Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Kurdish language
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family, closely related to Farsi (Persian). It is spoken by the Kurds, a geographically divided ethnic group. Its numerous dialects fall into two main groups: northern Kurmanji and southern Kurmanji (also known as Sorani). Around 60% of Kurds speak one of the northern Kurmanji dialects. Related languages include Zaza and Gurani. Three different alphabets are used – Arabic, Latin, and Cyrillic.

Kurdish is the second official language in Iraq and the official language of the Kurdish autonomous region in the north of the country. Use of Kurdish is suppressed in Syria and Turkey, but is tolerated in Iran.

Some Kurdish words have roots in English: New Ruz (New Year), gama (game), rubar (river), stara (star), mong (moon), and snoy (snow).

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article KURDISH
Dictionary of Languages

PERHAPS 14,000,000 SPEAKERS Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Armenia Kurdish is the second largest of the IRANIAN LANGUAGES in terms of...

Full text Article Kurdish
The Macquarie Dictionary

1. of or relating to Kurdistan, the Kurds, or their language. 2. noun /'k3d14/ /'kerdish/ the Kurdish people collectively. 3. noun /'k3d1

See more from Credo