Indo-European > Indo-Iranian > Iranian > Western Iranian > Northwestern Iranian > Caspian

Spoken by: 3.3 millions according to Ethnologue, 1993

Official in: Not official

Spoken primarily in: Iran (esp. the provinces Gilan and Mazandaran)

Gilaki belongs, together with Mazandarani, to the Caspian languages. Those are Iranian languages spoken at the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, north of the Alborz mountain range. Even though Gilaki and Persian belong to different branches of the Iranian languages, they belong to the same cultural zone, where Persian is the dominant player, and Persian has therefore had a great influence on Gilaki, and many words have been borrowed. The verbs and the verb system has been very resistant to this influence, though. Gilaki has traditionally been a spoken a language, and only during the last decades, there have been attempts at standardizing a written form of the language.