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Persian or Farsi

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Alijsh
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Iran
jahanshiri.ir/
Joined 4395 days ago

149 posts - 167 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Persian*, Spanish, French, English
Studies: German, Italian

 
 Message 1 of 99
09 October 2006 at 1:53am | IP Logged 
Please don't use the word Farsi in English. Saying for example, I speak Farsi, is just like saying, I speak Deutsch, instead of I speak German. Farsi, Deutsch, fran├žais, italiano etc. are local names for the languages and not English names. And logically, we should use English names when writing in English. The English for Farsi is Persian and thus we should use Persian in English.

This mistake also leads to ambiguity and misunderstanding. Who knows which language Deutsch is as long as s/he doesn't know the language? But, when you say German, everybody realizes which language you mean.

In the same way, in Persian we don't say English but Engelisi. Saying man English sohbat mikonam is as bizarre and ridiculous as I speak Farsi.

Likewise, for example in French we should say: Je parle persan, in German: Ich kann Persisch, and in Italian:Parlo persiano.

Edited by Alijsh on 09 October 2006 at 10:35pm

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linguanima
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
Australia
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 Message 2 of 99
09 October 2006 at 4:01am | IP Logged 
Thank you for the excellent disambiguation.
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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
kanjicabinet.tumblr.
Joined 4541 days ago

2283 posts - 2815 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 3 of 99
09 October 2006 at 4:09am | IP Logged 
I agree completely. I don't know who started the silly affectation of referring to Persian as Farsi in English.

It likewise annoys me when some country, which speaks a language other than English, decides to dictate what it and its cities are to be called by English speakers. I'm not going to call Burma or Bombay by any other name, and I'll keep the definite article when I refer to the Ukraine, thank you very much. :)

Different languages have their own names for places, languages, and even famous historical characters. People should deal with that instead of trying to force homogeneity on everyone.

Edited by Captain Haddock on 09 October 2006 at 6:07am

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lengua
Senior Member
United States
polyglottery.wordpre
Joined 4457 days ago

549 posts - 595 votes 
Studies: French, Italian, Spanish, German

 
 Message 4 of 99
09 October 2006 at 4:46am | IP Logged 
Fully agree. Programs like Pimsleur don't really help, what with referring to the language as Farsi. The article on wikipedia seems to put the blame on Iranian expats from the '70s, but unfortunately, I've come to take anything vaguely political on wikipedia (particularly when related to the ME) with a grain of salt, due to the current atmosphere here in the US. Nonetheless, here's the blurb:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_language#Nomenclature
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patuco
Diglot
Moderator
Gibraltar
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 Message 5 of 99
09 October 2006 at 6:20am | IP Logged 
@Alijsh: I'm in complete agreement.

@Captain Haddock: I feel the same way as you.
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SamD
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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823 posts - 987 votes 
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 Message 6 of 99
09 October 2006 at 7:32am | IP Logged 
I never knew that, and I had assumed that maybe Persian was a classical language and Farsi was the modern language. Thank you for clearing that up!

I have a friend who uses the word Ivrit to refer to Hebrew, and it seems like the same sort of situation. It never felt quite right to me.
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alexptrans
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Israel
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208 posts - 236 votes 
Speaks: English, Modern Hebrew, Russian*, French, Arabic (Written)
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 Message 7 of 99
09 October 2006 at 7:47am | IP Logged 
Wow, I actually don't agree with something :-)

First of all, "must" is such a strong word.

The fact of the matter is, the term "Farsi" has become fairly common in English, perhaps even more so than "Persian". Just try to google "speak Farsi" vs. "speak Persian" or something similar to see what I mean. I think it's too late now to tell people to use one over the other. I have translated numerous articles on Iran's human rights situation into English, and for some reason those clients and editors usually (though not always) instruct me to use "Farsi". Then again, most of them are Iranian expats.
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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
kanjicabinet.tumblr.
Joined 4541 days ago

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Speaks: English*, Japanese
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 Message 8 of 99
09 October 2006 at 8:46am | IP Logged 
Quote:
I think it's too late now to tell people to use one over the other.


Equally likely, it could be a passing fad. The average person on the street (in the anglophone world) has never heard of "Farsi" and couldn't tell you whether it's a language or a vegetable. He will, however, have heard of "Persian" or at least think that's a reasonable name for a language spoken by Persians.


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