“FARSI” – Recently Appeared Language!

The following is an extraction and translation into
English from an article by Prof. EHSAN YARSHATER
<http://www.perlit.sailorsite.net/yarshater>, under
the title of: From “Farsi, recently appeared language”

It is known that a new language has recently appeared
in English writings which was not known before and it
is still practically not known but for the name. If
you ask an American graduate; “What kind of language
is this?” he most probably suspect that it would be a
language of Southern Asia or Africa.
If they still ask him if he knew any works in this
language, the answer would be “no”, since I have asked
the same question repeatedly and have heard nothing
but “No”. On the contrary if they ask ” What Persian
Language is? And the listener only having a basic
General Knowledge; he would not have a problem to
connect this language with the Persian Empire, Persian
Art, Persian Poetry and even Persepolis. He or she
would probably know that this is the same language
Omar Khayyam has versed his Rubaiyat, which is well
known in English. He would also know that this is a
language of an ancient country called “Persia” with
her wars with Greece, and her arts and carpets. The
only thing he would not know is that “Persian
language” has a newly acquired name of “Farsi” and it
is in relation to one of the Muslim and Arabic spoken
countries of The Middle East, called Iran.
In spite of this, we unfortunately witness yet another
usage of “Farsi” instead of “Persian” in English
writings on a daily occurrence. This happens mostly by
the Iranians living in The USA; while they answer
questions about languages that they know in their
application forms for jobs or university Courses. I
suspect that they even feel gratified to realise that
“The known word of Farsi” can now be used and is a
usual occurrence in the English language. If only they
knew by using the word “Farsi”; which has no
background in English language and its relationship to
the identity of Persian Civilisation and Culture that
is reflected in phrases such as ” Persian Literature”
and “Persian art” and “Persian Poetry”, is not clear
at all, they would find themselves damaging
irreparably the fame and cultural status of Persia
(Iran). The damaging contribution of “The Voice of
America” [V.O.A], and some of the American
Universities` planners have not been ineffective in
this trend.
We should, in order to protect our literature and
ancient cultural credibility in the west, strictly
avoid using the word ” Farsi” and instead use the same
old and well-known word of “Persian” and to realise
that usage of “Farsi” instead of “Persian” is the
negligence of our national interests.