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    * Languages of Iran *

    زبان‌های رایج در ایران

    (Wikipedia) - Languages of Iran
    This article is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2014)
    This article is incomplete. Please help to improve the section, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (August 2014)
    This article deals with the languages found in Iran. The Iranian languages article deals with the linguistic branch of the Indo-European languages family Languages of Iran Official languages Main languages Minority languages Sign languages Common keyboard layouts
    Persian, Gilaki and Mazandarani 59%, Azerbaijani and other Turkic dialects 18%, Kurdish 10%,Luri 7% Balochi languages 2%, Arabic 2%, Armenian, Georgian, Neo-Aramaic, Hebrew 2%
    Turkmen, Armenian, Georgian, Circassian, Assyrian, Hebrew, and Brahui
    Persian Sign Language
    Persian keyboard
    Iran main languages

    Different publications have reported different statistics for the languages of Iran. There have been some limited censuses taken in Iran in 2001, 1991, 1986 and 1949-1954. The following are the languages with the greatest number of speakers (data from the CIA World Factbook):

    According to the Kurdish-Belgian-American scholar Mehrdad Izady whose work can be found at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Gulf 2000 Project website, the Iranian census of 2001 mentions that 68% speak Persian as first language, while he himself gives the following figures:

    Classification of the languages of Iran. Categories:

    Indo-European (Iranic mainly)

    Semitic (Arabic)


    Other (such as Kartvelian)

    A census taken in the Iranian month of Mordad (July 21 – August 21) in 1991. In this census, all 49,588 mothers who gave birth in the country, were issued birth certificates. They were asked about their mother-tongue. which were : 46.2% (Persian), 20.6% (Azerbaijani), 10% Kurdish, 8.9% Luri, 7.2% Gilaki and Mazandarani, 3.5% Arabic, 2.7% Baluchi, 0.6% Turkmen, 0.1% Armenian, and 0.2% Others. The local dialect of Arabic spoken in Iran is Khuzestani Arabic, an Iraqi Arabic dialect, but the varieties of Arabic taught across Iran to students in secondary schools, regardless of their ethnic or linguistic background, are Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, the latter a liturgical language of Islam.

    A recent survey by the US-based organization "Terror Free Tomorrow" with error is +/- 3.1 percent margin and uniform sampling based on provincial populations mentions the breakdown as following:

    In 1986, there was also a nation-wide census done. See: (Farhad Nu’mani, Sohrab Behdad, Class and Labor in Iran: Did the Revolution Matter?, Published 2006, Syracuse University Press, 2006) on the percentage of Iranians that known Persian, those who do not know and those who know it fluently.

    The Library of Congress like the Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden) states Iran''s ethnic groups as follows: Persians 65%, Azeris 16%, Kurds 7%, Lurs 6%, Arabs 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmens 1%, Turkic tribal groups (e.g. Qashqai) 1%, and non-Persian, non-Turkic groups (e.g. Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, and Russians) less than 1%.

    Ethnologue list of languages in Iran

    The following list details the languages spoken in Iran and lists the total number of speakers for each language (data from Ethnologue). Note that these numbers add up to only 45 million, which is much less than Iran''s current population of 75 million.

    Extinct languages

    The sum of the above figures is almost 5 million more than the population despite the fact that the numbers of people who speak certain languages are still "unknown" according to this list. There is wide variations in the use of verbs with similar meanings in the languages and dialects of Iran even in the same subdivisions which sometimes make understanding difficult or impossible between the far or even near regions speaking linguistically the same language or dialect e.g. between northern and southern Kurdish, Talysh, etc. On the other hand, there are similarities between the languages of far places which are completely different from the standard Persian.

    Tags:American, Arab, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Assyrian, Azeri, Bakhtiari, Baloch, CIA, Classical, Columbia, Columbia University, Congress, Farhad, Fars, Gilaki, Hebrew, Iran, Iranian, Iraqi, Islam, Kurdish, Languages of Iran, Mehrdad, Mordad, Muslim, Parsi, Persian, Revolution, Russian, Semitic, Talysh, Terror, US, Wikipedia, Zoroastrian

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