Persian linguistic purity (Persian without Arabic loanwords)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Here's a new word I learned today - سـره گـرایی. Persian is a bit similar to languages like English in how it has borrowed so much terminology from another language (Arabic), whereas English has had a huge influence from French as well as Latin and Greek. For an example of English without these loanwords, see here.

I should be able to find out more about سـره گـرایی in a while, but in the meantime if anyone wants to enlighten me on exactly how it looks compared to regular Persian feel free to leave a comment below. I'm not sure whether it concentrates only on Persian without Arabic loanwords or whether it includes French and others as well. Technically a loanword from French or English would be more "pure" since those are Indo-European languages. One example here can be seen in the French loanword pédale (پدال), which is pedal in English. This comes from the Latin pedes for foot, and is also cognate with the modern Persian pâ (پا) for foot, so that's a loanword from a source that is already quite close to Persian.

For an example of how linguistic purism can actually work in real life, see this article from Wikipedia on Icelandic.


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