Manas. Studies into Asia and Africa.

Electronic Journal of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

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Manas 3 (2017), 1.

Published on 01.11.2017

ISSN: 2367-6256

Zlatarova, Iveta. On The Problem Of Loanwords From Arabic In Persian (Farsi) And Dari. – In: Manas: East–West: Languages, Cultures, Societies, Vol. 3, 1, 2017.

2017 / Volume 3 / Issue number 1 : East–West: Languages, Cultures, Societies

On The Problem Of Loanwords From Arabic In Persian (Farsi) And Dari

Iveta Zlatarova


The New Persian language, also known as Persian, emerged from Middle Persian and was strongly influenced by Arabic after the Arab conquest of Iran in the 5th century. This symbiosis took place in Eastern Iran (which in this period encompassed an area that included the modern-day Afghanistan and Central Asia) where during the 10th century semi-independent Iranian dynasties emerged from the remnants of the Arab Caliphate. Under the rule of the Samanids (9th – 10th century) the new language began to function as a literary language and became known as Dari. Today Dari is spoken in Afghanistan. Later, the language spread to Western Iran where it became known as Farsi. The language kept much of the vocabulary of Middle Persian. However, at that time a considerable number of Arabic loanwords were introduced. Presently, the proportion of Arabic lexical elements in Farsi and Dari is about fifty percent. The major sound changes undergone by the Arabic loanwords helped in the phonetic adaptation of those lexical elements. The most common Arabic words that appear in Farsi and Dari do not have a local equivalent. A significant number of the loanwords in both languages ​​is used within the changeable vocabulary and alongside local equivalents. A comparison of the Arabic words in Farsi and Dari reveals that, first, the meaning of the same words and terms in these languages ​​often does not coincide, and second, different Arabic words may be used for one and the same term in Farsi and Dari.

Keywords: Loanwords, Arabic, Persian language, Dari

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