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Forum LockedWhat did happen about Persian language?

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Suren View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26-Jan-2008 at 02:09
Persian Language was a wide-spread language several centuries ago. Then it started to fade away from central and south Asia. What are the main reasons for spreading a language and what are the main factors which help a language disappear?

For example:Persian language
I think the following reasons are important, but I want to know your opinion , too.

Main reasons for spreading:
1. Power: Central government which makes a language as official language of the state.
This is the result of Persian kingdoms notably  Sassanid who spreaded Persian language in central Asia and part of south Asia (Pakistan). Mughal(Originally Turkic) who spreaded Persian language in south Asia (India).

2. Literature: Through the work of Great writers and poets such as Rudaki, Saadi, Ferdosi, Mulana (Rumi), Hafiz, Khayam, Nizami, Jami, khaghani, Abdullah Ansari.

3. Scientific language: It is like Greek, Latin and Arabic which were scientific languages of their time. Persian was scientific language for a period of time too. Most of great scientific works have been published in their native languages.

4. Art and Music: This is the newest factor which has become a great factor since the age of the internet and TV has begun.

Factors which help a language fade away:

1. Decline of the empires and kingdoms: New countries establish which encourage their native language as official language. This happened after fall of Mughals and many other kingdoms. It can be as a result of war or annexation of a territory by other empires like the Russian invasion of central Asia and caucus which Iran lost a lot of territories.

2. Foreign policy for weakening an empire or country interest in the region by weakening a language: It happened when British took India from Mughals and replaced Persian with English and other languages. This happened in Central Asia by Russian also. They changed  Perso-alphabet with Cyrillic, so they caused a gap between old and new generations. The new generation could not read their ancestors' great poems; Tajiks are a good example of this.

3. Nationalistic movements:It happens when they want to clear other languages influences from their language. This happened and continues in Turkey, Arabian countries and many other places. Civil war between different ethnicities inside an multi-cultural country such as Afghanistan. The winner side tries to weaken the otherside cultural or linguistical influence. Parsi has been Lingua Fransa in Afghanistan for several centuries.

4. Becoming out of interest: after a while people of a country give up learning a language due to political, social reasons. For example: Parsi(Persian) used to be taught in Pakistan's schools some decades ago, but the government stopped this process.

5. Decline of literature, Music, art and scientific achievements.

Please come and write your opinion.



Edited by Suren - 19-Sep-2008 at 20:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2008 at 23:53
I think a major issue is that the people involved in governance and the upper classes knew Persian while the masses didn't. When the monarchist systems collapsed and power was supposedly now in the hands of the "masses", the old elite became weakened, Persian lost its significance and the languages with the highest number of everyday speakers or new colonisors languages became powerfull.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 10:05
language shift normally comes and goes with both prestige of language (eg demonstrating a level of education) and/or economic benefits.  Greek was up there once upon a time in the east Mediterranean basin, black sea - southern Balkans etc, as was Latin in western Europe and now its English all over the world.

Is there prestige with knowing Persian in the region? i would of thought without that or having that economic benefit, ie help getting a job or a better paid job, then there will always be fade outside of its core speakers. Arabic will always have some prestige due to its central role with the koran and Islam, so for Persian to compete it would have to be an economic language, if only regionally. quite frankly iran isn't doing anything to help this, though there is a large mercantile class of Iranians in the gulf so the potential is there..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 13:10
In S Asia, it was a decision in 1860 to change to official language to English from Farsi. Until then the latter had been the lingua franca of the region. Even then most educated muslims spoke it as a matter of course until 1947 when Pakistan declared Urdu as the national language.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 15:44
The reason is simple, other languages matured enough to be on their own and either illiterate or nationalistic rulers supported their languages instead. Arabic was the lingua Franka till The Samanids came and judged that New Persian of Farsi has matured enough and replaced Arabic with it. Karamanoglu did the same thing with Turkish and the Brits did it with Urdu-Hindi. Languages evolve and this is what happens.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Asawar Hazaraspa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2008 at 23:39

Not to forget that the cornerstones of the Persian was made probably in the time of the Sassanids but due to the bitter fact that Iranian lost many of their written heritage shortly after Arab conquest (allegedly Arab aggressiveness toward this written heritage). But the evolution of Persian marked by events of the conquest mixed with huge amount of arabic loanwords.

So before the Samanids, the so-called pro-iranian Safarid dynasty of Sestan retrieved Persian language .

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2008 at 19:29
More accuratly, it was never a native language. It was a court language, or a the language of commerce, many such languages have come and gone, Greek is one example mentioned, as was latin.
 
Its still the most common second language taught in Pakistan. It was actually in 1984 (the year I was born incidentally) that the last province or territory stopped teaching it compulsorily.
 
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2008 at 20:06
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

More accuratly, it was never a native language. It was a court language, or a the language of commerce, many such languages have come and gone, Greek is one example mentioned, as was latin.
 
Its still the most common second language taught in Pakistan. It was actually in 1984 (the year I was born incidentally) that the last province or territory stopped teaching it compulsorily.
 


Do you speak Punjabi, Sparten?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2008 at 20:08
A little. A smattering of Pushto, Potohari/Hindko and Seriaki as well and I can understand Sindhi as well.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2008 at 20:28
What is your mother language?

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