Young Pioneer Tours

Languages of Iran – 2024 Guide

Iran is one of our favourite places to visit, partly because of the (mostly) Farsi speaking local people. But, are there other languages of Iran that we should know about? Yes, indeed there are.

To read about Korean click here.

Official Languages of Iran

Persian Farsi is the official language of Iran, the lingua franca and the go to for every day business.

Language is directly addressed in condition of Iran, with Farsi required to be taught in schools. While Arabic has official status as the religion of Islam, it should be remembered that Iranians are not an Arab race, and for the most part and they are very proud of this.

Other languages (of which there are many) vary in degree of recognition, depending on politics. Kurdish for example is not exactly popular among the government….

What is Farsi?

A western Iranian language it comes from the Indo-European family, it is mutually intelligible with Afghan Persian and Tajikistan Persian. It was originally known as Parsi, but because Arabs struggle with P, became Farsi.

There are 13 known and living dialects of Persian, with them using the Persian alphabet, a modification of the more common Arab alphabet.

Amazingly only just over 50 percent of the country use this as their first language in Iran.

Second major language in Iran

Aside from Arabic as the religion of Islam the second most widely spoken is Azerbaijanian, or dialects related to this Turkic language. Around 18 percent of Iran have this, or a dialect as their mother tongue.

This also included Turkey, the language of Turkmenistan.

You can read about our Turkmenistan tours here

Languages of Tram – What else is there?

Next on the list is Kurdish on ten percent, although this is a persecuted language due to the political status of Kurds in Iran, as opposed to Iraq.

After this there are a plethora of languages from Georgian to Armenian and ethic Neo-Aramaic, kind of the religion of Jesus.

Armenia is particularly important, at least to us for the Armenian club, the one place you can definitely drink in Iran.

To read about drinking in Iran click here.

Most people will have some understanding at least of Arabic, due to Arab and Islamic influence in the country.

To read about journalist travel to Turkmenistan click here

Do I need to learn the languages of Iran?

If you come on a YPT tour then no, you do not, but if you travel independently in Iran then you will need to know the lingo in order to get around.

But as with any other country on earth you should try and learn at least a few phrases if nothing else, but be polite, so that is what we suggest you do!

How to say hello in Persian? How to say Thank you in Persian?

How do you say hello hello in Persian?




How do you say thank you in Persian?

سگ حق شناس به از آدمی ناسپاس 

Sag-e haghšenās beh az ādami nāsepās

“A grateful dog is better than an ungrateful man”.

Not exactly right, but we thought it was funny…

Swearing in the Iranian Language

OK, so before you get on your high horse, this is education, NOT a lesson and we talking about Iranian “sign language”.

Do not make the OK hand sign, as that implies FU, nor do the thumbs up, which also has a rather bad meaning. Don’t believe me? You can always find out the hard way…

And that is our guide to the languages of Iran, which you can find more about on our tours to Iran.

You can check out an Iran tour here.

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