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Kurdish language

Kurdish
Kurdî / کوردی
Kurdish Language.png
Native to Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Region Kurdistan, Anatolia, Khorasan
Ethnicity Kurds
Native speakers
C. 20–30 million (2000–2010 est.)
Dialects
In use:
Hawar alphabet (Latin script; used mostly in Turkey and Syria)
Sorani alphabet
(Perso-Arabic script; used mostly in Iraq and Iran)
Not used:
Cyrillic alphabet (former Soviet Union)
Official status
Official language in

 Iraq

Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ku
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 inclusive code
Individual codes:
ckb – Central Kurdish
kmr – Northern Kurdish
sdh – Southern Kurdish
Glottolog kurd1259
Linguasphere 58-AAA-a (North Kurdish incl. Kurmanji & Kurmanjiki) + 58-AAA-b (Central Kurdish incl. Dimli/Zaza & Gurani) + 58-AAA-c (South Kurdish incl. Kurdi)
Idioma kurdo1.png
Map of Kurdish-speaking areas of the Middle East
Kurdish languages map.svg
Geographic distribution of Kurdish 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.

 Iraq

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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