Zaza is spoken by about 3 to 6 million people in parts of central and eastern Turkey. It belongs to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language family and has quite a lot in common with such languages as Gilaki and Talyshi. The language is also known as Dımılki, Kırmancki, Zonê Ma, Şo-Bê or Kırdki.
Zaza was first written in 1850 using a version of the Arabic alphabet. In the 1980s use of the Latin alphabet to write Zaza became popular among the Zaza diaspora in Sweden, France and Germany. Since then a number of books and magazines have been published in Zaza, and there are some radio and TV programmes in the language.
Before e, i and y c is pronounced [dʒ] and ç is pronounced [tʃ]
Zaza alphabets improved by Michael Peter Füstumum
Pêr însanî azad û rûmet û mafan de seyyewbîno yenî dunya. Ê wayerê aqil û wijdan î û ganî pê yewbîno verê be zihniyetêda birayîyê biluwenî.
Translation by Cemre Ömer Ayna
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 Zaza
Enstitüyê Zaza (Zaza Language Institute)
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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