Why Study Persian? Persian is an Indo-European language that has several major dialects, Farsi referring to the Persian spoken in Iran, Dari in Afghanistan, and Tajiki in Tajikistan. During the Middle Ages, Persian gained immense prominence in many of the Central Asian empires as it was the lingua franca of royal courts and philosophical, poetic, religious, and scientific writings from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent.
For as much as Persian has influenced other languages in the region, it has in turn been influenced by neighboring languages, particularly Arabic. As such, mastery of Persian can be a very helpful stepping stone to other languages, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Turkish, Urdu, Uyghur, and Uzbek.
The first two years of Persian at IU focus primarily on the spoken modern dialects of Iranian Persian. Students that continue onto the third year will get to delve into modern and medieval literature and poetry. At IU, you can not only become proficient in Persian but also study the region in depth by choosing a Major or Minor in Central Eurasian Studies.
Persian is currently one of the top thirteen critical languages for the State Department. As such, Persian is an attractive option for students considering government careers. With the breadth and history of Iranian culture, Persian can also be a good language for aspiring archaeology and business-majors.