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Dari is one of two primary languages spoken in Afghanistan as well as in Iran. The other language used is basically another form of Persian (also known as Farsi or Parsi) called Pashto or Pushto. These are so close that some people say that they are the same, but there are some differences. One of these differences between the two is that the Dari language has less of a stress accent. Dari also uses extra consonants, also called retroflex consonants, and different uses of vowels which is closer to the English language. The verbs used are also similar to English in that they use the present and past tense also. Pashto has been proven to be a more difficult language to learn because of the amount of pronouns used. It is called a “SOV language” because the order of the sentences is subject, object, verb.

The Dari language is spoken mainly in the east while Farsi is used more in the west. The Tadzhik, Hazara and Chahar Aimak people from Indo-Iranian origin (also called Zarathushties) are mostly the ones who speak Dari. The people in the Yazd region and Kerman, in northern and western parts of Afghanistan along with the capital Kabul speak this “new” variation of Persian as well.

Sometimes Dari sounds like the French language because the French has influenced the language more than any other , and it is easier for Persians to speak it than languages like English. They use the same words except that they stress different syllables so that it sounds slightly different. Russian, Arabic, and a little English are also some influences, but not as much as French. When Dari is written, a modified Arabic version of the alphabet is used, but besides that they are nothing alike.

This “new Persian” (includes both Dari and Farsi) took about a century to develop and there are three stages; early, classical and contemporary (also known as old, middle and modern). Dari is considered part of the contemporary category even though a variation has been used since the seventh century and then developed to classical by the tenth century, but became modern by the ninth century. During the ninth and tenth centuries, there were many great Dari poets which is why it is called the classical period.

In summary, the Dari language is the official language used in Afghanistan and in eastern Iran. The language comes from the Persian language and has influences from many other languages, especially French and English. 

Contact Axis Translations for assistance with Dari translation, transcription and interpreters.