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|Kurdî / کوردی|
|Native to||Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia|
|Region||Kurdistan, Anatolia, Khorasan|
|C. 20–30 million (2000–2010 est.)|
Hawar alphabet (Latin script; used mostly in Turkey and Syria)
(Perso-Arabic script; used mostly in Iraq and Iran)
Cyrillic alphabet (former Soviet Union)
Official language in
ckb – Central Kurdish
kmr – Northern Kurdish
sdh – Southern Kurdish
Kurdish (Kurdî, کوردی) is a continuum of Northwestern Iranian languages spoken by the Kurds in Western Asia. Kurdish forms three dialect groups known as Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji), Central Kurdish (Sorani), and Southern Kurdish (Pehlewani). A separate group of languages, Zaza-Gorani, is also spoken by several million Kurds, but is linguistically not Kurdish. Recent (as of 2009) studies estimate between 20 and 30 million native speakers of Kurdish in total. The majority of the Kurds speak Kurmanji.
The literary output in Kurdish was mostly confined to poetry until the early 20th century, when more general literature began to be developed. Today, there are two principal written Kurdish dialects, namely Kurmanji in the northern parts of the geographical region of Kurdistan, and Sorani further east and south. The standard Sorani form of Central Kurdish is, along with Arabic, one of the two official languages of Iraq and is in political documents simply referred to as Kurdish.
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