Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS©
Language Still In Usage in Central Iran
10 February 2005
Some words of the Pahlavi language are still used
by the people of Abyaneh, which is near Kashan in the central Iranian
province of Isfahan.
Cultural anthropologist Abbas Torabzadeh said on Saturday that the
dialect of Abyaneh has changed over the centuries, but the local people
still use some ancient words from the Pahlavi Ashkani (Parthian)
language here and there.
The Pahlavi Ashkani language, a branch of Middle Persian which was
spoken in the Parthian era, has almost been forgotten but a few words of
the original language are still heard in Abynaeh.
The director of the Anthropology Research Center of the Cultural
Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) is convinced that since
language is a dynamic and active phenomenon, one can not easily say an
old language is dead and a new one has replaced it.
"Language keeps changing. New words are constantly being coined and
replaced, and some old words begin to be forgotten," Mohammad
The people of Abyaneh have retained some words of the Pahlavi Ashkani
language, but one can not say they are speaking the language in its
original form, he added.
There is also a language called Taati spoken by the people of Jolfa in
western Iran, Mirshokra'i noted.
Taati is a language that developed from Middle Persian almost
independently of modern Persian. It has retained many of the
characteristics of the Sassanid era Pahlavi language. Taati can be
understood by Persian speakers with a little practice.
There is a great danger that that the Pahlavi Ashkani words used by
Abyaneh residents will be replaced by modern Persian expressions, since
the town is gradually becoming a major tourist magnet.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies