Kurdish (Kurdí / کوردی / к’öрди)

Kurdish is a member of the Western Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. Approximately 26 million people speak Kurdish in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan and Afghanistan.

Kurdish began to appear in writing in a version of the Persian alphabet during the 7th century AD. However for much of their history, the Kurds have prefered to use Arabic, Persian or Turkish for their literary works. The first well-known Kurdish poet was Ell Herirl (1425-1495), and Kurdish literature started to become popular during the 16th century.

Between 1920 and 1929 Kurdish was written with a version of the Armenian alphabet in Soviet Armenia.

Armenian alphabet for Kurdish

Armenian alphabet for Kurdish

Source: http://www.skytower.org/~ernstjtremel/downloadableKurdishFiles/
Different_Kurdish_Scripts_Comparison.pdf

In Turkey Kurdish is written with the Latin alphabet and in parts of the former Soviet Union it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.

When Kurdish is written with the Arabic script, Arabic loan words retain their original spelling, though are often pronounced quite differently in Kurdish.

Kurdish alphabets (Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic)

The alphabet labelled Latin 1 is known as Yekgirtú, and the one labelled Latin 2 is known as Latin Kurmanjî. The Cyrillic alphabet is known as Cyrillic Kurmanjí and the Arabic alphabet is known as Soraní.

Kurdish alphabet

Soranî

Kurdish (soranî) alphabet

Numerals

Kurdish Numerals

Kurdish sample text

Hemû mirov azad û di weqar û mafan de wekhev tên dinyayê. Ew xwedî hiş û şuûr in û divê li hember hev bi zihniyeteke bratiyê bilivin.

A recording of this text

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Kurdish | Kurmani Kurdish phrases | Sorani Kurdish phrases | Tower of Babel in Kurdish | Kurdish learning materials

Links

Information about Kurdish
http://www.institutkurde.org/en/language/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_language

Kurdish Academy of Language Online
http://www.kurdishacademy.org

Online Kurdish lessons
http://www.digitaldialects.com/Kurdish.htm
http://www.kurdishacademy.org/?q=node/3
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~iranian/Sorani/sorani_1_grammar.pdf
http://www.gettheskill.com/language-courses/kurdish.php
http://kurdishcentral.org/en/home
https://www.glovico.org/en/kurdish

Kurdish phrases
http://www.wikihow.com/Learn-Key-Phrases-in-Kurdish
http://polyglotclub.com/language/kurdish/post/5071
http://wikitravel.org/en/Kurdish_phrasebook
http://learn101.org/kurdish_phrases.php
http://www.academia.edu/1238481/Kurmanji_Kurdish_For_The_Beginners_PDF_
http://www.krg.org/p/p.aspx?l=12&p=215

Online Kurdish dictionaries
http://www.ferheng.org

Kurdish fonts
http://www.skytower.org/~ernstjtremel/OpenTypeFont_KurdishAllAlphabets.htm

Kurdish search engine and links directory
http://www.kurdishworld.com

The Encyclopedia of Kurdistan
http://www.kurdistanica.com

Iranian languages

Avestan, Baluchi, Dari, Gilaki, Juhuri, Kurdish, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Shabaki, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Zazaki

Other languages written with the Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic alphabets.