Persian: Farsi or Parsi

Daffodil100

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

I read an article titled "no more Farsi", which calls for people should call the national language in Iran Persian instead of Farsi.

I wonder whether or not there is such a word in Perian I coined as below:

پارسی

Is it the opinion of Iranian majority?

Thank you!

P.S. Here is the URL link of the article.

http://no-more-farsi.50webs.com/
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Would I be right in saying that had the word remained "Paarsii", it would still not be used in the manner of Parsi cat/carpet/literature....? One would still be using the word "Persian" irrespective of whether Iranians call their language Farsi or Parsi.
     

    Aryamp

    Persimod
    Persian
    Qureshpor said:
    Would I be right in saying that had the word remained "Paarsii", it would still not be used in the manner of Parsi cat/carpet/literature....? One would still be using the word "Persian" irrespective of whether Iranians call their language Farsi or Parsi.
    Naturally , just like "Iranian" is the english way of saying ایرانی , and in Spanish they say Persa for Persian, so how a country/nation is called in other languages only partly depends on the original name as used by the natives of that country.

    Just like if I'm not mistaken "china" or its derivatives is the name with which China is recognized all over the world, however chinese people themsleves don't call their country China.
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Hi,

    I read an article titled "no more Farsi", which calls for people should call the national language in Iran Persian instead of Farsi.

    I wonder whether or not there is such a word in Perian I coined as below:

    پارسی

    Is it the opinion of Iranian majority?

    Thank you!

    P.S. Here is the URL link of the article.

    http://no-more-farsi.50webs.com/
    Hi, Daffodil100! I took a quick look at the article, and it occurred to me, with the article having been written in English, that the authors are asking non-Iranians to refrain from using the word 'Farsi' to refer to the official language of Iranians. This is while inside Iran almost no Iranian calls the official language anything but 'Farsi'. If you took the article seriously, you would need to call this language of ours 'Farsi' when you were speaking it or if you were among Iranian Persian speakers, while remembering never to say or write the word 'Farsi' in English or any other language! I'm sure the authors have their own politically correct reasons for proposing this; personally, I don't believe it matters what the rest of the world calls our language; what would be bad would be to issue a set of do's and don't's and expect the world to accept the reasoning while hardly any Iranian would bother to change the name they are accustomed to.
     
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    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Just to add:

    ز رومی و مصری و از پارسی
    فزون بود مردان چهل بار سی
    فردوسی

    بسی رنج بردم در این سال سی
    عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی
    فردوسی

    For thirty years suffered I strife and pain
    I awoke the 3ajam with this Persian

    Ferdowsi

    I think originally it was پارسی paarsii (from the the پارس paars province) instead of faarsii. The p-> f shift occurred later – after the Arabs came. Classical Arabic has no ‘p’ sound, often changing ‘p’ to ‘f’.

    BTW, پارسی is also used even now in certain names, like پارسی كولا paarsii kolaa. I had it when I was in Iran. There I met also some who would refer to Persian as zabuun (zabaan) -e-paarsii.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    One should not also forget that in both Karachi (Pakistan) and Bombay (Mumbai) [India] there is a community of people who are referred to as "Parsi" who at some stage in the distant past migrated from Iran to India.. So, Parsi is not just the name of a language but also of a people too.
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Just to add:

    ز رومی و مصری و از پارسی
    فزون بود مردان چهل بار سی
    فردوسی

    بسی رنج بردم در این سال سی
    عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی
    فردوسی

    For thirty years suffered I strife and pain
    I awoke the 3ajam with this Persian

    Ferdowsi

    I think originally it was پارسی paarsii (from the the پارس paars province) instead of faarsii. The p-> f shift occurred later – after the Arabs came. Classical Arabic has no ‘p’ sound, often changing ‘p’ to ‘f’.

    BTW, پارسی is also used even now in certain names, like پارسی كولا paarsii kolaa. I had it when I was in Iran. There I met also some who would refer to Persian as zabuun (zabaan) -e-paarsii.
    Faylasoof, I didn't suggest Parsi was a word one never came across in Iran! Not at all! What I'm saying is the name Iranians use to refer to our own language is not 'Parsee', the Farsi equivalent of 'Persian' in English!

    If you heard your Iranian friends use the word 'Parsee' as the name of the language, it may have been because they preferred the older version. Ferdossi himself was already using an older version of the word when he wrote the lines you quote. Ferdossi felt he had a duty to do so; also, in putting the whole Iranian mythology in verse, he must have preferred, for esthetic reasons, to use words that sounded old Iranian.
     
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    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    One should not also forget that in both Karachi (Pakistan) and Bombay (Mumbai) [India] there is a community of people who are referred to as "Parsi" who at some stage in the distant past migrated from Iran to India.. So, Parsi is not just the name of a language but also of a people too.
    Yes, in the subcontinent they are indeed called so due to their Iranian origins and in fact, quite inevitably, in both Pakistan and India the term Parsi (paarsii) is used instead of the term زرتشتی to also mean the religion of these people.
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Faylasoof, I didn't suggest Parsi was a word one never came across in Iran! Not at all! What I'm saying is the name Iranians use to refer to our own language is not 'Parsee', the Farsi equivalent of 'Persian' in English!

    If you heard your Iranian friends use the word 'Parsee' as the name of the language, it may have been because they preferred the older version. Ferdossi himself was already using an older version of the word when he wrote the lines you quote. Ferdossi felt he had a duty to do so; also, in putting the whole Iranian mythology in verse, he must have preferred, for esthetic reasons, to use words that sounded old Iranian.
    mannoushka, I wasn't suggesting this at all. I added my contribution to help Daffodil! I think he shall find it interesting.

    Yes, the people who would say zabuun-e-paarsii were, I think, deliberately going for the older though less used form. Some people like to do that. Also, I well understand Ferdowsi's usage as he was on a mission to save the language. Like as he says:

    پی افکندم از نظم کاخی بلند
    که از باد و باران نیابد گزند

    Which is why he too went for older forms like پارسی paarsii (the above verses) and he did indeed save پارسی paarsii! The Shahnameh has, according to some, about 95% faarsii / paarsii words. The Arabic content is thus correspondingly about 5% and we are all the richer for it as we have a large Pahlavi lexicon preserved in this epic.
     

    Daffodil100

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Eeveryone, thank you for your input.



    Hi, Daffodil100! I took a quick look at the article, and it occurred to me, with the article having been written in English, that the authors are asking non-Iranians to refrain from using the word 'Farsi' to refer to the official language of Iranians. This is while inside Iran almost no Iranian calls the official language anything but 'Farsi'. If you took the article seriously, you would need to call this language of ours 'Farsi' when you were speaking it or if you were among Iranian Persian speakers, while remembering never to say or write the word 'Farsi' in English or any other language! I'm sure the authors have their own politically correct reasons for proposing this; personally, I don't believe it matters what the rest of the world calls our language; what would be bad would be to issue a set of do's and don't's and expect the world to accept the reasoning while hardly any Iranian would bother to change the name they are accustomed to.
    Mannoushka, it was the third time for me to learn some people would like to promote Persian instead of Farsi from different online sources, except for that in EasyPersian Aryamp referred to.

    It would be hard to reallly understand for me why they try to prohibit Farsi in English, but Iranians still widely use this word in Persian, as it seems to me that is simply a transliteration only. "unfair" huh?
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think it is quite understandable for people to promote the word "Persian" in English speaking countries simply because the significance of the word is much more than that imparted by "Farsi". "Persian" gives a sense of antiquity, history, culture, literature as well as language. I suspect the word used by other countries of Europe and the New World would be similar to the English "Persian" and therefore the "Persian" mindset is likely to be even more widespread. With all this mind, I don't really have anything against that segment of the Iranian population who are merely attempting to publicize their heritage through the use of this word.
     

    Daffodil100

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If non-native speakers want to describe something about Iran, other people and I will have no problem to use Persian. But Farsi is exclusively referred to the official language in Iran, as Iranians do in Persian. If Iranians indeed consider "Parsi" would convery more cultural connotations to the world, it would be more convincing for Iranians take a role model calling it Parsi first. (Honestly I don't think it would change anything to the other world to call the language either Farsi or Persian or Parsi. ) Besides that, in Chinese, we call it Bosi.

    Americans don't have to coin American which is referred to American English. i.e. Do you speak American? ;)So do Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians. Almost everyone knows they do have their own unique culture too to distinguish from that of England.

    In English, both of Chinese or Mandarin are referred to the national wide language in China. Unlike farsi-the-word prohibitors, I, personally prefer non-native speakers call it Mandarin, instead of Chinese. There are 56 ethnical groups in China, who are all Chinese, and many of them have their own languages, i.e. Tibetan, Zhuang. Mandarin is the name of the standardized mother tongue of ethnic Hans, who are the majority of population in China. It is unfair for me to refer to Mandarin as Chinese language while it excludes other languages in China. However it never becomes an issue in China.
     
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    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    In English I also prefer to use "Persian" because it has been always used in English as well as other European languages. I don't see any point in changing it. Actually, I see a point in resisting to this change because such a change falsely implies that Farsi is different from Persian. It is exactly opposite to the condition of Mandarin and Chinese.

    Farsi refers to the official language of Iran, in Persian. I think it is so easy to distinguish between the ethnicity, place and language meanings of "Persian" in a sentence that we don't need an "exclusive" word for each.

    Parsi in English, refers to a particular ethnoreligious group in India and Pakistan. In Persian, it is mainly used for the language especially in a sense of antiquity, patriotism or nostalgia. It is also used for Parsi people and the ethnicity of Persian speakers (usually with the same mentioned attitudes).
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    In English I also prefer to use "Persian" because it has been always used in English as well as other European languages. I don't see any point in changing it. Actually, I see a point in resisting to this change because such a change falsely implies that Farsi is different from Persian. It is exactly opposite to the condition of Mandarin and Chinese.

    Farsi refers to the official language of Iran, in Persian. I think it is so easy to distinguish between the ethnicity, place and language meanings of "Persian" in a sentence that we don't need an "exclusive" word for each.


    Parsi in English, refers to a particular ethnoreligious group in India and Pakistan. In Persian, it is mainly used for the language especially in a sense of antiquity, patriotism or nostalgia. It is also used for Parsi people and the ethnicity of Persian speakers (usually with the same mentioned attitudes).

    Interesting so are you saying that Persian too uses the word Parsi for Zoroastrians? Btw what is the official persian word for the community? Thirdly how would you translate Persian attributed articles/creatures etc in Farsi, for instance what would you call a Persian Cat? It has become clear that from a linguistic perspective Farsi is the most commonly used term for the Persian language and Parsi being used by purists. However, as far as your remarks on the comparison to mandarin and chinese are concerned than the argument continues to hold weight here too since Persian is a very generic term incorporating not just Iranian Farsi but also Dari and Tajik whereas Farsi is more precise.
     

    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Interesting so are you saying that Persian too uses the word Parsi for Zoroastrians? Btw what is the official persian word for the community?
    No. Persian commonly uses zartoštī زرتشتی for "Zoroasrtian" (I guess, the Persian Zoroastrians may also call themselves by other terms like mazdyasna). As I said, Parsi is used for the ethnicity in India not the religion of that ethnicity. Of course, most of them are Zoroastrian but they will be still called Parsi if they change their religion. Nonetheless, this term is often used in plural pārsīān پارسیان when referring to Parsi people (e.g., instead of saying "he is a Parsi" we say "he is of the Parsis").
    Thirdly how would you translate Persian attributed articles/creatures etc in Farsi, for instance what would you call a Persian Cat?
    Normally, when "Persian" used in a sense rather than language or ethnicity we translate it as "Iranian" ایرانی. So, Persian cat would be Iranian cat گربۀ ایرانی gorbe-ye īrānī.
    However, as far as your remarks on the comparison to mandarin and chinese are concerned than the argument continues to hold weight here too since Persian is a very generic term incorporating not just Iranian Farsi but also Dari and Tajik whereas Farsi is more precise.
    I don't think there will be a confusion about Persian language in any field other than linguistics. In linguistics, you can easily use Iranian Persian if you want to distinguish the mainstream Persian of Iran with those in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. However, many Tajiks and Afghans call their language "Farsi" or a branch of "Farsi". So using Farsi exclusively for "Iranian Persian" is as problematic. That would be funny when we use it as adjective ("Farsi Persian" that means "Persian Persian"). Consider in English, we use "Québécois" for Quebec French and "Français" for French of France and call them variations of French language to avoid confusion.
     

    IRAJ2000

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Just to add a point:
    Did you know that Pars means یوزپلنگ ?
    Because Iran is the habitat of a nice spiece of cheetah and the Iranian soldiers were really strong and courageous in the past, Iranians called their land, Pars.
    So, the person who is from Pars or the language of Pars is called Parsi or Persian.
    When Muslim Arabs attacked Iran (621 AD), Parsi changed to Farsi because Arabic doesn't have "P".
    By the way, the name of Iran was Persia and It changed to Iran in eighty years ago.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I thought the word "Iran" is quite ancient. It is certainly used by Firdausi. Pars was merely one province of the greater land mass.
     

    IRAJ2000

    Senior Member
    Persian
    You know, Iran was one of the parts of the Persia in the past.
    I mean that the whole empire and the capital's name was Persia.

    If you read the story of Freidoon sons in the book shahname (شاهنامه ی فردوسی), it says that Persia has three parts and Friedoon wanted to divide Persia between his sons. He gave the western lands to Salm, the eastern lands to Toor, and then Iran which included the capital and the centeral lands of the Persia, was inherited by Iraj. Iran is derived from Iraj.
    This story is really interesting. Read the whole in the Shahname. It's amazing.
     

    tonyspeed

    Senior Member
    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I thought the word "Iran" is quite ancient. It is certainly used by Firdausi. Pars was merely one province of the greater land mass.
    I thought so as well. I believe it is related to the term "Aryan", an ethnic term Ancient Persians called themselves.

    "Iran is the ancient name of Persia, and it is derived from the root "Arya" or Aryan" - http://engold.ui.ac.ir/~fnasiri/Iran_page_1.html
     
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    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Just to add a point:
    Did you know that Pars means یوزپلنگ ?
    Because Iran is the habitat of a nice spiece of cheetah and the Iranian soldiers were really strong and courageous in the past, Iranians called their land, Pars.
    So, the person who is from Pars or the language of Pars is called Parsi or Persian.
    When Muslim Arabs attacked Iran (621 AD), Parsi changed to Farsi because Arabic doesn't have "P".
    By the way, the name of Iran was Persia and It changed to Iran in eighty years ago.
    As you know, the Persian word for cheetah is yūz (from Old Persian yavaza). 'pars' or 'bars' is the Turkish and Mongolian word for 'panther'. It has no connection to Persian Pārs or Fārs. As far as I know the etymology of pārs (and its older versions pārsa and pārsua) is still a matter of debate. It was believed that it is related to both Parthia (parthava) and Pashto.

    By the way, Iranians never began calling their land as 'Pars'. It was the foreigners (Greeks?) who first called the Achaemenid empire as Persia because the ruling dynasty was from the small Parsa tribe. "Iranians" later sometimes referred to their land as Persia (فارس) imitating Muslim conquerers and scholars. It is not clear if "Iranians" had any unique name for the entire land before the advent of Sassanians. I guess the first attested name for the land was in 270AD on Shapur's inscription (as what we now know as "Iran-shahr" = "territory of 'Aryans'").

    In Persian, the name of the country Iran (as a unified territory) has been Iran at least since Safavid empire. However, foreigners continued the Greco-Roman tradition of calling this land as "Persia". In 1935, the Iranian government requested other countries to officially call it only as Iran in their languages, as it has been called in Persian.
     

    IRAJ2000

    Senior Member
    Persian
    As you know, the Persian word for cheetah is yūz (from Old Persian yavaza). 'pars' or 'bars' is the Turkish and Mongolian word for 'panther'. It has no connection to Persian Pārs or Fārs. As far as I know the etymology of pārs (and its older versions pārsa and pārsua) is still a matter of debate. It was believed that it is related to both Parthia (parthava) and Pashto.

    By the way, Iranians never began calling their land as 'Pars'. It was the foreigners (Greeks?) who first called the Achaemenid empire as Persia because the ruling dynasty was from the small Parsa tribe. "Iranians" later sometimes referred to their land as Persia (فارس) imitating Muslim conquerers and scholars. It is not clear if "Iranians" had any unique name for the entire land before the advent of Sassanians. I guess the first attested name for the land was in 270AD on Shapur's inscription (as what we now know as "Iran-shahr" = "territory of 'Aryans'").

    In Persian, the name of the country Iran (as a unified territory) has been Iran at least since Safavid empire. However, foreigners continued the Greco-Roman tradition of calling this land as "Persia". In 1935, the Iranian government requested other countries to officially call it only as Iran in their languages, as it has been called in Persian.
    The things that you said are somehow true. But, can you prove them?
     

    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    The things that you said are somehow true. But, can you prove them?
    “prove” is a bit strong term for such loose domains like linguistics and history. I’d rather use “support”. Anyway, since it will go off topic of this thread, I'll sent you a message. If you need to discuss more about them please feel free to open a new thread.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    In English I also prefer to use "Persian" because it has been always used in English as well as other European languages. I don't see any point in changing it. Actually, I see a point in resisting to this change because such a change falsely implies that Farsi is different from Persian. It is exactly opposite to the condition of Mandarin and Chinese.

    Farsi refers to the official language of Iran, in Persian. I think it is so easy to distinguish between the ethnicity, place and language meanings of "Persian" in a sentence that we don't need an "exclusive" word for each.

    Parsi in English, refers to a particular ethnoreligious group in India and Pakistan. In Persian, it is mainly used for the language especially in a sense of antiquity, patriotism or nostalgia. It is also used for Parsi people and the ethnicity of Persian speakers (usually with the same mentioned attitudes).
    :thumbsup:

    How many people would still refer to the language as "Parsi" in Iran? Is the P-sound purely used to refer to earlier (pre-Arab invasion) versions of Persian?
     
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