara and the Surxondaryo Region) and Tajikistan. It is similar to th ...
*
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
*
Tajik language Tajik (Tajik: , , ), also called Tajiki Persian (Tajik: , , ), Tajiki, and Tadzhiki, is the variety of Persian language, Persian spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by Tajiks, Tajik people. It is closely related to neighbouring Dari with which it ...
*
Hazaragi dialect Hazaragi ( fa, هزارگی, haz, آزرگی, ) is an eastern variety of Persian that is spoken by the Hazara people, primarily in the Hazarajat region of Central Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ...


References


Further reading

* Lazard, G.
Darī – The New Persian Literary Language
in ''
Encyclopædia Iranica ''Encyclopædia Iranica'' is a project whose goal is to create a comprehensive and authoritative English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...
'' Online Edition. * * Sakaria, S. (1967) ''Concise English – Afghan Dari Dictionary'', Ferozsons, Kabul
OCLC 600815
* Farhadi, A. G. R.('Abd-ul-Ghafur Farhadi)(Abd-ul-ghafûr Farhâdi) (1955) ''Le Persan Parlé en Afghanistan: Grammaire du Kâboli Accompagné d'un Recueil de Quatrains Populaires de la Région de Kâbol'', Centre national de la recherche scientifique or Librairie C. Klincksieck, Paris. * Farhadi, Rawan A. G. (1975) ''The Spoken Dari of Afghanistan: A Grammar of Kaboli Dari (Persian) Compared to the Literary Language'', Peace Corps, Kabul
OCLC 24699677
* Zellem, Edward. 2015. * Zellem, Edward. 2012. * * Harold F. Schiffman Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors (Brill's Studies in South and Southwest Asian Languages) BRILL, Leiden, 1.ed, 2011


External links

* *
Dari
at ''
Encyclopædia Iranica ''Encyclopædia Iranica'' is a project whose goal is to create a comprehensive and authoritative English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...
''
Dari language, alphabet and pronunciation

Dari language resources


{{Authority control Eastern Persian dialects in Afghanistan Languages of Iran Languages of Afghanistan Persian language in Pakistan