MELA's PERSIAN CATALOGING MANUAL

PERSIAN LANGUAGE

Persian is one of the major languages of the Middle and Near East regions. It is spoken primarily in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. In Iran Persian is known as Farsi, in Afghanistan as Dari, and in Tajikistan as Tajiki.

Modern Persian is a subject-object-verb language type. It shares with Arabic most of its alphabet plus four extra letters of alphabet that are not regularly used in Arabic:
[p] پ
(ch) چ
(zh) ژ
[g] گ

Like Arabic, Persian script is written from right to left, and Arabic-script diacritical marks (harakat) are used in Persian, but sparingly. Despite their shared alphabet, however, Persian and Arabic are very different languages, with differences in phonology and grammar.

The ALA/LC romanization table for Persian is considered by many to be overly influenced by Arabic and inadequate to properly express how Persian is pronounced. The tables are very similar, the main differences being the romanization of certain letters, the treatment of izafah, and the uses of the prime mark for affixes and compounds. Despite concerns and disagreement with the table, it is a national standard and must be followed for catalog record to be correctly identified as AACR2 cataloging.