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Index / Languages / Iranian
Zaza-Gorani



Languages
Figures in 1000.
% of total Zaza-Gorani speakers
Zazaki
2,000 78.0%
Dimli
1,700 66.0%
Kirmanjki
300 12.0%
Gorani
450 18.0%
Bajelani
50 1.9%
Hawrami
25 1.0%
Sarli
20 0.8%
Shabaki
20 0.8%
By country
Figures in 1000
% of country population
Iran
325 0.4%
Iraq
240 0.8%
Turkey
2,000 2.6%
TOTAL *)
2,570 0.5%

Group of languages, which belong to the Iranian family. The Zaza-Gorani langauges may be considered an independent branch of languages, or a subgroup of Kurdish languages. Languages of this group are spoken in Turkey, Iran and Iraq by about 2.6 million. Most live in Turkey.
One theory makes Zaza-Gorani a descendant of the ancient Parthian language; while Kurdish is from Middle Persian, before that Old Persian. This theory then make both languages originate in Median language.
Of the 6 Zaza-Gorani languages, only Zazaki and Gorani are large. Hawrami is often classified as either simply Gorani, or a dialect of Gorani.

Zazaki
Zazaki, or Zaza, is a language often considered a meta-language, consisting of two languages: Dimli and Kirmanjki. A total of 2 million in Turkey speak one of the Zazaki languages.
Detailed articleZazaki

Gorani / Hawrami
Gorani is the undisputed language here, Hawrami may be a separate language, or simply a Gorani dialect. A total of almost 500,000 speak it, most in Iran, ca. 150,000 in Iraq.
Detailed articleGorani
Detailed articleHawrami

Shabaki
This is spoken by between 10,000 and 20,000 in Iraq.
Detailed articleShabaki

Bajelani
Also called: Bajalani; Bajoran; Bejwan; Chichamachu; Gurani
This is a language of Iraq, but data are completely outdated. As of 1976, there were supposedly 20,000 Bajelani speakers. Since then, this number may have increased by normal population growth, or it could have been reduced to a point of extinction.
It is, or was, native to the Mosul province. Many of its speakers have been displaced since the 1980's.
It is classified as close to Gorani and Shabak.

Sarli
A language of Iraq, but information appears weak, and may well be outdated. It is supposedly spoken in region north of Mosul, by less than 20,000.




By Tore Kjeilen