To: Windows Development
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399

February 21, 2006


Persian Language Being Called Farsi

 To Whom This May Concern,

As a Network Administrator, I have installed various input languages on Microsoft Windows 9x, NT based, Mac OS and Linux operating systems. I am contacting you about the Windows XP and 2003 input language called “Farsi". I would like to suggest you consider using the name "Persian". Scholars consider the proper name to be "Persian", when speaking English.

Farsi which was AKA: Fars, Parsi and Pars, is the native name for Persian (it's English equivalent). This is the same as the English term for “Deutsch” being “German”, the English term for “Espanol” being “Spanish” or the English name for “Francais” being “French”.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) uses the name "Persian.

Similarly,  I’m sure you are aware that international broadcasting centers offer a "Persian Service" not "Farsi Service”, such as:

British Broadcasting Corporation (1)
Voice of America (2)
Deutsche Welle (3)

Various Universities provide studies of the Persian culture, including it's language.
University of Pennsylvania’s 2005-2006 coursework are for Persian (4).
Harvard University’s 2005-2006 coursework are for Persian (5).
University of Oxford refers to the language as Persian (6).

Among the Indo-European languages are the Indo-Iranian languages; one of which is Persian (7).

Additional examples of reference to the Persian language are the: "Persian Linguistics Association" (8)

American Association of Teachers of Persian" (AATP) (9).

Please also consider translation dictionaries written by scholars and are called, “Persian to English Dictionary” or “English to Persian Dictionary”.

Mac OS X calls this input language "Persian".

I came across an unverifiable report of the official institution "Farhangestan; The Academy of Persian Language and Literature. in Tehran". This announcement has rejected the use of the word 'Farsi' instead of 'Persian' in English. (13)

I should also mention, there are many sources which use the term "Farsi" as meaning- modern Persian.

The Farsi-Web Project which is developing a bilingual "English/Persian" operating system called Sharif Linux. (10)
Farsi KDE which develops a desktop environment for Linux. (11)
Online Farsi to English and English to Farsi Dictionary (12).

If possible, please consider revising the name of your complex script from "Farsi" to "Persian"; as many consider "Persian" the proper English name for the native "Farsi" language.

I am thrilled development has been done to include a Persian (or Farsi) input method. Whatever you call it is fine with me.

I’ve tried to stick with facts. Below is my humble opinion.

It appears those with a strong understanding of English, Persian and linguistics would use the term "Persian" when speaking English.
References to the term Farsi (in English) appear to primarily be since the 1979 Revolution and the flow (hundreds of thousands) of Iranian immigrants. A simple misunderstanding by the many who fled their native country of Iran (since 1978).
Perhaps references to Farsi (in English) in this case are primarily by those who have a strong understanding of technology but not linguistics?


Thank you so much for your attention.


Best regards,
name removed  
Network Administrator
Southeastern, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
e-mail removed
telephone removed
fax removed



1. See British Broadcasting Company, web site, , "Languages", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

2. See Voice of America, web site, , "Select Language", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

3. See Deutsche Welle, web site, , "More Languages", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

4. See University of Pennsylvania, web site, , "2005-2006 University of Pennsylvania Course Register", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

5. See Harvard University, web site, , "Middle East Related Courses, Spring Semester 2005-2006", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

6. See University of Oxford, web site, , "Information about Persian", 02-2006. (Back to Article)

7.  See Random House Webster, College Dictionary (Second Revised and Updated Random House Edition 2001), 673.  (Back to Article)

8. See Eastern Michigan University / Wayne State University web site,, , "The Linguist List:. 02-2006. (Back to Article)

9. See American Association of Teachers of Persian web site, , 02-2006. (Back to Article)

10. See Farsi Web Project web site, , 02-2006 (Back to Article)

11. See Farsi KDE web site, , 02-2006 (Back to Article)

12. See Farsi Dictionary web site, , 02-2006 (Back to Article)

13. The (Unverified) Announcement of Farhangestan; The Academy of Persian Language and Literature. in Tehran:

   The Language of the nation of Iran [Persia] in English is called "Persian" [or in other European languages: Persane, Persisch, Persa, Persiska, etc.] and is known worldwide as PERSIAN. Recently some people have been trying to use "Farsi" instead of Persian, the trend which has also been followed by some non-Iranians. This has occurred to the extent that it has raised the question "Which is the correct word, in English. for the language of Iran 's people, Persian or Farsi?'..."

   This question was put to the official institution FARHANGESTAN (Persian Language and Literature Academy in Tehran) by the Commerce Department for Australia, at Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In their 34th meeting on 7th of December 1992, the Persian Academy unanimously passed the resolution that this language must be called PERSIAN and the reasons given were:

1. PERSIAN has been used in a variety of publications including cultural, scientific and diplomatic documents for centuries and, therefore, it connotes a very significant historical and cultural meaning. Hence, changing PERSIAN to FARSI is to negate this established important precedence.

2. Changing PERSIAN to FARSI may give the impression that it is a new language. and this may well be the intention of some Farsi users.

3. It may also give the impression that FARSI is a dialect of some parts of Iran and not the predominant (official) language of this country.

4. Fortunately, FARSI has never been used in any research paper or university document in any Western language and the proposal of its usage will create doubt and ambiguity about the name of the official language of our country. (Back to Article)