Learn Survival Persian/Farsi
Wikitravel users have collectively created a free Persian phrasebook with the goal of making it possible for travelers to "get by" while traveling in areas where Persian is spoken.
Wikitravel phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!
Persian is an ancient language of Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family. It is widely spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and to some extent in Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Bahrain.
Persian has official status in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan but was once the official, court, or literary language of many more places ranging from Turkey through India. At this time, many Persian poets emerged from Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and the regions under the control of Ottoman Empire. It is still appreciated as a literary and prestigious language among the educated elite.
Persian has had a considerable influence on neighboring languages, particularly the Turkic languages in Central Asia, Caucasus, and Anatolia, neighboring Iranian languages, as well as Armenian, Arabic and other languages. It has also exerted a strong influence on South Asian languages, especially Urdu, as well as Hindi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Sylheti, and Bengali.
Many people in Iran and neighboring countries know Persian fluently even though it's not their mother tongue. After the 1979 revolution, many Iranians migrated to the West and as a result, there are numerous Persian-speaking communities throughout the world, particularly in the United States.
The local name of the language is Farsi (officially, Fârsiyè Dari (Dari Persian), which means "Official/Court Persian"). Persian has three main dialects: Iranian Persian (Farsi), Afghan Persian (Dari) and Tajik Persian (Tajik). They are all mutually intelligible. The written form is the same for Farsi and Dari, both using the Arabic alphabet; Tajik is generally written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
Persian is written using Arabic script.