Persian in A fghanistanFollow @bedaarjafari
Dari (Persian: دری, Darī, pronounced [dæˈɾi]) or Fārsī-ye Darī (Persian: فارسی دری, [fɒːɾsije dæˈɾi]) refers to the dialects of modern Persian spoken in Afghanistan, and is hence also known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized and promoted in 1964 by the Afghan government for the Persian language. As defined in the Constitution of Afghanistan, it is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan; the other is Pashto. Dari is the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan and the mother-tongue of approximately 27% of the population, serving as the country's lingua franca. The Iranian and Afghan dialects of Persian are highly mutually intelligible, with differences found primarily in the vocabulary and phonology. But in historical usage, Dari refers to the Middle Persian court language of the Sassanids.
Dari, spoken in Afghanistan, should not be confused with Dari or Gabri of Iran, a language of the Central Iranian sub-group, spoken in some Zoroastrian communities.
History and origin of the word
Dari is the name given to the New Persian literary language at a very early age and was widely used in Arabic (cf. Al-Estakhri, Al-Muqaddasi, and Ibn Hawqal) and Persian texts.
There are different opinions about the origin of the word Dari. The majority of scholars believes that Dari refers to the Persian word dar or darbār (دربار), meaning "Court", as it was the formal language of the Sassanids.The original meaning of the word dari is given in a notice attributed to Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (cited by Ibn al-Nadim in Al-Fehrest). According to him, "Pārsī was the language spoken by priests, scholars, and the like; it is the language of Fars." It is obvious that this language refers to the Middle Persian. As forDari, he says, "it is the language of the cities of Madā'en; it is spoken by those who are at the king’s court. [Its name] is connected with presence at court. Among the languages of the people of Khorasan and the east, the language of the people of Balkh is predominant.”
The origin of Dari comes from the middle Persian which was spoken during the rule of the Sassanid dynasty. Persian is an Iranian language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. In general, Iranian languages are known from three periods, usually referred to as Old, Middle, and New (Modern) periods. These correspond to three eras in Iranian history; Old era being the period from sometime before Achaemenids, the Achaemenid era and sometime after Achaemenids (that is to 300 BC), Middle era being the next period, Sassanid era and part of the post-Sassanid era, and the New era being the period afterwards down to present day.
Irania languages have been and are still widely used in Central Asia both by native speakers and as trade languages. Whereas in the past, East Iranian languages, such asBactrian, Sogdian and Khotanese, and West Iranian languages, notably Parthian andMiddle Persian were prominent. New Persian (Dari) has supplanted most of these languages.
^a Note that the term Iranian as used here is a linguistic term and does not refer to the nation of Iran.