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Index / Languages / Iranian / Zaza-Gorani
Iran / Languages /

Iranian language (northwestern), spoken between 10,000 and 20,000 in Iraq, only by the Shabak people, mainly in the region of Mosul.
The language belongs to the Zaza-Gorani language family, a family that often is categorized as a Kurdish language. There are many similarities in vocabulary with Sorani Kurdish. Shabaki has also taken many elements from Turkish, Persian and Arabic.
The Shabaks are doubly discriminated, both from central authorities of Iraq, and from the Kurdish majority in the regions where they live. Many have been forced to give up their culture, in favour of Arabic or Kurdish.
Shabak is written with a modified Arabic script. The sounds 'tsh', 'p', 'zh' and 'k' have been given unique letters based upon standard Arabic letters.

By Tore Kjeilen