Dari is the first language of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 persons living in and around the cities of Yazd and Kerman in central Iran. While Dari is spoken in a geographical area that is predominantly Muslim, it is the ethnolect of the area’s Zoroastrians, followers of the pre-Islamic religion of Iran. Genetically, Dari is a member of the Northwestern Iranian language subfamily, which includes several other closely related languages, e.g. Kurdish, Gilaki, Balochi. The Northwestern Iranian languages themselves comprise a branch of the larger Iranian language family, which embraces in its Southwestern subgrouping the family’s best-known language, Persian. More distantly, Dari is related to European languages like English, German and French since the Iranian language group is itself a branch of the Indo-European language family.

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