I agree with what the people before me said. And though they don't sound similar, but there are a lot of Romance languages (i.e. Latin, English, Spanish, German) that have Old Persian roots, that we don't learn because a lot of that information got lost during the Arab conquest of Persia. An example of this is "tomato", which comes from the Latin word "tomateh", which came from the Old Persian word, "tomateh". The Persian Empire used to be a center of trade and commerce.
In fact, before the Shahnamah, a very influential book written hundreds of years ago, Persian, or the other name for it, Farsi, was on the verge of dying.
Arab and Persian are really VERY different. However, Persian has a some alien Arab words that some Arabs will understand. Other than that, however, someone who hasn't studied the other language won't understand it. The script for Persian and Arabic look very similar, again, because of the Arab conquest. But in speaking, they are very different sounding.
Afghanistan also has a lot of Farsi-speaking people. People in Iran can generally understand Afghan Farsi, but may have some difficulties with the accent. It's like the difference between say, American English and perhaps Scottish English.
Just to let you know, some people find it VERY offensive to mix Arab and Persian with each other, and assume they are the same thing, or close enough. In the old days it was because of Arab-Persian enmity. But I personally don't have any problems with Arab people; my problem is that people don't take the time to differentiate between two very different cultures, even after they've been explained. So never ask someone if they are Arab or Persian. Ask WHAT they are instead to avoid offending them with the wrong guess.
Crazy Persian parents that lecture me constantly on Persian history.
· 10 years ago