Ansley119 asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 10 years ago

Farsi (Persian) or Arabic?

I'm an International Affairs major, and I've already got two semesters of Farsi under my belt. However, my professor is switching to all-Farsi next semester, and I still don't feel comfortable enough in the language. The catch: I need four semesters of a language, and I want to work in the middle east after grad school. As a non-native speaker of either language, with fluency in spanish, what would some of the language buffs recommend? *As a side note, I am aware or the syntax-ical similarities of the language, so I'm looking more from a difficulty to maintain or learn angle. Thanks!

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    at first, farsi is considered to be a dialect of arabic because of the reasons you should already know so if you learn arabic it will be easier to learn farsi too.

    second, arabic is a far more internationaly known and popular language, it has very strong grammar and on order structure, it is far easier to learn than farsi because it is not a dialect and you will not need to memorize most sentences.

    third, farsi is only used in some regions in iran, afghanistan and also some regions of tajikestan and pakistan, all of them are not really desireable places to stay and work at. while arabic is being widely used in so many countries from UAE up to the last country is north west africa. i guess there are more than 20 arabic countries.



    fourth, since arabs have been in spania i guess there must be some traces of arabic in spanish. some similarities may be.

    if you want to stay and work in middle east i guess the best country is turkey, turkish is also easy to learn because of its strong grammars, very similar to finnish also, turkey is also supposed to be in europe or atleast near east not middle east.

    info about turkish:

    relation between turkish and other north asia-europe languages:

    but if you have to choose only farsi or arabic i strongly recomend you to go for arabic, it is easier to learn and far more useful.

    beside after you learn arabic then you will have far easier time if you would like to learn farsi, because 70% of farsi is actually arabic. may be that is why you have feeled some similarities.

    see those persians which had given so called answers, they dont care for your future and career, it is their common trend, persians are really interested to introduce themselves as aryans just because they hate arabs, you can read their ANSWERS!! already have been given, farsi like spanish!!! sure!

    Source(s): and they are probabely going to say unpleasant things about me for sure just because i have said the truth wich they dont like.
  • 10 years ago


    Well, Farsi and Spanish are distantly related in that they both fall under the category of Indo-European languages, where as Arabic is a Semitic language; and is therefore closely related to Hebrew.

    Certain phonological aspects of both the Persian language (Farsi) and Arabic, that may be seen as difficult for English speakers, will be included in Spanish:

    Voiceless velar fricative: (Rasping sound; The letters 'J' and 'G' (when preceding either 'e' or 'i').)

    Alveolar tap: (Rolled/retroflex 'R')

    However Arabic contains many more 'difficult' phonemes than Farsi:

    ـص‎ ض ـط ظ‎ــع ح

    These letters require phonemes that are foreign to Spanish, Farsi and English!

    Therefore based on your prior knowledge of English and Spanish, I would suggest that you continue to learn Farsi.

    You should, however, remember that picking between the two languages will most likely affect your geographical placement within the middle-east:

    Persian - Spoken in Iran & Afghanistan (Dari); as well as by minorities in neighboring countries.

    Arabic - Spoken in The Arab World; but as you intend on working within the middle-east I shall provide a list of pertinent countries: Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and United Arab Emirates.

    It seems as though you have a choice between which language is more easily attainable, and which language would allow for more occupational freedom in your future.

    To conclude:

    If you do not mind working in Afghanistan or Iran, then learning Farsi will prove to be most beneficial when attempting to build a career, however if you have your sights set on one of the many other countries within the middle-east then Arabic would most likely better serve your interests (even if it seems impossible to begin with!).

    I wish you the best of luck in your future :)

    Source(s): I spend the majority of my free time improving my current language skills (English, Urdu, Arabic, French and Spanish) or attempting to develop new ones all together (Russian, Chinese & Pothwari) Also, I used a previous entry from my blog, as a reference, when mentioning the voiceless velar fricative:
  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Persian is moderately extra regarding English (each are individuals of the very gigantic Indo-European loved ones of languages). Arabic, whilst it makes use of the identical alphabet, is aspect of the Afro-Semitic language loved ones, with Hebrew being its closest relative. Persian might more commonly be moderately less difficult.

  • 10 years ago

    Hello please don't listen to rebelioner he's a Persian hating Turk who is trying to spread lies about Persian. Before we start, i'm going to correct him first. Now, i've done this before ill do it again.

    heres a difference between Persian Language and Arabic language.

    Persian language are from the same roots as the European, we're from the Indo-European family, same as Germans, Dutch people, Swedes, Italians, French people and so on. . But Arabs on the other hand are from the Afro-Asiatic family.

    Indo-European -> Iranic, Slavic, Germanic, Italic, Indo-Aryans <--- These are the roots of the Indo-European family.

    Iranic/Iranian = Persians, Kurds, Pashtuns, Azeri Ossetians, Lurs, Baluchs...

    Indo-Aryans = Hindus, Pakistanis, Bangladesh...

    Slavic = Russians, Bulgars, Yugoslavs, Polish people, Serbs, Croats and so on...

    Italic = Italians, French people, Romanians, Spanish people, Portuguese people...

    Germanic = English people, Germans, Swedes, Danish people, Norwegians, Belgians, Austrian, Swiss...

    These are some of the roots of the Indo-European Language family.

    And Afro-Asitaic -> Semetic, Berber, Cushiti and more...

    Semetic = Arab, Syriac, Arhmamic, Aramiac

    Cushiti = Somali and so on...

    There are allot more language families than: Indo-Europeans and Afro-Asiats.

    So this means that the Persian grammars will be very similar to your language (Spanish) because they are both from the Indo-European family. And some words will even be similar too, for example in spanish you is ''Tu'' That's the same with Persian we say Tu.

    He also said if you needed somewhere to learn you should go to Turkey which is not a good idea. Turkish universities are very weak and they have low budgets. That's exactly why most Turkish students come to places like Sweden, Germany and France. However i'd say you should learn Persian instead of Turkish or Arabic because it's much easier to learn as it is similar to Spanish in grammatic ways.

    Aaron's answer was excellent aswell.

    Here's a link that you might want to check out.

    And here's a link about Arabic language if you want to see that too.

    HOWEVER, both Persian and Arabic share the same alphabet, but that has nothing to do with the grammars and words of the language itself.

    For example Turkish uses latin alphabet, does that mean it's similar to Latin? Not at all.

    However i'm not going to talk **** about Turkish people as rebelioner has did with Persian people for the last 6 weeks.

    He is a example of how Turkish people are, Aggressive, Lying and jealous of course.

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  • 5 years ago


  • I'd go on. You already have a good base and the only way you'll advance is by listening speaking and practicing. Study hard and you'll get it. :)

  • 10 years ago


  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


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