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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Kurdí • Kurdî • Кöрди • کوردی


Kurdish Newroz (New Year) celebration

Language information: Kurdish is the language of the Kurdish people and of most of what they consider Kurdistan (nowadays known as Kurdawārī in Kurdish). Briefly stated, parts of the contiguous Kurdish-speaking area (see map) are situated in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Furthermore, there are Kurdish-speaking enclaves of various sizes near this area, namely in Iran’s northern Khorazan, in Turkey’s central Anatolia, and also in neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon and Turkmenistan, and as far afield as in Afghanistan, Jordan, Pakistan and Yemen. Currently no part of this area is politically independent, Kurdish is an official language only in Iraq, and Kurdish language teaching and publishing is outlawed in Syria. Farther afield, long-standing Kurdish diaspora communities are found in the Balkans. More recently, notable Kurdish communities have been established in Canada, the USA, Australia and Western Europe, particularly in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Kurdish communities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia are the result of forced relocation from the short-lived Kurdistan Autonomous Oblast (also known as Kurdistāna Sûr “Red Kurdistan,” an area in today’s Armenia) under Soviet power during World War II. Kurdish-speaking communities in Somalia and Eritrea are the result of Iraq’s practice of exiling unwanted Kurds to Africa.
     Given the circumstances mentioned above, it is not surprising that there is considerable diversity within the Kurdish language and its speaker population. There are the following dialect groups: (1) Northern Kurmanji (“Kurmānjī”: Ašītī, Bādīnānī, Bāyazīdī, Bōtānī, Jazīrī), (2) Central Kurmanji (“Sorānī”: Ardalānī, Garmiyānī, Hawlērī, Karkūkī, Mukrī, Piždarī, Silēmānī, Sinayī, Sorānī, Šārbāžērī), (3) Southern Kurmanji (Faylī, Kalhorī, Karmānšānī, Lakī, Lorī, Xāneqīnī), and (4) Gorānī-Zāzākī-Kirmānji (“Zāzākī,” “Pehlewanī”: Darsim, Hawrāmān, Kākayī, Karkūk, Xārput, Zangana). Jazīrī (also spelled Cezîrî) and Silēmānī (also spelled Silêmanî) are literary dialects, usually representing Northern Kurmanji (“Kurmānjī”) and Central Kurmanji (“Sorānī”) respectively. In mixed Kurdish diaspora communities, formal Kurdish language teaching thus tends to be divided into “Kurmānjī” and “Sorānī” as two quasi-standard varieties. Differences between them are considerable, and the separation between them is widened by the use of a Latin-based alphabet for “Kurmānjī” and an Arabic-based alphabet for “Sorānī.” In addition, a Cyrillic-based writing system has been used for the “Kurmānjī” varieties in areas of the former Soviet Union. Another Latin-based system, “Unified Kurdish” (Yekgirtú), without the Turkish-derived devices of the “Kurmānjī” system, has been proposed, but it has not yet been accepted by all factions.
     Being an Indo-European language, Kurdish has numerous relatives near and far, from the languages of Northern India and Bangladesh in the east to most languages of Europe in the west. Its closest relatives are Balochi, Gilaki, Mazanderani and Talysh of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is somewhat more distantly related to languages such as Avestan, Bactrian, Farsi (Persian), Ossetian, Pashto, Scythian and Sogdian.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Indo-Iranian > Iranian > Western > Northwestern > Kurdish

    Click to open the translation: [Click]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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