Department of Linguistics and Philology

Iranian Languages

Iranian Languages

The Iranian languages represent a different branch in the same family of languages where we find Swedish and English, the Indo-European languages. They are spoken not only in Iran, but also in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and several other countries in Central Asia and the Middle East.

For the A-C levels of our first cycle courses, students choose to focus primarily on Persian, Kurdish or Balochi, supplementing their main subject by choosing from an array of electives. The D-level, which includes a degree paper, is in the major subject of Iranian Languages and prepares students for second cycle courses in Iranian languages.

Persian

The largest modern Iranian language is Persian (Farsi) which is the official language in Iran and currently one of the largest immigrant languages in Sweden. First cycle studies aim at giving a good understanding of Persian through studying grammar alongside modern and classic texts. Oral and written exercises are also included. In the Iranian language group we also find other languages such as Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Gilaki and Mazandarani. Some of these languages can be studied as electives; Kurdish and Balochi may be chosen as minor subjects.

In addition to language courses, student will learn more about Iranian culture, religion and history. The Iranian history spanning more than 2500 years are discussed from a perspective that integrates the development of language, politics, religion and literature over time. Persian literature is very rich – and some Persian poems are listed among the masterpieces of world literature. Reading Persian literature, both prose and poetry, is included at all levels.

Kurdish

Kurdish is spoken by 20-25 million people in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Kurdish is one of two official languages in Iraq according to the Iranian constitution and is the official language in the Kurdistan Region.

The language can be divided into two main variants: Southern Kurdish (Sorani) and Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji). Kurdish literature began to develop during the 1500’s in the partially independent Kurdish Emirate under Ottoman or Persian rule. First cycle courses aim at giving a good understanding of Kurdish through studying grammar alongside texts. Oral and written exercises are included as well as courses in Kurdish social studies looking at issues relating to religion, politics, and culture. The A-level predominately focuses on Sorani, but at higher levels students will study Sorani and Kurmani side-by-side as a means of comparison.

Balochi

Balochi is spoken by more than 10 million people in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Oman, Turkmenistan, East Africa and other neighbouring countries. The language can be divided into three main dialect blocks: Western, Eastern, and Southern Balochi. Balochi has a rich oral literature, but written literature and a standard language are still at a rudimentary stage. First cycle courses aim at giving a good understanding of Balochi through studying grammar alongside texts. Oral and written exercises are included as well as courses about the Balochi society, addressing issues related to literature, religion, politics, and culture. The various Balochi dialects are studied, as well as the emerging standard writing language and its literature.