Kurdî / کوردی / Кöрди

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

Spoken by: 16 million [northern + central + southern] according to Ethnologue.com, 1980/2004/2000

Official in: Iraq

Spoken primarily in: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Armenia, Georgia and by immigrant groups in several European countries and the US

“Kurdish” is a macro-language that can be divided into three dialect or sub-language groups: Northern, with e.g. Kurmancî and Badînanî; Central, with e.g. Soranî and Mukrî; and Southern, with e.g. Feylî, Lekî and Kirmaşahî. Kurdish has, because of the political situation, neither been official nor taught in schools in most of the language area. The lack of official standardization has led to a very wide spectre of dialects, even within the dialect groups. In later times, however, the Soranî dialect (native to Silêmanî, IQ) has been recognized as the official variety of Kurdish in Iraq, whereas the Kurmancî dialect of Diyarbakır, TR, has developed into the major literary language of the northern group.