Within the Iranian branch of indo-European languages, Persian is a member of the West Iranian group. The three main dialects of Persian consist of that spoken in Iran (also called Farsi), the Persian of Afghanistan (commonly known as Dari) and the Persian spoken in some of the ex-Soviet central Asian states including Tajikistan.
Iran is a multilingual country where although Farsi is the official language, there are large communities of speakers of other languages such as Arabic, Kurdish and Turkic dialects.
Origins of the Persian Language
The evolution of Persian as the culturally dominant language from Iran to Central Asia to northwestern India began with the political domination of these areas by dynasties originating in the southwestern province of Iran. Parsa, later Arabicised to Fars, was ruled by two dynasties: the Achaemenids (559-331bc) whose official language was Old Persian, then the Sassanids (225 -651 AD) who spoke middle Persian. Hence the entire country used to be called Perse by the ancient Greeks, a practice still continued by some today. The name Iran derives from Old Iranian aryanam ‘the realm of the Aryans’.
Source: International Communication and Translation News