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Kurdish languages

Northwestern Iranian dialect continuum / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Kurdish (Kurdî, کوردی) is a language or a group of languages spoken by Kurds in the geo-cultural region of Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora. Kurdish languages constitutes a dialect continuum, many of which are not mutually intelligible,[11][12] belonging to Western Iranian languages in the Indo-European language family. The main three dialects or languages of Kurdish are Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji), Central Kurdish (Sorani), and Southern Kurdish (Xwarîn).

Quick facts: Kurdish, Native to, Region, Ethnicity, N...
Kurdî / کوردی
Native toTurkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan
RegionKurdistan, Anatolia, Caucasus, Khorasan, Kurdish diaspora
Native speakers
25 million (2022)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Flag_of_Iraq.svg Iraq[6][lower-alpha 1] De_facto_SA-NES_Flag.svg Rojava[8][9]
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1ku
ISO 639-2kur
ISO 639-3kur – inclusive code
Individual codes:
kmr  Northern Kurdish
ckb  Central Kurdish
sdh  Southern Kurdish
lki  Laki Kurdish
Linguasphere58-AAA-a (North Kurdish incl. Kurmanji & Kurmanjiki) + 58-AAA-b (Central Kurdish incl. Dimli/Zaza & Gurani) + 58-AAA-c (South Kurdish incl. Kurdi)
Geographic distribution of Kurdish dialects and other Iranian languages spoken by Kurds
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

A separate group of non-Kurdish Northwestern Iranian languages, the Zaza–Gorani languages, are also spoken by several million ethnic Kurds.[13][14][15] The majority of the Kurds speak Kurmanji,[16] and most Kurdish texts are written in Kurmanji and Sorani. Kurmanji is written in the Hawar alphabet, a derivation of the Latin script, and Sorani is written in the Sorani alphabet, a derivation of Arabic script.

The classification of Laki as a dialect of Southern Kurdish or as a fourth language under Kurdish is a matter of debate,[2] but the differences between Laki and other Southern Kurdish dialects are minimal.[17]

The literary output in Kurdish was mostly confined to poetry until the early 20th century, when more general literature became developed. Today, the two principal written Kurdish dialects are Kurmanji and Sorani. Sorani is, along with Arabic, one of the two official languages of Iraq and is in political documents simply referred to as "Kurdish".[18][19]

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