Language section number: 325 (How to register for Critical Languages classes)
Northern Kurdish, also called Kurmanji, is a group of Kurdish dialects predominantly spoken in southeast Turkey, northwest Iran, northern Iraq and northern Syria. It is the most widespread dialect group of the Kurdish languages. While Kurdish is generally categorized as one of the Northwestern Iranian languages along with Baluchi, it also shares many traits with Southwestern Iranian languages like Persian, apparently due to longstanding and intense historical contacts, and some authorities have gone so far as to classify Kurmanji as a Southwestern or "southern" Iranian language.
Northern Kurdish dialects, which uses the Latin script in Turkey, where most speakers live, is the most common dialect group of the Kurdish language, spoken by 80% of all Kurds. The earliest textual record of the Kurdish language dates to the 16th century.
Kurmanji is the ceremonial language of Yezidism. The sacred book Mishefa Reş (the "Yazidi Black Book") and all prayers are written and spoken in Kurmanji.
CLP's Kurdish Tutor/Examiner
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Northern Kurdish", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.