Shabaki language

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Native toIraq
Native speakers
Language codes
ISO 639-3sdb

Shabaki is an Indo-Iranian language and belongs to the subgroup Zaza-Gorani[1][2][3][4] of the Northwestern Iranian languages. The Shabaki language is spoken by the Shabak people[5][6] in the Mosul region of northern Iraq. It has similarities with the Northwestern Iranian language Gorani (or Hawrami), which is often referred as a "Kurdish dialect", although the Kurdish languages form an independent group within the Northwestern Iranian languages. Shabaki is a distinct language.[7][8][9] It also has elements of Arabic, Turkish and Persian language.[4][10] The number of speakers of Shabaki was estimated in 1989 to be between 10,000 and 20,000.[11] Currently, the number of native speakers of Shabaki is estimated at 250,000.[12] As Shabaki is one of the Zaza–Gorani languages, it is most similar to languages like Gorani (Hewrami), Bajelani, Sarli and Zazaki. Because Zaza–Gorani belongs to the Northwestern Iranian branch.

Shabaki is a language in its own right and not a spoken dialect of any other language, with its own vocabulary and pronunciations, despite the fact that words from many other languages have entered into it as a result of the geographical nearness to other ethnic tribes.[13]

Shabaki Zazaki Southern Kurdish Sorani Kurdish Kurmanji Kurdish Hewrami Persian English
çam çim çem/çew çaw çav cem čašm/češm eye
ziwan ziwan ziwan ziman ziman ziwan zabân tongue, language

Situation of the language[edit]

The Shabak people fear the demise of the Shabaki language especially after the occupation of the ISIS terrorist groups to their home in Nineveh plain, which led to the displacement of the majority of their population and the other groups residing in that area.[14]


Shabaki Zazaki Southern Kurdish Sorani Kurmanji Hewrami Persian English
emn-em ez, min mi min ez, min emin, min man I, me, mine, my
etu ti, to tu to tu, te eto, to to, tu thou, thee, thine
ew, îna a, o ew ew ew, wî, wê ew en s/he, his, hers, him, her
hima-alama-gişt ma îme ême em, me ma we, our
işma şima îwe êwe hûn, we şima şomâ you, your
işan înu, înan ewane ewan ewan, wan ade işân they, them, their



  1. ^ a b "Zaza-Gorani". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  2. ^ a b Hulst, Harry van der; Goedemans, Rob; Zanten, Ellen van (2010). A Survey of Word Accentual Patterns in the Languages of the World. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110196313.
  3. ^ Hindo, Walid A. (2016-09-08). From Baghdad on the Tigris to Baghdad on the Subway. Archway Publishing. ISBN 9781480834033.
  4. ^ a b Gunter, Michael M. (2018-02-20). Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538110508.
  5. ^ Abd al-Jabbar, Falih. Ayatollahs, sufis and ideologues: state, religion, and social movements in Iraq. University of Virginia 2008.
  6. ^ Sykes, Mark. The Caliphs' last heritage: a short history of the Turkish Empire
  7. ^ Löwer, Hans-Joachim (2015-02-16). Die Stunde der Kurden: Wie sie den Nahen Osten verändern (in German). Styriabooks. ISBN 9783990403549.
  8. ^ Hann, Geoff; Dabrowska, Karen; Townsend-Greaves, Tina (2015-08-07). Iraq: The ancient sites and Iraqi Kurdistan. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 9781841624884.
  9. ^ al-Lami, Mina (2014-07-21). "Iraq: The minorities of Nineveh". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  10. ^ "Shabak - Minority Rights Group". Minority Rights Group. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  11. ^ Ethnologue about Shabaki
  12. ^ "Shabak - Minority Rights Group". Minority Rights Group. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  13. ^ Glenewinkel, Klaas. "The Shabak - A Brief Overview". Niqash. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  14. ^ "International Mother Language Day in Karbala, Iraq - Telegram7". Telegram7. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2018-10-26.

External links[edit]