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Kurdish (Kurdí / کوردی / к’öрди)

Kurdish is a member of the Western Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. Approximately 26 million people speak Kurdish in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan and Afghanistan.

Kurdish began to appear in writing in a version of the Persian alphabet during the 7th century AD. However for much of their history, the Kurds have prefered to use Arabic, Persian or Turkish for their literary works. The first well-known Kurdish poet was Ell Herirl (1425-1495), and Kurdish literature started to become popular during the 16th century.

Between 1920 and 1929 Kurdish was written with a version of the Armenian alphabet in Soviet Armenia.

Armenian alphabet for Kurdish

Armenian alphabet for Kurdish


In Turkey Kurdish is written with the Latin alphabet and in parts of the former Soviet Union it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.

When Kurdish is written with the Arabic script, Arabic loan words retain their original spelling, though are often pronounced quite differently in Kurdish.

Kurdish alphabets (Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic)

The alphabet labelled Latin 1 is known as Yekgirtú, and the one labelled Latin 2 is known as Latin Kurmanjî. The Cyrillic alphabet is known as Cyrillic Kurmanjí and the Arabic alphabet is known as Soraní.

Kurdish alphabet

Soranî alphabet

Kurdish (soranî) alphabet


Kurdish Numerals

Sample text (Arabic alphabet)

.هەموو مرۆڤ ئازاد و دوەقار و مافان دە وەکهەڤ تێن دنیایێ. ئەو خوەدی هش و شوئوورن و دڤێ لهەمبەر هەڤ بزهنیەتەکە براتیێ بلڤن

Improvements to these charts and sample text in the Arabic alphabet provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Kurdish sample text (Latin alphabet)

Hemû mirov azad û di weqar û mafan de wekhev tên dinyayê. Ew xwedî hiş û şuûr in û divê li hember hev bi zihniyeteke bratiyê bilivin.

Hear a recording of this text


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Kurdish | Kurmani Kurdish phrases | Sorani Kurdish phrases | Tower of Babel in Kurdish | Kurdish learning materials


Information about Kurdish

Other Kurdish alphabets

Kurdish Academy of Language Online

Online Kurdish lessons

Kurdish phrases

Online Kurdish dictionaries

Kurdish fonts

Kurdish search engine and links directory

The Encyclopedia of Kurdistan

Iranian languages

Avestan, Baluchi, Bartangi, Dari, Gilaki, Ishkashimi, Juhuri, Khufi, Kurdish, Luri, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Oroshor, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Rushani, Sanglechi, Sarikoli, Shabaki, Shughni, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Zazaki

Other languages written with the Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic alphabets.