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18 May 2022

Kurdish Language and its dialects

History told us the Kurdish language belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family, and the development of these languages was between 4,000 to 2,000 years ago.

There are three main Kurdish groups:

 Northern Kurdish

 Central Kurdish 

 Southern Kurdish.

The history of Kurdish, among modern Iranian languages and dialects is not easy to define. There are so many Kurdish dialects that are still imperfectly known, as also many other modern Iranian dialects to this day. So considering the Kurdish language, and Iranian Dialects, in general, have been extended since 1961.

“Kurdish language” “Kurdish” is not an official or state language. On the contrary, there are some dialects that are spoken in a large geographic area like (Kurmanji in turkey, and Sorani in northern Iraq).

There is always a debate, what is the Kurdish language? Which parts it is composed of, and whether there is only one Kurdish language, or maybe more than one. 

Northern Kurdish

Kurmanji is the most common northern Kurdish dialect which is spoken all over Kurdistan of Turkey, Syria, and also in the Soviet Union, only 65% of Kurds speak Kurmanji. Kurdish Kurmanji was banned in Turkey from the 1920s until 1991. That’s the reason why Kurdish Kurmanji was not spoken by many people.  

Central Kurdish Language

Sorani is spoken by Kurds in Iraq and Iran, also called the central Kurdish dialect. The pronunciation is different from the spelling, and writing expressions are in the Arabic script.

Only the ¼ Kurds spoke Sorani. Sorani is a well-developed dialect in modern times. For an education system in Sorani, Kurdish was allowed to develop in Iraq.

Southern Kurdish

This dialect is primarily spoken in Iran and Iraq. The Southern Kurdish dialect group encompasses over nine sub-dialects. 


The Kurdish language is an Indo-European language and Indo-Iranian. It has different dialects; Northern Kurdish “Kurmanji”, Central Kurdish “Sorani”, Southern Kurdish, and Zazaki-Gorani.