The Persian language has been written with a number of different scripts, including Old Persian Cuneiform, Pahlavi, Aramaic, and Avestan. After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Sassanid Empire in 642 CE, Arabic became the language of government, culture and especially religion.
Persian or Farsi, a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages with about 58 million speakers in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The form of Persian spoken in Afghanistan is called Dari, while the form spoken in Tajikistan is known as Tajik and is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
Under Mongolian and Turkish rulers, Persian was adopted as the language of government in Turkey, central Asia and India, where it was used for centuries, and until after 1900 in Kashmir.
Modern Persian, written in a version of the Arabic script (28 letters) except letters marked RED, which are belong to the Persian version (32 letters), and full of words of Arabic origin, appeared during the 9th century.
- Words are written from right to left, numbers are written from left to right.
- Short vowels are not written, which means the pronunciation and meaning of many words is determined by context.
- Most letters change form depending on whether they appear at the beginning, middle or end of a word, or on their own.
- Arabic loan words are written with their original spelling, though they are often pronounced quite differently in Persian.