|سۆرانی، کوردیی ناوەندی|
|Native to||Iraq, Iran|
6 million in Iraq (2012)|
3 million in Iran
Official language in
Central Kurdish (کوردیی ناوەندی; kurdîy nawendî), also called Sorani (سۆرانی; Soranî) is a Kurdish language spoken in Iraq, mainly in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the Kurdistan Province of western Iran. Central Kurdish is one of the two official languages of Iraq, along with Arabic, and is in political documents simply referred to as "Kurdish".
The term Sorani, named after the former Soran Emirate, is used especially to refer to a written, standardized form of Central Kurdish written in the Sorani alphabet developed from the Persian alphabet in the 1920s by Sa'íd Sidqi Kaban and Taufiq Wahby.
In Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî), the Ottoman Empire had created a secondary school, the Rushdiye, graduates from which could go to Istanbul to continue to study there. This allowed Central Kurdish, which was spoken in Silêmanî, to progressively replace Hawrami dialects as the literary vehicle for Kurdish.
Since the fall of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region, there have been more opportunities to publish works in the Kurdish languages in Iraq than in any other country in recent times. As a result, Central Kurdish has become the dominant written form of Kurdish.
Central Kurdish is written with a modified Persian alphabet. This is in contrast to the other main Kurdish language, Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji), which is spoken mainly in Turkey and is usually written in the Latin alphabet.
However, during the past decade, official TV in Iraqi Kurdistan has mainly used the Latin script for Central Kurdish.
The exact number of Sorani speakers is difficult to determine, but it is generally thought that Sorani is spoken by about 6 to 7 million people in Iraq and Iran. It is the most widespread speech of Kurds in Iran and Iraq. In particular, it is spoken by:
- Around 3 million Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan. Located south of Lake Urmia that stretches roughly to the outside of Kermanshah.
- Around 3 million Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the Sorani tribe. Most of the Kurds who use it are found in the vicinity of Hewlêr (Erbil), Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî), Kirkuk and Diyala Governorate.
Following includes the traditional internal variants of Sorani. However, nowadays, due to widespread media and communications, most of them are regarded as subdialects of standard Sorani:
- Mukriyani; The language spoken south of Lake Urmia with Mahabad as its center, including the cities of Piranshahr and the Kurdish speaking part of Naghadeh. This region is traditionally known as Mukriyan.
- Ardalani, spoken in the cities of Sanandaj, Marivan, Kamyaran, Divandarreh and Dehgolan in Kordestan province and the Kurdish speaking parts of Tekab and Shahindej in West Azerbaijan province. This region is known as Ardalan.
- Garmiani, in and around Kirkuk
- Hawlari, spoken in and around the city of Hawler (Erbil) in Iraqi Kurdistan and Oshnavieh. Its main distinction is changing the consonant /l/ into /r/ in many words.
- Babani, spoken in and around the city of Sulaymaniya in Iraq and the cities of Saghez, Baneh, Bokan and Sardasht in Iran.
- Jafi, spoken in the towns of Javanroud, Ravansar and some villages around Sarpole Zahab and Paveh.
As an official language
A recent proposal was made for Central Kurdish to be the official language of the Kurdistan Regional Government. This idea has been favoured by some Central Kurdish-speakers but has disappointed Northern Kurdish speakers.
Dictionaries and translations
There are a substantial number of Sorani dictionaries available, amongst which there are many that seek to be bilingual.
English and Sorani
- English–Kurdish Dictionary by Dr. Selma Abdullah and Dr. Khurhseed Alam
- Raman English-Kurdish Dictionary by Destey Ferheng
- Central Kurdish at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
- "Full Text of Iraqi Constitution". Washington Post. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Central Kurdish". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Allison, Christine (2012). The Yezidi Oral Tradition in Iraqi Kurdistan. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-74655-0. "However, it was the southern dialect of Kurdish, Central Kurdish, the majority language of the Iraqi Kurds, which received sanction as an official language of Iraq."
- "Kurdish language issue and a divisive approach | Kurdish Academy of Language". 5 March 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
- Blau, Joyce (2000). Méthode de Kurde: Sorani. Editions L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-296-41404-4., page 20
- "Iraqi Kurds". Cal.org. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Language background of major refugee groups to the UK - Refugee Council". Languages.refugeecouncil.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iraq". Knn.u-net.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-07. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- SIL Ethnologue (2013) under "Central Kurdish" gives a 2009 estimate of 3.5 million speakers in Iraq and an undated estimate of 3.25 speakers in Iran.
- "Kurdish language issue and a divisive approach | Kurdish Academy of Language". Kurdishacademy.org. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- Kurdish Sorani language developmental features
- Soranî Kurdish, A Reference Grammar with Selected Readings, by W. M. Thackston
- Hassanpour, A. (1992). Nationalism and Language in Kurdistan 1918–1985. USA: Mellen Research University Press.
- Nebez, Jemal (1976). Toward a Unified Kurdish Language. NUKSE.
- Izady, Mehrdad (1992). The Kurds: A Concise Handbook. Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis.
|Central Kurdish edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- The New Testament in Soranî
- The Kurdish Academy of Language (unofficial)
- Working with Sorani Speaking Patients NHS (UK) Guide
- Discussion in Central Kurdish archived with Kaipuleohone