Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Farsi, is it a macro language ?

According to the ISO-639-3, Farsi is a macro language. From my position it is a clear case as the standard says so, it is likely to be so. Farsi is divided in two, Western Farsi and Eastern Farsi. Western Farsi is spoken primarily in Iran and Eastern Farsi in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The problem I have is that several people I respect, independently inform me that in their opinion this division is wrong. Farsi is said to be understood by all. Raising this question is for me about something practical. In this case it is about a request for a fa.wikinews.org.

Let me be clear, I am all in favour of such a project but I do not want to continue an ambiguity about the language. The practical question is, to what extend is it justified to consider Farsi and Dari as separate languages. When they are indeed to be considered separate languages, how different are they. Can it be compared in a similar way as South African and Dutch?

Please share your thoughts ...
Thanks,
      Gerard

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is more like American English and British English, even less different. There is some slight variation particularly in spelling of western loan words. The other difference is in word use frequency. However, both words are well understood by all speakers. An English analogy would be: "I ought to go" vs. "I should go". English speakers from different regions favor one over the other. Interestingly the two "variants" of Persian are converging. Many news agencies such as BBC have one service aimed at all variants.

[[fa:user:behaafarid]]

Anonymous said...

confirming behaafarid's comment i should add that even the eastern kind of Persian that some people know it specially to Afghanistan is spoken in East of Iran and it isn't considered another language rather than the one in Afghanistan or other parts of Iran as if accents in different cities of England or USA aren't known different languages and beyond that all of English countries have the same English wiki.

[[fa:user:Soroush]]

Mostafa said...

Hoi. I think it would not make problems. Specially for News projects

GerardM said...

Soroush, the question is not what the WMF does, the question is to get clarification about the differences between Western and Eastern Farsi. If the difference is indeed as big as the ones between British and American English, there may be room for manoeuvring. By posting on this blog, it is likely to get a reaction from people who are active in the ISO.
Thanks,
Gerard

Anonymous said...

It seems that in writing they are same, however in speech there are some small differences, which are understandable for both groups, however seems unfamiliar or funny for the other group. But the written language is 100% (or 99.9999% !) same.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gerald, I do not know how much you are involved in linguistics. There are many different opinions about the languages of the world (inevitably)and they are proposed by linguists. And they are all different from each other. It seems to me that you need to narrow down your approach and be a bit more specific. You know that there are many lexical, structural and cultural differences between American and Biritish languages. And many researches are carried out on them. You said: "The problem I have is that several people I respect, independently inform me that in their opinion this division is wrong." It is very difficult to say, who is absolutely 'right' in such cases, and this persistent ambiguty is what makes humanities different from science.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gerald, I do not know how much you are involved in linguistics. There are many different opinions about the languages of the world (inevitably)and they are proposed by linguists. And they are all different from each other. It seems to me that you need to narrow down your approach and be a bit more specific. You know that there are many lexical, structural and cultural differences between American and Biritish languages. And many researches are carried out on them. You said: "The problem I have is that several people I respect, independently inform me that in their opinion this division is wrong." It is very difficult to say, who is absolutely 'right' in such cases, and this persistent ambiguty is what makes humanities different from science.

(Pastorals 2007)

Anonymous said...

I should notice here that the name of the language is Persian not Farsi, as it is in BBC Persian. Please correct it.

Mani said...

Hi. As a linguist in the field of the Persian linguistics, I should firstly say anyone who calls the Persian language "Farsi" in English has but very little (and wrong) information about our language. And secondly: The differences in written Persian of Iran and Afghanistan are less than that of Dutch and Flemish. Do you have seperate Wikis for Dutch and Flemish? No! So, the ignorance and inacuracy of some people at ISO-classifications should not be the reason to build upon these misunderstandings and igonre the facts and reality. Please check the reality first before starting anything. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

福~
「朵
語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西...............................................................................................................................-...相互
來到你身邊,以你曾經希望的方式回應你,許下,只是讓它發生,放下,才是讓它實現,你的心願使你懂得不能執著的奧秘

gfh said...

The World Leading wow power leveling and wow gold wow power leveling