Friday, July 08, 2005


Again "Farsi" instead of "Persian"

Thanks to Mr. P. Akbarzadeh, who has sent us a copy of his recent letter (the following text) to CNN

Dear Friends @ CNN

I noticed that you have used the word "Farsi" (instead of "Persian") as English name of our language in your Website:
I would like to point out that FARSI (which is originally PARSI) is the native name of our language and PERSIAN is its English equivalent; as the native name of German language is 'Deutsch', but we never use 'Deutsch' in place of 'German' in English; or native term of Greek Language is "Ellinika" and always in English we say 'Greek' language, not 'Ellinika' language Same to "Espanol" vs. "Spanish"
If you notice the title of dictionaries that have been written by several great Persian scholars (eg. Prof. Moein, Prof. Aryanpour, Prof. Baateni, etc.) The title of all of them is "English-Persian Dictionary" not "English-Farsi Dictionary":
Meanwhile the official institution "Farhangestan; The Academy of Persian Language and Literature, in Tehran" ( in an announcement has rejected the use of the word 'Farsi' instead of 'Persian' in English. (I have attached it)
According to Dr. Hossein Sameie (visiting linguistics professor of Emory University in Atlanta), "PERSIAN, alongside the name of a language, may be used, as an adjective, for the other aspects of our history and culture. For example, we can speak about 'Persian Literature', 'Persian Gulf', 'Persian Carpet', 'Persian Food'; this way, 'Persian' may be a common concept and function as a link between all aspects of Iranian [Persian] life, including language. 'Farsi' does not have such a characteristic"
And finally, of course you are aware that all international brocasting centres (eg. BBC, VOA, DW, etc.) have "Persian Service" not "Farsi Service" ;BBC : : Free Europe : Radio France Internationale:
Same to the "Persian Linguistics Association"
"American Association of Teachers of Persian" (AATP):
"The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature":
Oxford University: University: University: you want to have more information, please do not hesitate to contact me
If possible, please revise your English texts and please use the proper English name for our language; PERSIAN, not FARSI
Thank you so much for your attention
Best regards,Pejman AkbarzadehMember of ARTISTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS (Tehran Chapter)

P.S.--- The Announcement of the Persian Academy:The Language of the nation of Iran [Persia] in English is called "Persian" [or in other European languages: Persane, Persisch, Persa, Persiska, etc.] and is known worldwide as PERSIAN. Recently some people have been trying to use "Farsi" instead of Persian, the trend which has also been followed by some non-Iranians This hasoccurred to the extent that it has raised the question "Which is the correct word, in English, for the language of Iran's people, Persian or Farsi?!..."
This question was put to the official institution FARHANGESTAN (Persian Language and Literature Academy in Tehran) by the Commerce Department for Australia,at Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In their 34th meeting on 7th of December 1992, the Persian Academy unanimously passed the resolution that this language must be called PERSIAN and the reasons given were
1- PERSIAN has been used in a variety of publications including cultural, scientific and diplomatic documents for centuries and, therefore, it connotes a very significant historical and cultural meaning. Hence, changing PERSIAN to FARSI is to negate this established important precedence
2- Changing PERSIAN to FARSI may give the impression that it is a new language, and this may well be the intention of some Farsi users
3- It may also give the impression that FARSI is a dialect of some parts of Iran and not the predominant (official) language of this country
4- Fortunately, FARSI has never been used in any research paper or university document in any Western language and the proposal of its usage will create doubt and ambiguity about the name of the official language of our country

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