RE: Persian or Farsi? (was RE: Decimal separator with more than o ne c haracter?)

From: Rick Cameron (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 12:52:44 EDT

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    -----Original Message-----
    From: Vladimir Ivanov []
    Sent: Wednesday, 21 May 2003 12:11
    To: Rick Cameron
    Subject: Re: Persian or Farsi? (was RE: Decimal separator with more than one
    c haracter?)

    Rick Cameron scripsit:

    > The people who write content for the website of the President of Iran
    > - - apparently prefer to use the word Farsi.
    > A quick search of Amazon shows dictionaries and other books that use
    > both terms.
    > Give it up, Michael! Clearly 'Farsi' has become an acceptable
    > alternative
    > 'Persian'.
    > Cheers
    > - rick

    In CD version of the most authoritative Persian Dictionary - Dehkhoda - you
    can find an English chapter called "Presentation", written by Dr. Gholam
    Reza Sotoudeh. Here are some citations from this chapter:

    "Loghat Nameh Dehkhoda, the well-known encyclopedic dictionary of PERSIAN:",
    "In 1957 the Iranian Parliament gave FARSI Language and Literature
    Department of Tehran University authority over the Loghat Nameh Dehkhoda:",
    "Dr. Shahidi : is also the chairman of the International Institute of the
    PERSIAN Language".

    In many European languages there are 2 concurrent terms for this language:

    1) More assimilated - Persian;

    2) Relatively new - Farsi.

    In Russia they are differentiated stylistically. The assimilated term sounds
    officially, respectful and academically, the second one is more colloquial
    and pragmatical. You can find books like "Persian-Russian Dictionary",
    "Textbook of Persian", but you can also hear "This guy is speaking to you in

    When I asked about that an Iranianist, our colleague from Germany, he said
    that in German the term "Persian" sounds much better than "Farsi". In his
    opinion the phrase "Er spricht Farsi" can sound even rude because gives a
    hint that it is not adopted by their culture. While the phrase "Er spricht
    Persisch" expresses some kind of respect to the speaker. He also thinks that
    Americans use the word "Farsi" for "political correctness" (I don't quite
    understand this thesis, I'm afraid), while in Europe term "Persian" must be
    used. The more respect you show to this language, the more likely you'll
    prefer "Persian" for it. (Is it vice versa in America?)

    Returning to the question: what term should be used in international
    software? Russian localized version of Windows XP uses "Farsi", while
    Russian localized version of Office XP uses "Persian".



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