Talk:Persian language

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Recent changes[edit]

@LouisAragon and Wikaviani: Kindly do not undo my changes but examine them carefully. I have not thrown anything away or deleted any content, merely tidied up badly edited repetitive sections, moved a paragraph, and made the headings more logical.

For example, the previous version – now once again the current version – under the heading "Persian language name in Persian" contains the sentence "In recent decades some authors writing in English have referred to the variety of Persian spoken in Iran as Farsi; although the name Persian is also still widely used" and again "it is sometimes called Afghan Persian in English". These sentences don't belong under that heading since they describe what the language is called in English, not what it is called in Persian. I moved them to the proper place and combined them with similar statements there.

I have combined the section "Varieties" and "Persian Language name in Persian", since they seem to describe exactly the same thing, listing the three main varieties of Persian. It seemed to me that "Varieties" should go early in the article, not after the history of the language, so I moved it.

Why the subheading "Persian language name in Persian" should go under a main heading "Etymology" is unclear, since the paragraph is not about etymology. I deleted "Etymology".

What is wrong with adding a section on Ossetian and other related Iranian languages? – I admit I have confused Tat and Tati, but this could be cleared up, not totally deleted. Indeed it would be useful to have a note distinguishing the two.

Some references, such as Lena Jonson and Foltz, do not appear properly in the footnotes (look at the bottom of the article!): I have corrected them and added the name of Jonson's book. In the reverted version they are incorrect again.

Kindly point to a piece of "longstanding material" that I have deleted! Perhaps you are referring to the paragraph about Xenophon and the Armenians under the heading Old Persian? Here it is: "Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, which is at a time when Old Persian was the only form of Persian used. He relates that the Armenians spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians.(ref)Xenophon. Anabasis. pp. IV.v.2–9.(/ref) – What has that got to do with Old Persian? If you look up the reference given (Anabasis IV.5.2-9), as I did, you will find that it has nothing to do with the Armenians' language, and that neither there nor anywhere else in the Anabasis does Xenophon say that their language resembles Persian. Even if he did, his opinion would be meaningless from a scientific point of view.

Under "Old Persian" it says "Main articles: Old Persian and Persian verbs". "Persian verbs" is completely irrelevant since it says nothing at all about Old Persian, and it is certainly not a "main article". I deleted its mention here. Why restore it?

It seemed to me that when the article said "Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages which is attested in original texts" that some mention should be made of Avestan also, which is after all another old Iranian language and even older than Old Persian. I added this sentence: "Related to Old Persian, but from a different branch of the Iranian language family, was Avestan, the language of the Zoroastrian liturgical texts." It seems useful. Why delete it?

The fact that according to the OED "Farsi" was first used in English in 1926 seems relevant and interesting. It was in the article already, but hidden behind coding. I have unhidden it. Why not allow it to stand?

I added the date of the Behistun Inscription. You deleted it again. Is it not useful?

I changed "had probably already begun before the 4th century" to "had probably already begun before the 4th century BC", since it was unclear as it stood. Why delete the BC?

I removed illogicalities such as "Currently, Voice of America, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty use "Persian Service" for their broadcasts in the language. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also includes a Tajik service and an Afghan (Dari) service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian...", which is nonsensical. You have put the illogicalities back. Why?

I added this sentence: "Middle Persian is "essentially, though not in every detail, a later form of the same dialect as Old Persian".(ref)Nicholas Sims-Williams, "The Iranian Languages", in Steever, Sanford (ed.) (1993), The Indo-European Languages, p. 129.(/ref) This seems useful information. Should it not stand?

Now kindly look again at my changes and tell me why any of them should not be made. The disruptive editing, it seems to me, is yours, since you have undone perfectly sound corrections! Kanjuzi (talk) 21:36, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

  • "What is wrong with adding a section on Ossetian and other related Iranian languages? – I admit I have confused Tat and Tati, but this could be cleared up, not totally deleted. Indeed it would be useful to have a note distinguishing the two."
Its as WP:UNDUE as it gets. People can visit the Iranian languages article with a single button press. This article is about the Persian language, so it should limit itself to information directly related to the language itself.
More later. - LouisAragon (talk) 11:11, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Best regards.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 13:11, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Now let's start again. I shall begin with removing the passage about Xenophon, with its spuriously precise reference, in which he says nothing about his impressions of Armenian, which in any case is quite irrelevant. If you have any objections to the changes I make, please don't simply revert them but state your case on this page. Kanjuzi (talk) 04:38, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Puzzling reversions[edit]

@MjolnirPants: I am puzzled that you have reverted some perfectly good edits. Can you explain your reasoning?

Take for example the following passage: "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also includes a Tajik service and an Afghan (Dari) service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian". As it stands, the passage makes it sound as if the American Association of Teachers of Persian has a Tajik Service, which is of course not true. My edit removed this illogicality, but you have put it back. Why?

Next, if you look at note 50 in the current revision ("Persian or Farsi?". 16 November 1997. Retrieved 23 September 2010."), you will see that it refers to exactly the same article as note 53 ("Kamran Talattof: Persian or Farsi? The debate continues". 16 December 1997. Retrieved 13 July 2010."). There is absolutely no need to give the same information twice within six lines. I deleted one of the notes. Can you tell me why you thought it necessary to put it back?

I corrected "Ta- lysh" (an obvious mistake caused by copying and pasting a sentence spread over two lines) to "Talysh" (Talysh is correct, as the article Talysh language makes clear). There is no reason to revert it to "Ta- lysh".

I added a helpful note: "(This dialect is not to be confused with the Tati language of northwestern Iran, which is a member of a different branch of the Iranian languages.)" Considering that the article Iranian languages mentions only the Tati dialect of northwestern Iran, not the other Tati dialect mentioned in the article, such a note is necessary. Why delete it?

I changed the heading "Etymology" to "Name of the language", for the simple reason that the section has nothing to do with etymology, but it is about the name of the language. The change seems only sensible. But you have changed it back, without giving a reason.

In the section "Persian language name in English" occurs this sentence: "Native Iranian Persian speakers call it Fārsi." This sentence is ambiguous. If (as it seems) it means that native speakers call it Farsi when speaking Persian, it is out of place here (the same information has already been given in the previous section). If on the other hand it means that native speakers call it Farsi when speaking Persian, the same information is given without ambiguity and with citations further down in this section. Either way the sentence should be removed, as I have done.

You also reverted my colleague's addition of the plosive (IPA) ɢ (which is correct for standard Iranian Persian according to the citations and the article Persian phonology), again without giving a reason. I think it should be added again.

What is going on? If the statement that the name Farsi was first used in English in 1926 needs a citation, only this part had to be removed, not the entire raft of corrections. These excessive reversions seem merely disruptive. Might I request you to consider each edit on its merits, rather than hastily deleting the whole lot in one fell swoop? Kanjuzi (talk) 06:10, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I came across it while doing recent changes patrolling. It was full of claims that weren't sourced, and it changed the name of the section "etymology" which actually discussed the etymology of the name of the language to the far less encyclopedic "name of the language". This isn't grade school. A reader who needs to look up "etymology" to understand what that section is about just so happens to be on an encyclopedia, where they can do just that. So put some sources in, and name your sections like a grown up and we'll get along famously. I don't know if that was you or the IP, but since you're the one defending them, and you're the one edit warring over it; they're your edits. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:14, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Haven't checked all the other details yet, but as for the section name, I fully support the change to "name of the language". The issue is not whether the term "etymology" will be understood by readers or whether the section actually discusses the etymology of the name; it's the fact that (like very many similar sections in other articles) it does a lot of additional things that simply aren't etymology, such as all the discussion about alternative names and so on. Fut.Perf. 13:01, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
I totally agree. Apart from the very first line, which says that Farsi is the Arabic pronunciation of Parsi, the remaining 23 lines are not about etymology at all, so the title is not appropriate. Incidentally, I looked up "Farsi" in the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition (1989)), and it appears that it wasn't first used in English in 1926 at all; it merely quotes an encyclopaedia article of that year which says that Farsi is the name used by modern Persians. The first quotation in the OED actually using the name Farsi in English is from 1979: "Farsi translations of British press reports". Kanjuzi (talk) 03:32, 2 November 2018 (UTC)


Now let us look again at the two sections about the three varieties of Persian. I will put them here side by side so that they can be easily compared. One is headed "Persian language name in Persian":

In Persian, the language is known by several names:
  • Western Persian, Farsi (فارسی fārsi or زبان فارسی zabān-e fārsi), the Arabic form of Parsi (پارسی pārsi), has been the name used by native speakers until the 20th century. In recent decades some authors writing in English have referred to the variety of Persian spoken in Iran as Farsi; although the name Persian is also still widely used.
  • Eastern Persian, Dari (دری darī) or Dari Persian (فارسی دری fārsi-ye dari) was originally a synonym for Farsi but since the latter decades of the 20th century has become the name for the variety of Persian spoken in Afghanistan, where it is one of the two official languages; it is sometimes called Afghan Persian in English.
  • Tajiki (тоҷикӣ, تاجیکی tojikī or забони тоҷикӣ / زبان تاجیکی zabon-i tojiki) or форси́и тоҷикӣ́ / forsi-i tojikī, is the variety of Persian spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by the Tajiks.

The other is labelled "Varieties":

There are three modern varieties of standard Persian:
  • Western Persian (Persian, Iranian Persian, or Farsi) is spoken in Iran, and by minorities in Iraq and the Persian Gulf states.
  • Dari (Dari Persian, Afghan Persian, or Dari) is spoken in Afghanistan.
  • Tajiki (Tajik Persian) is spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is written in the Cyrillic script.

There are several issues here. The first is the fact that the two sections more or less duplicate each other. Could they not be combined? And shouldn't the section on "Varieties" be placed earlier in the article, immediately after "Classification", rather than further down, after a long section on History?

Secondly, although the first one is headed "Persian language name in Persian", at least two sentences don't belong here, since they are about the Persian language name in English.

Thirdly, what about the strange sentence "Farsi ... has been the name used by native speakers until the 20th century". That's rather odd: it implies that they no longer use it.

My idea is to amalgamate these two sections to avoid duplication. The amalgamated paragraph will be called "Varieties" and the sentences about the Persian language name in English will be moved to their proper place. Let us have your opinions. Kanjuzi (talk) 04:21, 2 November 2018 (UTC)


Isn't "Farsi" suppose to be specifically the standard form of Persian of Iran? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Farsi is the native word for Persian. This is similar to Espanol/Spanish, Francais/French, Deutsche/German. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
No, Farsi is a perfectly acceptable English word, as we've pointed out to this user on more than one page.. IP CU blocked. Meters (talk) 04:37, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Meters, Moxy and ssimon223 are in violation of WP:NPOV. They think it's acceptable for white Canadians to tell Persians what to call their language. That is racist and cultural imperialism. It is for the Persian people to decide what to call themselves and their language. White people have been trying to impose their point of view on non-whites for a long time and it has to stop. Referring to American news as propaganda is an example of not being neutral. Blocking a user because you do not agree with their opinion is also a violation of WP:NPOV and it's racist as you don't want non-whites to voice their opinion on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 25 June 2019 (UTC)