Save Persian

Introduce a language more Iranian, modern, precise and easier to learn


Save Persian
by Jahanshah Rashidian

In the course of Iranian history, Iranian languages have been written with a number of different scripts. The last one was Avestan, which was banned along with the Persian language itself after the Islamic invasion in 642 AD. After the imposition of Islam in Iran, the Islamic invaders imposed Arabic as the only official language on Iranians. The current language appeared during the 9th Century and is written in a version of the Arabic script. Because of its strong links with Arabic, language of the Koran and Islam, nobody has ever had the right to reform or modernise the language.

Today, our superseded Persian language still continues to be Arabo-Islamic (Farsi). Farsi is a hollow name; it does not fully represent our national identity or adapt to our future. Our culture along with our crippled Farsi is now constitutionally forced to take a further Arabo-Islamic allure, a project called “The Cultural Revolution”, planned since 1980 by the Mullahs’ regime.

The long-term objective of The Cultural Revolution is to root out any aspect of non-Islamic identity from the society by introducing a greater portion of Arabo-islamisation in our culture and language. It is to promote the existing “Farsi” into a pure Arabo-Islamic language. The process aims a negation of Iranians national identity--the case which was once imposed by Muslim Arabs, when they occupied Iran about fourteen centuries ago.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran considers educational institutions based on Islamic principles and norms. The constitution does not tolerate any Persian identity in form and principle. The IRI’s constitution has implied this goal by saying, “since the language of the Koran and Islamic texts and teachings is Arabic, and since Persian literature is thoroughly permeated by this language, it must be taught after elementary level, in all classes of secondary school and in all areas of study.” Therefore, lesson of Arabic language and reading of the Koran will gain more compulsory character despite abhor of an increasing majority of students.

It is highly predictable that after the collapse of the IRI, Iranians will enthusiastically develop a popular trend of both de-Arabisation and de-Islamisation of whole Iranian space, including our language. The words, names, items, numbers, symbols, and all those which remind us of the era of humiliating Arabo-Islamisation will be spontaneously replaced with Persian or internationally established words.

After the fall of the IRI, we need appropriate reforms to free our language from the long Arabio-Islamic domination. A modernised language not only can revive our ancient and civilised culture, but also can effectively stop the backward effects of Arabo-Islamic culture from creeping back into people's daily lives.

While many languages around the world can be permanently and adaptively reformed and modernised, our current language, Farsi, has been used since the invasion of Islam in Iran as a cloak for the safeguard of Arabo-Islamic culture. Not only, this culture has been a launch pad to attack our Persian identity, but also has been practically crippled our attempts toward freedom, progress, gender equality since the advent of Islam in Iran.

No wonder, in a spirit of growing civil disobedience to the representatives of this backward culture in Iran, the Mullahs, and a trend of language reform spontaneously grows in Iranian youth. It challenges the unpopular Arabo-Islamic influence in our language. As spontaneous reactions, the young generation in Iran chooses non-Islamic names for children, learns Western languages instead of institutionalised Arabic, wears T-shirts with Latin writings on them, use a Latino-Persian on the internet. All these show the trend for an adaptive language.

On the one hand, a secular state in Iran will pass legislative proposals to ensure the task that our current language will be modernised and useful to our new society. On the other hand, modern-day methods of instantaneous communication and globalisation require fundamental need in a range of modern languages in order to create and maintain vibrant activities for the Iranian society. Therefore, after the IRI, parallel to restoration of Persian, a modern international second language must be highly promoted nationwide as a solid support for advanced education, research, computer use and adaptive modernisation in Iran. Both Persian and modern international language open one door of the continuing struggle for modernisation.

Let me emphasise, the reformed language has nothing to do with disregarding a part of our classic literature. In fact, no reformed language has taken away the worth of its classic literature. After modernisation of our language, our classic literature will be respected as a patrimony of our literature, but let me emphasise again that Islamic culture behind it has little chance to resist.

It is also clear that some people with religious or traditional backgrounds will try to delay the process of language modernisation. The long period of Arabo-Islamic domination over our people has left its debris behind. The indoctrination of religious values with the aim of mental retardation, especially during the rule of the IRI, will require a complete revamping.

Those Iranians who speak modern languages know better that our current language, in its current stagnation, is scientifically poor. In many domains of modern sciences, it is not sufficiently expressive. Developing a modern language in high levels of proficiency, particularly in higher education, will require significantly greater resources than are at hand. Our experts hopefully can focus on the study of development of our modern Persian. They may change or modify the words of many names and verbs to the pre-Islamic synonyms, but at least for the use of scientific terms, it seems more practical and easier to use their most common international words.

Iranian linguistics exerts have rich sources of pre-Islamic Persian to reform the daily language, but in the field of science, they should not complicate the language. In fact, a language is not only a coding system of communication, but also a bridge between thought and action. In other words, the way we talk can in turn influence the way we think. A rich and modern language can considerably improve our cognitive faculties, memory, mental ability, emotional expressions, behaviour, and even habits. The pivotal point is how to form a useful and productive language freed from the traditional burden and unnecessary complications.

All experiences show that the language we use gives way to Western languages. For example, the Iranian communities in the US or Europe can expect that only a small percentage of their children will be fluent in Persian. It is not however the case for Westerners living in Iran-- their children would speak their original language fluently. The reason is not only due to the country's official language but the fact that our language is not adapted to modern life. For example, children can not use Persian on the internet or for their modern toys.

The goal is to introduce a Persian language more Iranian, modern, precise and easier to learn. The alphabet we use is mainly Arabic; it does not cover all the sounds we pronounce in Farsi. Apart from some regions in Khuzestan and Kurdistan, most Iranians cannot phonetically pronounce all letters of the alphabet-- this is also one of the main reasons we have so many different accents and dialects in Iran.

Furthermore, apart from some ignored signs, we have no letters clearly representing some vowels. All of which turn the language more difficult and imprecise—a great number of Iranian high school students cannot write and read correctly.

Regarding the various problems of today’s language, a reform in alphabet is necessary, one which phonetically adjusts to the language. A further needed solution seems to be the introduction of an accessory alphabet for computer which is the language of future generation for sciences, researches and a spirit of modern and secular life.

An accessory alphabet should be worked out so that it harmonises the phonetic part to the written part. That is to say, we need an alphabet which correctly relates sounds to the written words. The new alphabet must solve the problems of vowels and consonants which are not phonetically pronounceable because they have Arabic origins that cannot be pronounced by the majority of Iranians.

In essence, the new alphabet must be simple and avoid composed letters and irregularities which appear in the history of any language. It should consider two main elements:

· The modernisation and adaptation of the society to the modern needs.

· The purification of our language from the backward Arabio-Islamic culture.

During the period of transformation, the old but reformed alphabet must be kept.

One of the main reforms of the post-IRI will deal with language. Our future democratic establishments should take care in rending language modern and attractive. Meanwhile, there should be little need for speakers or writers to waste time looking for words, terms, and expressions to mean objects or ideas. What is to be made of all of this? To ensure that a language remains the predominant way of communication, learning, and development we have to accept all necessary reforms.

Apart from an expected resistance from some Iranian grass-roots, traditionalists, and those who love the classic literature more than the future of country, there are some relics of the IRI who under any guise and trick will attempt to harm the process of reform. Contrary to the first group, they have belief and interest to rescue Islam even after the collapse of the IRI. For them a fundamental reform of our language is synonymous for a sinful violation to the values of Islam.

Considering all the problems with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the reality of the origin and conditions under which Islam was imposed on the Iranian people, it is legitimate to raise the question: How do we best bring an end to Arabo-Islamic ills in Iran after the fall of the IRI? Here, the question is not only about political secularism, but about de-Arabo-Islamisation of Iranian culture.

This must be fulfilled through a democratic process. It should not only be a turn of leaf in our history, but open a whole new chapter in our evolution and free us from the long and pernicious influence of Islam. Only through democratic process would it not only signal a new beginning and bring forth a new era, but also signify the Renaissance all Islamic world needs. Our fullest Renaissance will officially start when we get rid of the plague of the IRI. However some seeds of the Renaissance have spontaneously budded. One of them deals with our or Persian language.

But since such a democratic state does not exist yet, as much as we can, we, Iranians with some sense of responsibility, should try to restore Persian in our writings and verbal conversations. The conditions are at hand for Iranians, inside or outside, to start to introduce the demanded reform into the realm of our language. Thanks to the vast internet communication, the Iranian experts can help a growing segment of their audience to modernise and Persianise our language.


Recently by Jahanshah RashidianCommentsDate
Journée Internationale des Femmes
Mar 08, 2010
Stop Indian Gasoline for Mullahs’ Repressive Machinery
Feb 04, 2010
Iran Fails United Opposition
Jan 20, 2010
more from Jahanshah Rashidian


by JOHN CARPENTER (not verified) on








by Anonymous fr. (not verified) on

Now you prefer to directly regurgitate your Mullah's teaching in "Farsi". English or "Farsi", your freaking preach appears to me a hysterical "Allah Akbard" while stoning to death a victim. You 'd better off take your head out of your thick ass to see your doomed and miserable coming days. You and all Bacheh akhoond goons and Muslim thugs on this site must go to hell in this life, not the afterlife .



by Feleng (not verified) on

Benazar pamo badjoori roo domet gozastam ke hey vagh vagh rah mindazi..........Boro pesar to ro che be angoolak kardan Farsi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ma gofteem bia bahse adabi bekoneem a biadabi. Bahat nistam to in meidoon!


Fleng or Phalange

by Anonymous fr. (not verified) on

This Fleng character is a rotted breed of Mullahs on this site with fake names and regurgitated recants.
He is a poor guy who has nothing to do unless sell his unworthy pen to the unworthy Mullahs.


Re: Anonymous fr

by Feleng (not verified) on

You are from the breed of mentality who always find something or someone to blame their misery on. Today is Mullahs, yesterday was Shah and tomorrow who knows? We only have one life (100 years max) to live. You think I will waste it on politics? Get real man! One thing I have learned in my life is: No one (I mean NO One) is worth to bend for in the world of politics. If you do, you will be used as a stepping stone.

Being fair is a virtue though.


Re: Pouyan likes to change Farsi

by Feleng (not verified) on

Go ahead; do your contribution to Farsi. Let's see what you will come up with. Do it with a constructive purpose and responsibility. Don't plunge your head in your moral neshimangah and do it in darkness of your comfort. Do you think Iranians are G. pigs that you can plan for them?
Whether we want it or not time WILL change it. We can only help it or hurt it.
You pathetic loosers think that Iranians are stting still and doing nothing about their future. Bekhab dar khabe khargooshi! When you wake up, you will see "chegoone jahan barat raast kardeh".


Pouyan e Khar

by Ahmagh Gir (not verified) on

You are saying of anyone doesn't like to change the language or your ideas are 'IRI stooges'!?


R. by Iraniam

by Anonymous fr (not verified) on

Very in line to your name "iraniam" you defend an anti-Iranian Mullahs'regime in Iran. You criticize the authot for not for his language issues, but for his opposition to your IRI. You seem a typical model of Islamisit yes-sir of Mullahs'regime on this site.


The IRI's stooges on his

by Pouyan (not verified) on

The IRI's stooges on his site are at most against any language reform in Iran. A language reform like any democratic reform is thorn in their eyes.


R. Waste of effort

by Anonymous 77 (not verified) on

Islamic hegemony is based upon its language of Islamo-Arabic. How it is not important for its victims? Can you tell us why we should stop reforming such a language? What is its analogy with Persian / Arab Gulf? We are not before honor or national pride, but a need of modernization and secularization. These two issues cannot be separated from a language modernization.


Feleng=Phalange=Hezbollahi element

by Anonymous z (not verified) on

For you as miserable Mullah ass kisser, Farsi is an ideal islamic version of Persian. You have no zeal and worth to be Iranian.


Re: Rahmanian

by Feleng (not verified) on

Dear Rahmanian,
I appreciated your writings; They are straight, plain and genuine. I hope all of us can talk this way. I have no respect for people who takes matters as black and white. To me Rashidian is just like many Mullahs who have channelized their vision and blind to realities.
On the assimilation of language, you prvoved with valid information about the word "Feleng" that it is indeed not genuine Farsi word. Who knows, maybe after few hundre years, it will be considered genuine Farsi word with some variation.

I do not imply people who does not know Farsi well (including me) should shut up. The point is should we spend our energy to use language issues as political tools? I think NOT.



by G. Rahmanian (not verified) on

Why the insults? Are you angry at Mr. Rashidian because of what he says about getting rid of the mullahs?

What has his linguistic ability got to do with the issues he discusses?

Does that mean all Iranians who cannot speak Persian or English properly should shut up? Did you know, there are millions of Iranians who canot speak Persian properly?

Also get a Persian name for yourself. "Feleng" is not purely Persian. It comes from the word "Falangist" or "Falangista," a member of a fascist organization.

The word "Falangist" is derived from the Latin word Phalanx which means: A formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears, developed by Philip II of Macedon and used by Alexander the Great. American Heritage Dictionary

The expression, "felengo bastan" which in coloquial Persian means, "escaping," implies adopting a defensive position.

As an individual interested in languages, I do not agree with Mr. Rashidian's ideas with regards to Persian and Arabic, but I do not agree with many renowned linguists, either. However, I have no right to tell them to shut up.


JR says: "I am not a

by Feleng (not verified) on

JR says: "I am not a linguist. I just brough a topic up that can be worth to discuss.
If you're not a linguist, then shut up and don't make a jackass out of yourself.
To khodet ro nokhode har ashi mikoni. Martikeye bishoaoor ba in arajeefet khodeto kochik nakon.

Bia boro ye kami zabanet ro dorost kon. barat ye link midam inja:



Waste of effort

by Iranian- on

Trying to 'correct' the language is not a priority nor a need for Iranians. We have been speaking this way for centuries and now all of a sudden again comes the suggestion to change the language.

Needless to say that even under the Shah who was not islamic, no one could really change the language. Iranians did not want to!

I understand there are some Arabs who are more 'Arabist' than Muslim, but most of Arabs are good Muslims and they should not be discriminated against. It is shameful for an Iranian or Persian who even suggests anything like that. Let those Arabists call Persian Gulf as 'Arabian Gulf'. Those Arabists are losers and so are the Persians who are discriminating against all Arabs.


Reading the comments on this

by sad (not verified) on

Reading the comments on this tread illustrates that Iranians who truly love Iran need to take Iran back from the hands of Islamists. Islamists have hijacked Iran and the Iranians nation for over 29 years. They are used to contorlling the political/economical/social discourse of the country. If we don't do anything to counter their cultural and linguistic genocide, in a few years, there will be nothing left of Iranian language, culture. And all the traces of Iranian heritage is going to be destroyed by the Islamist. Savepasargad comes to mind. What a travesity.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Mr. Kaveh

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Thanks for your comment and the points you brough up.
As you said we need a transformation time which officially starts after the fall of the IRI. A modernised language finds effective ways to sustain its literature and heritage. This is not the problem. The problem is the religious influence which couple with our language. Some want to keep this influence in any inadaptive condition.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Bang Man

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Thank you for your friendly comment. As you mentioned, through instructive discussions we can bring forth many ideas.

I am not a linguist. I just brough a topic up that can be worth to discuss. The final solutions of language complexities remain in the domain of experts. What I know, in all cultures, a language can be more effective that carries the simplest rules and covers all semantics.

What I rather attribute to any language is its aspect of intercommunication which in turn affects our mental faculties and social efficiency. Therefore, morphology and semantics of language is more important for me than historical part and only in this perspective a language must be permanently and adaptively reformed without any unnecessary polemics. This is the case of modern languages and only so they can be called "modern"--German language has been twice reformed since the fall of the Third Reich.



Bang Man

Dear Jahanshah Rashidian

by Bang Man on

First, I sincerely want to say thank you for your thought
provoking and stimulating articles. It really helps bring some color to the discussions...



Though I personally may not agree with everything you say, I
do think it is important that we do have this debate. We need to have the SPACE
for the full spectrum of ideas. Most importantly, we need to get used to
disagree without getting too emotional … It something that we really need to
work hard for.


Second and more importantly, If we do not give enough SPACE to discus these issues in the virtual community than we really do not stand any hope for the future …

In regards to language it is a very complex issue

However, We do have a deep living reservar of Persian language saved within other Iranian languages and dialects such as Baluchi, Lori .. that has never been deeply studied or documented partly because of Islamic/Political issues ...










Transformation underway......

by KavehV (not verified) on

Dear Mr. Rashidian,

I believe this slow transformation already started in the Pahlavi era. Unfortunately, the literary and cultural form of (high) Persian has had a set back in the last 30 years. However, the scientific transformation has been underway even under IRI. There is simply no choice. Persian is not a scientific language and a scientific transformation was mandatory for educational, industrial and business communities in Iran. Similarly, a literary/cultural transformation is long overdue, in order to bring Persian speaking countries up to world standards, in terms of intellectual concepts and exchanges (whether scientific, cultural, or philosophical). This will necessarily require adoption of Latin type alphabets, in order to facilitate and enhance the ease of cross-cultural communications.

However, this does not mean a disconnect with the rich Persian literary and cultural history. All historical Persian literature can be gradually and effectively transliterated and transformed into the "New Persian" language without any loss of content and meaning.

The inadequacies (or backwardness) of the Arabic has been a debilitating factor in cross-cultural understanding of Persian and even Arabic speaking world with the western/latin world. I would not be surprised to see a more progressive Arabic speaking country to initiate such transformation, before an IR free Iran.

Ba Sepas



by Anonymous 12 (not verified) on

If Iranians have a free hand in their own country, they will bring down the Islamic regime and its barbaric belief system.
Give people a couple of years to see how free people kick off Islam to the dustbin of history.



by Iraniam (not verified) on

Do you kno wthat Mongols lashed their wrath on us worse than Arabs? Arabs fought Army. Mongols burned houses and killed everyone.......So.....what are we going to do? H'mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...All this was a payback.....all the evil we did to others and others did to us..............When are we going to let this animosity go. I for one do not want to pay for what my ancestors did or did not. Do you?
Anyone who beats on the drum of hatred and war does not belong to human society. However, defending one's dignity and right is a virtue.


Re: JR.....DOES ends justify means to you?

by Iraniam (not verified) on

I hope I got a little dent in your altered concience. I know truth hurts! Your are from a breed of suedo-intellectuals (I call espresso/Cafe Latte' roshanfekr) who believe in "Ends justify means". You are only claiming to protect Farsi to make it a hammer to bang it on IRI's head. Come on little Marx!What do you know about persian language. You master in English and French and are proud to be lacky of western ideas blindly, but you think arabisation of Farsi is unholy!
I bet those Mullahs who you consider anti-Farsi can teach you the alphabets of Farsi so masterfully in their sleep. You need to understand that Mullahs have been considered the only EDUCATED Iranian social class for last 400 years, until the domination of British and French until Qajar traitor Shahs opened the doors. Truthfully, I DO believe in getting the education from whereever it comes from as long as it's not going to alienate us from our own principles. This is why I'm thankfull to the society that gave me education here in the west. I think arabic language actually enriched Farsi in a way that English language can not do that. There has been a lot of efforts to generate genuine Farsi words lately to counter the effect of use of Arabic and English words.

I hope you wake up from your rabbit dreams and smell the reality. You seem to me pimping Farsi language as a whore to hammer IRI than being a sincere proyector.



by Pouyan (not verified) on

Your comment shows how deeply Islamist you are, despite your fake name:"It was Persians who blended both Shia and Sunni versions of Islam with their deep rooted religious thoughts and made it a complex and deep ideology. The complex set of rules, cumbersome legal Sharia system and all were inherited and adopted to the only Arabic source of Islam, i.e Quran."

Imagine how many millions of Persians have been killed, enslaved , deported, raped, humiliated until Islam along with its culture was forced on Persians.

Fanatic Muslims like you are the by-products of Muslim Arabs, who still screw our people up.


What a shallow analysis and

by ParsiBoy (not verified) on

What a shallow analysis and what a Bande Tombani solution!!!
The most bizarre reasoning was when the author was stating the reasons for why our second generation was unlikely to learn Persian whereas second generation Westerner do.

Is the author living out in Mars? People pay in Iran to learn Western languages because simply West is far more ahead of East in every aspect of science and art. Why does a second generation Iranian need to learn Farsi or Persian apart from using it in an occasional trip to Iran? That is why they do not learn Persian. Most people in Iran will pay for him/her to practice their English.

The other Abdoogh Khiari feature of this article which is so insulting too is where the article is claiming Farsi/Persian of today being an Arabo-Islamic thing.

It is really the biggest insult some pan Iranists commit when they say that some lowest of cultures brought to us by lowest of nomads 1400 years ago and we are still unable to get rid of that pathetic culture because they are still here in form of Mullahs.
That is when the whole Islam, apart from its first language and its birth place, is a deeply Persian thing. Arabs were not religious people at all. They were not after theology, philosophy or speculation. They were only after conquests and glory. It was Persians who blended both Shia and Sunni versions of Islam with their deep rooted religious thoughts and made it a complex and deep ideology. The complex set of rules, cumbersome legal Sharia system and all were inherited and adopted to the only Arabic source of Islam, i.e Quran.
Bukhari, Qazali, Abu Ali Sina, Biruni and many others made something out of Islam that Muhamad could not even dream of it.

Anyhow, this is what happens when people do not take losing appropriately. East has lost the battle in contemporary times and knowing how to deal with this lost is not something every Abaki so called ROSHANFEKR can deal with it.


پارسی سخن

Learn Parsi (not verified)

پارسی سخن بگوییم



To that stupid F@#k Anon

by Anonymous418 (not verified) on

you can only spew your hate here anonymously. you are such a fucking coward,to insult over a billion people.
everyone knows that only a retard like you would slam a religion of over a billion people innocent people who have done nothing to you.
keep doing it, I'm sure you will only intensify their resolve.

you dumb f@#k



by -Anon- (not verified) on

Most Iranians are religious Muslims? Really? How about we don't care about the views of uneducated dahatis still living in the same poverty they've lived in since the Arab invasion. Fewer and Fewer educated, urbanized Iranians care for the religion of violence and ignorance begotten of Arabs. Take your Islamo-fascist terrorism elsewhere.


نظر ابو ریحان بیرونی درباره فارسی

نظر ابو ریحان بیرونی درباره فارسی (not verified)

ابوریحان بیرونی نوشت که فارسی برای نوشتن مطالب علمی مناسب نیست
و کتابهایش را مانند سایر متفکرین و فلاسفه ایرانی به زبان عربی نوشت

اما زبان فارسی امروزه مثل زمان او نیست بلکه خوشبختانه به علت ورود کثیری از کلمات عربی به فارسی زبان ما قابلیت آن را یافته که برای نوشتن مطالب علمی به کار رود

Abu Rahyhan Biruni was one of the greatest Iranian thinkers who ever lived. He wrote that Persian was not suitable for writing on science. So, like all other Iranian philosophers he wrote in Arabic. However, today, thanks to the borrowing of a lot of terms from Arabic and other languages, Persian is a far more versatile language.


Abu Rahyhan Biruni on Persian نظر ابو ریحان بیرونی درباره فارسی

Abu Rahyhan Biruni نظر ابوریحان بیرونی درباره فارسی (not verified)

ابوریحان بیرونی نوشت که فارسی برای نوشتن مطالب علمی مناسب نیست
و کتابهایش را مانند سایر متفکرین و فلاسفه ایرانی به زبان عربی نوشت

اما زبان فارسی امروزه مثل زمان او نیست بلکه خوشبختانه به علت ورود کثیری از کلمات عربی به فارسی زبان ما قابلیت آن را یافته که برای نوشتن مطالب علمی به کار رود

Abu Rahyhan Biruni was one of the greatest Iranian thinkers who ever lived. He wrote that Persian was ot suitable for writing on science. So, like all other Iranian philosophers he wrote in Arabic. However, today, thanks to the borrowing of a lot of terms from Arabic and other languages, Persian is a far more versatile language.