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Their name is derived from the name of the mountainous region in the north of Iraq, the place they traditionally inhabit. They speak the Sorani variety of the Kurmanji dialect of the Kurdish language.
The principal language used by Sorans is Sorani, used both at home and professionally. Speakers take pride in the Sorani language and have resisted using Arabic. However, English is often used in both trade and correspondence. Iraqi Arabic is the next most-used second language.
As of the twentieth century, all southern Kurmanji dialects which were almost identical to Sorani were named Sorani in honor of Soran emirate. However, the people speaking Sorani identify themselves after their respective clan origins such as Mukri, Ardalani, Babani, etc. All of these groups are categorized as (southern) Kurmanji Kurds.
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