Persian, also known as Farsi, is the official language of Iran and one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. It is spoken by around 110 million people, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Persian is a member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian family of languages, which is itself a branch of the Indo-European family. Persian has been a major language of Muslim culture for centuries, and its literature is renowned throughout the world. The earliest known Persian literature dates back to the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. The most famous work from this period is the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), an epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi. Persian literature reached its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries, with the works of such poets as Rumi, Hafez, and Saadi. The Persian language also became the lingua franca of the Muslim world, used by scholars and diplomats from different cultures. In the 20th century, Persian was the official language of Iran and Afghanistan. However, after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the use of Persian in Afghanistan was banned, and the language has been in decline in that country ever since. Today, Persian is once again becoming a popular language, thanks to the increasing popularity of Iranian cinema and television around the world.

Language group

Iranian languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Persian, Iran, Arabic
Persian, Afghanistan, Arabic
Persian, Tajikistan, Arabic
Persian, Iran
Persian, Arabic
Persian, Afghanistan
Persian, Pakistan