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Iranian language spoken by more than 25 million people in Iran as a first language, and by millions more as a second. Modern Persian is a koine developed from southwestern dialects in the 7th–9th centuries, after the introduction of Islam brought a massive infusion of loanwords from Arabic. Its standardization and literary cultivation took place in northeastern Persia and Central Asia in the 11th–12th centuries. Polities outside Persia itself (e.g., Mughal India, Ottoman Turkey) have at times been major literary centres. Its status in those countries led to a very strong Persian influence on Urdu and Ottoman Turkish. Other Turkic and Indo-Aryan languages, Caucasian languages, and Iranian languages have also borrowed heavily from Persian. It is written in a slightly modified form of the Arabic alphabet.
Variants of PERSIAN LANGUAGE
Persian language or Farsi language
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Persian language, visit Britannica.com.
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