Persian (/ or /), also known by its
endonym Farsi (فارسی fārsi
listen)), is one of the
Western Iranian languages within the
Indo-Iranian branch of the
Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in
Afghanistan (officially known as
Dari since 1958),
Tajikistan (officially known as
Tajiki since the
 and some other regions which historically were
Persianate societies and considered part of
Greater Iran. It is written in the
Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the
The Persian language is classified as a continuation of
Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the
Sasanian Empire, itself a continuation of
Old Persian, the language of the
 Its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.
 Persian gets its name from its origin at the capital of the
Fars Province), hence the name Persian (Farsi).
 A Persian-speaking person may be referred to as Persophone.
There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in
Tajikistan. For centuries, Persian has also been a prestigious cultural language in other regions of
Central Asia, and
South Asia by the various empires based in the regions.
Persian has had a considerable (mainly
lexical) influence on neighboring languages, particularly the
Turkic languages in
Anatolia, neighboring Iranian languages, as well as
Indo-Aryan languages, especially
Urdu (a register of
Hindustani). It also exerted some influence on
 while borrowing much vocabulary from it after the
Arab conquest of Iran.
With a long history of literature in the form of Middle Persian before Islam, Persian was the first language in the
Muslim world to break through
Arabic's monopoly on writing, and the writing of poetry in Persian was established as a court tradition in many eastern courts.
 Some of the famous works of
Persian literature are the
Ferdowsi, the works of
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the
Panj Ganj of
Nizami Ganjavi, the Divān of
Hafez and the two miscellanea of prose and verse by
Saadi Shirazi, the
Gulistan and the