Kurdish Kurmanji

The two principal branches of modern literary Kurdish are Kurmanji (Kurmanci), which is spoken by 15 to 17 million Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as a few in Iraq and Iran, specifically in the area designated by Kurdish nationalists as "North Kurdistan"; and Sorani, the language of most Kurds in Iraq (four to six million people) and Iran (five to six million), specifically in the area designated as "South Kurdistan." Sorani is occasionally referred to as Central Kurdish.

The two languages are closely related, but Kurmanji and Sorani are not mutually intelligible because they differ at the basic structural level as well as in regard to vocabulary and idiom.


Sorani has been the second official language of Iraq since the creation of that country after World War I, and it's supported by many decades of literary activity. In contrast, Kurmanji is still far from being a unified, normalized or standardized language.


Due to geopolitical reasons (Matras and Reershemius, 1991), neither of the two dialects uses an Arabic-based alphabet. Kurmanji employs its own writing system and Sorani uses Latin-based one.

The line dividing Kurmanji from Sorani can be said to run diagonally from northeast to southwest. The extreme northwest of Iran and the northernmost tip of Iraq fall into the Kurmanji-speaking area.

Foremost Kurmanji is now used in Turkey and Europe, which is written in a modified Turkish Latin alphabet. Interestingly, with the exception of Syria, Kurmanji is not widely spoken in countries that use the Arabic alphabet. Moreover, because Syrian Kurds use the Latin script when they write Kurdish, the Arabic script is seldom used for modern Kurmanji.

If you’re going to translate a document aiming at Kurdish immigrants from Syria in Europe it's likely that you'll translate the document into Kurmanji. This is because the dialect is native to most Kurds from Syria. Although they may understand Sorani too, it is obvious that one would prefer to receive written materials in his or her native language. However, some Syrians may prefer Kurmanji in the Arabic alphabet rather than the Turkish alphabet. Some clients refer to this version of Kurdish (Kurmanji witten in the Arabic alphabet rather than the standard Latin) as Bahdini Kurdish, but it can't be an accurate denotation of the Bahdini dialect. Bahdini is a bit different from Kurmanju, even when the latter is expressed with the Arabic alphabet. Our expert linguists are keenly aware of the sensitivity and the minor differences in the translation of Kurdish language. Moreover, our team is highly familiar with rare dialects such as Zazaki (Zaza), Faili (Feyli), Gorani. Accordingly, we'll provide the most reliable translation in order to meet the needs of this group in their new societies after immigration. As always, you can trust Farsi Global to produce accurate documents and ensure reliable communication.