Iranian Nationalistic Movement Essay

1680 words - 7 pages

I'd like to discuss a false Iranian nationalistic movement that initiated in the early 1920's which in it’s extremities has lead to an anti-Arabic or anti-Islamic movement to the extent that it’s more fanatical proponents have postulated that the Persian script (a modified Arabic script) should be changed into a Latin one (Yarshater viii). Of course, none of this is of interest until recent times with the advent of microcomputers and, more importantly (for this topic), the wide scale use of the Internet. Before the standardization of Unicode - due to the limitation of available technologies much of what was written in Persian on the net was transcribed with the Latin script. The majority of what filled the net was by novice or regular users of the language - so that the transcriptions were often times inaccurate linguistically speaking - but close phonetically for a native speaker to understand.
In the decades the personal computer and the Internet were making their debut, large waves of Iranians migrated to the West - in retaliation to the Islamic Revolution or to escape from onset of war with Iraq. The emotional confusion and the trials and tribulations that many faced - and an overall confusion of modern Iranian history (which I believe arise from the fact that many Iranians are actors in our current modern history and the points of views from being a participant sometimes cloud unbiased truths) helped fuel this anti-Arabic or anti-Islamic tendency amongst the Diaspora. As pointed out above, it must be clear that three components are at play here. The first is the nationalistic camp, the second is the common Westernized Iranian and finally, the necessity or ease of transcription due to the limitations of the technological medium. The latter two, the Westernized Iranian coupled with the technological constraint, have fueled an unconscious tendency to propagate the agenda's of diehard nationalists who seek to 'reform' the Persian script . I will briefly cover the history of the Persian language in hopes to debunk an existing notion that: a pure ‘Modern Persian’ language existed - and therefore the current language needs to be purified from it’s Arabic contaminations. Secondly, with this insight, we will examine transcription software such as the popular service provided by Behnevis.com - an advance Latin to Persian transcription site. Finally, I will conclude with the potential side effects (i.e. impacts of unintentional mutation of script and language) surrounding the use of such transcription software.
Since the late eighteenth century, linguists began to notice shared characteristics between European and Asian languages. Influenced by Darwinian evolutionary theories they began to see languages as being “genetically related,” that is the similarities are inherited from one common mother language, and shared by ancestral siblings. Linguists formed a theory that similar language groups have evolved from older common...

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