Kurdish at SOAS Language Centre
Kurdish belongs to the Western Iranian group of the Indo-European family of languages. It is spoken in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus, and by sizable communities elsewhere. It has an important tradition of poetry dating back many centuries and, with recent political changes, has re-established itself as a flourishing literary language.
Kurdish is an ancient language and is related to other Indo-European languages such as English, German and French. Many of its words have roots that can be traced back to the second millennium BC. It is an inflected language and has both gender and number. Linguists and scholars who have studied Kurdish evaluate its importance very highly:
‘A little research proves it to be as worthy of the name of a separate and developed language as Turkish or Persian themselves’. Soane, E. B. (1913) Grammar of the Kurrmanji or Kurdish Language.
‘Kurdish is one the most interesting languages; lively, harmonious, simple, precise, rich and varied, and easy to learn’. Beidar, P. (1926) Grammaire kurde.
SOAS Language Centre offers the following for Kurdish: