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Persian (Farsi)

Persian (Farsi) and Persian dialects are the most widely spoken language, used by 58% of the population. Turkic and Turkic dialects and Kurdish are also used. Arabic is spoken by 1% in Khuzestan in the southwest and Turkish in the northwest around Tabriz. English, French and (to a lesser extent) German are spoken by many business people and officials.
Although Persian alphabet looks like Arabic alphabet, the two languages are not related, Persian is a pluricentric language and its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.
There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. For centuries Persian has also been a prestigious cultural language in Central Asia, South Asia, and Western Asia. Persian is used as a liturgical language of Islam in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

Many young Iranians in major cities, and almost certainly those working in international travel agents and high-end hotels will speak conversational English but basic Persian phrases will definitely come in handy, particularly in rural areas. Road signs are often double signed in English.

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