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).