Published November 14, 2017
This video was recorded by Irena Dahl in Oslo, Norway, where she and Golala live. Sorani Kurdish, known natively as Soranî (سۆرانی) and by researchers as Central Kurdish, is spoken by as many as seven million people, primarily in Iraqi Kurdistan, where it is an official language alongside Standard Arabic, as well as in Kurdish Iran. An Indo-European language of the Iranian family, it is perhaps most closely related to Farsi, and more distantly to languages as diverse as Hindi and English. Though Kurdish has been used in literature since at least the 16th century CE, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the language featured prominently in mass media, thanks to the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan. Consequently, Soranî has been the primary Kurdish variety in film, television, and radio. It is also used online, with the .krd top-level domain for Kurdish websites.