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Persian or "Farsi"?
 

European Centre for Zoroastrian Studies

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 Persian or "Farsi"?

The letter sent by Dr. Khosro Khazai ( Pardis) to the BBC
with regard to the use of "Persian or Farsi" has been read
twice on 30 June 2005 in that radio.

To Mr. Martin Asser,

Dear Sir, it is with a great astonishment that I heard from BBC, using the word "Farsi" instead of Persian, the language of the Iranians.
The totality of the books in English written about Iran, as long as the English language exists, use the word Persian when they refer to the language. I wonder who has decided now that it should be otherwise. Either such person ignores even the elementary English language or he or she has thought it is more pompous to us the word "farsi".

Imagine, someone uses in English the word "Deutsche " when referring to German language, or "Svenska," instead of Swedish, or "Français" instead of French, or " Dansk" instead of Danish, etc.
By the way if I ask you , "do you speak Noshk" ? Propably you will answer "what ?!" But if I ask you " Do you speak Norwegian?" Then you understand. In the same way, if I say in Persian," do you speak English?". People will laugh at me. Because in Persian the word for English is " engelisi".

For your information, The word “farsi” is a colloquial and arabised form of the word “Parsi” that is given birth to the word Persian in English. In the classical Persian literature the word “farsi” has never been used. If the letter "P" of the "Parsi" is transformed in colloquial way to "F" it is just because in Arabic language the letter "P" doesn't exit. Thus, they pronounce it "farsi" which is a souvenir of Arab's invasion of Persia in the 7th century.

Using the word "Farsi" instead of Persian not only makes your program look "cheap", but also indicates that how much the program makers in BBC. are confused.

Dr. Khosro Khazai ( pardis)

European Centre for Zoroastrian Studies
Galerie de la Reine, 7
1000 Brussels-Belgium
Tel. 32/2/374.92.60

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