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Difference Between Farsi and Persian

Farsi vs Persian

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a Central Eurasian country and is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. It was formed in 2800 BC and was known to be inhabited by man since 400,000 years ago. Before 1935, it was known as Persia from the Persian Empire which ruled Iran between 550-330 BCE.
It was the world’s largest and greatest empire controlling Egypt, Libya, parts of Asia Minor, and Central Asia, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and much of the coastal regions of the Black Sea.
The language of the country is Persian which dates back to the 6th century, and it has three distinct periods:

Old Persian which has an inflected grammar which is subject to case, number, and gender.
Middle Persian with different written and oral forms.
New Persian which was marked by the Islamic conquest of Persia. During this time, it was the official language of several Islamic dynasties and produced world-class literary works.

It was used as a second language in South Asia until English and other languages reached the area, but it has already left its mark and influence in the languages of the region. Dari or Afghan Persian is used in Afghanistan. Tajiki or Tajik Persian is used in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia.
In Iran, the Persian language is also known as Farsi. It is the native name of the language while Persian is the name by which it is known to the English-speaking world. Farsi is used by Iranians to show the distinction of their language from other forms of Persian.
The term came from the native term for Middle Persian which is “Parsik” or “Parsig,” the Old Persian which is “Parsa,” and the New Persian which is “Fars.” “Farsi” is used to refer to the New Persian which is the one being used today.
The term “Persian” encompasses all aspects of the Iranian or Persian culture. It is used to refer to distinct Iranian food, literature, history, and language. In fact, the Persian Academy has passed a resolution designating Persian as the official name of the language. This is because “Persian,” as opposed to “Farsi,” has already been widely used in publications and documents that pertain to the language of Iran and, therefore, has an historical and cultural importance.

1.“Persian” is the term by which the Iranian language is known to the English-speaking world while “Farsi” is the term by which it is referred to by its native speakers.
2.Persian is also used to refer to the Iranian culture, literature, history, and way of life while Farsi is not.
3.“Persian” is a term known to most of the world for several centuries now while “Farsi” is a term which is known to the English-speaking world only recently.
4.“Farsi” comes from the native terms for the different variations of the Persian language while “Persian” comes from the term which was the old name of the country of Iran.

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  1. such a interesting site! thank you.
    i surprised to see the lists
    difference between persian and farsi,
    kurds and persian,
    arabs and kurds,
    arabs and persian,
    such and such
    great work helpful to me.
    because i am from faraway land Korea.
    such distinction has almost no meaning in my country,
    but i always wonder
    what’s going on there
    and had no way to discover
    🙂 i’m starting to know
    this knowledge gave me the door i think

  2. Sorry, but no. Farsi is not only the Iranian Persian. I’m an Iranian. I guess Farsi is almost exactly the same as Persian, but one my suggest that Farsi is the today’s Persian.

    • Siamak khan;
      I’m in the retire generation; as a native Iranian. Now, being called “Iranian-American”, with nearly fifty(50),years living in America. As a personal interest, and having continuous contact with different levels of present Iranian-immigrant; both in America and UK. I consider myself very lucky that I have been able to keep up with 85% of my proper-Farsi speaking and 75% of my perfect-Farsi grammars up to date (due to changes taking place continuously in every region of the world), pending the system.
      Please forgive me for my long introduction.
      Before give you my reply, I would like to say that even the author(s), in differencebetween.net, explaining “Difference Between Farsi And Persian”,have few mistakes; written in April 25, 2011. There a lot more than just few mistakes. I believe, reliable sources like publishers, like this site, since being used as a point of reference (pending on the quality of the informations), must always update the informations, that they are giving out to the society. Hence, gaining the trust of the highest educational institutes to very ordinary people of the society. Therefore, the publishers are not only showing they care, for the work they provide for the society, but also; they will gain the respect of the people of that society; by not being prejudice.
      Once again, I’m sorry that I am taking too long but when there are certain things wrong from the eyes of a person who really and truly knows and cares about the truth-it becomes extremely painful just to say yes or no.
      Since the beginning of civilization (please notice I used the world “civilization” and not the beginning of specious “man”),It all started, from development of “logic” and formatting it’s progression by Aristotle. Never mind the exact date but just pointing to the proximities. Otherwise, I must hire someone who can invent a time machine and go back in time for approximately over 500 years ago. Saying this, I will use numbers for explaining this differences:
      1- Came Persia—->Indicating a nation, a regime,……can be further defined as Aristocratic group( having power and money in very simple terms), and indicating a country’s border; the stronger-the bigger.
      A side note: If there were no Nuclear bombs, I promise; to this day people from different nationalities will continue to invade other countries more aggressively.
      2-Persian—-> Indicating nationality-where a person is born. This is like using a GPS; referring to a specific piece of land on earth. Close your eyes on the size.
      3-Farsi—-> is the true name of language speaking in that part of the World and many other countries taken and ruled by Persian Empire and use of correct grammar in language called “FARSI”. For approximately 400, years, the Persian(notice used the word Persian and not Persia), were forced to speak Arabic due lost war; but spending little more than Thirty(30), years; God bless his sole, approximately One-thousand (1000),years ago someone whose name will never ever die-called Ferdossi picked up the unfinished work of another patriotic person who dies after couple of years into start giving life to Farsi speaking through writing a literature called “Shah-Nameh”.
      4-Iran—->New name given to Persia, just even today-countries still changing names of their cities, capitals pending the current regime and the system in charge eg; since the fall of Russia, look how many countries have claimed indecency! Plus established of many more in different part of the world.
      You don’t need to look back too far. Oh well, the name “IRAN”, replaced Persia; due to race “ARIANS”,. See the similarity.
      5-Iranian—-> Replacing Persian. Modern name referring to nationality.
      All of the above explanations referring to Iran only. Even there are countries speaking some sort of Farsi language, but it has nothing to do with present Iran; except historically.
      Finally, the Farsi language has been spoken for many, many years-except a period that I mentioned above, while the country was under the power of the Arabs, and that’s why a lot of people throughout the world make mistakes that Iranians are the same as Arabs. Totally different cultures and backgrounds. And Iranian or Persians have a history of being Aristocratic and Aristocracy life style.

    • With all due respect, Sianak I strongly disagree with you. Please check my comments.
      Thank you.

  3. The correct version is Parsi not Farsi. Since Arabs didn’t have the character P, they said Farsi and most places including Iran itself which was occupied by Arabs at the time started calling it Farsi.
    Russians and Latinos were saying Persi which turned to PErsian or PErsia later which they literally mean PArsian or PArsi.
    Iran also mean “Land of the Irian/Aryans”
    Aryan also mean “The noble people”

    Aryan name means “Son of Iran”
    Aryana name means “Daughter of Iran”

    Hope it helps.

  4. Well, I do appreciate your attempts to helpfully clarify the difference between farsi and Persian,however if you ash me, I can really and truly help you out with an actual realization. Pars is the land of persians who speak Persian. When Arabs attacked to Pars (Iran) they occupied it for a couple of dynasties. Since there weren’t enough alphabets in Arabs language to pronounce p, g as it is in “get”,ch as it is in “chair” and zh as it is in “Zhivago”. Therefore as you can imagine, Pars(Iran) and Parsi,(Iranian) could not be pronounced by Arabs. Consequently, they forced persians to admit Arabs’pronunciations of the letter “p” as “f”. Hence, farsi is the Arab’s heritage not Iranian or Persian natives.

  5. Calling it Farsi is like calling Arabic ‘Arabi’ and being snug about it, thinking you’re privy to some secret knowledge. No you’re not. You ‘re just ignorant that it’s called Arabic (Persian), the same way Russian is called Russian and not Ruskiy Yiziik while we’re mentioning in English. Sometimes it may also be about racism. Some people may think Iranians won’t understand that we’re referring to their language unless we say it in their language. As if Iranians didn’t possess the IQ to learn what it’s called in English.

    • That is what happens when you lose too many war. You have to learn to live with it. So, get over it and give up living in the past or better yet “Change”

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