Zazaki

Overview Zazaki, also simply called Zaza, is a Kurdish language that comes from the branch of Indo-European languages common to Northwest Iran. There are several dialects of Zazaki

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Overview

Zazaki, also simply called Zaza, is a Kurdish language that comes from the branch of Indo-European languages common to Northwest Iran. There are several dialects of Zazaki with notable differences in phonetics and morphology.[i]

 

History

Very few literary works have ever been written in Zazaki. The earliest known Zazaki texts are two early 20th century mawluds employing Arabic script. In the 1970s a short-lived publication called Tirej was written in a form of Zazaki but was later banned by the Turkish government in 1980. Several other small literary and poetical writings have been produced in Zazaki, but generally have an exclusive and small reading audience.

 

Contemporary Uses

Zazaki is spoken primarily in the southeastern parts of Turkey near Sivas, Bitlis, and Diyarbakir. In Dersim/Tunceli, Zazaki users actually refer to their language as Kurmanji, while confusingly referring to Kurmanji as Herewere or Kurdasi. Overall, due to political influence by the Turkish government, the youth of communities where Zazaki has been traditionally spoken now mainly use Turkish for social, educational, and economic purposes.[ii] 

In the 1970s a short-lived publication called Tirej was written in a form of Zazaki but was later banned by the Turkish government in 1980. Several other small literary and poetical writings have been produced in Zazaki, but generally have an exclusive and small reading audience. Although not presently used for many literary purposes, Zazaki is commonly sung in contemporary music recordings where the language is spoken.[iii] 

 

 

Common Phrases

These simple and very basic conversational phrases are useful for travelers in Kurdish areas where Zazaki is spoken. 

"Hello" - "Selam" or "Ma be xér" 

"Good morning" - "Sodır be xér" 

"Please" - "Xeyr de xo"

"Thank you" - "Weş u war be" or "Berxudar be" 

"Yes" - "E"

"No" - "Né"

"What's your name?" - "Namey to çık o?"

 

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[i] Dr. Michael Leezenberg. "Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish." Kurdish Academy of Language. Retrieved 2014-05-22.

 

[ii] Dr. Michael Leezenberg. "Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish." Kurdish Academy of Language. Retrieved 2014-05-22.

 

[iii] Dr. Michael Leezenberg. "Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish." Kurdish Academy of Language. Retrieved 2014-05-22.

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