Published August 28, 2018
This video was recorded in the United States by Tushar Rakheja and features Persian speaker Daniel Salemzadeh. Persian is spoken in Iran by over 45 million people and worldwide by approximately 110 million, and those numbers are steadily growing. 800,000 Eastern Farsi living in Khorasan speak dialects that are transitional with Persian. Belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family, Persian is of the Southwestern subset. The language holds official status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Persian's linguistic influence spreads broadly, endowing neighboring Turkic languages of the Caucasus and Anatolia with lexical borrowing, and even bears similarities with Arabic due to the Arab conquest of Iran in the seventh century. Persian maintains a rich, celebrated tradition of poetry that dates to its establishment within early eastern courts. Rumi is one of many celebrated Persian poets familiar to readers around the world, but other celebrities of Persian literature include the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and the prose of Saadi Shirazi.