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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Kurdish Academy of Language Online
Online Kurdish lessons
Online Kurdish dictionaries
Kurdish search engine and links directory
The Encyclopedia of Kurdistan