Kurdish language

Kurdish language

Overview

Kurdish is a dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 of the Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

 group of Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

.

The Kurdish language itself has about 16 million speakers today. According to KONDA, 11,97% of total population of Turkey knows Kurdish as their native or second language. According to the CIA World Factbook, 9% of total population of Iran speaks Kurdish. The actual number of ethnic Kurds is higher than speakers of Kurdish varieties, estimated to be between 25-30 million.

It exists in a continuum of dialects spoken in a geographical area spanning border regions of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and a small number of speakers in the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
The South Caucasus is a geopolitical region located on the border of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia also referred to as Transcaucasia, or The Trans-Caucasus...

.

There does not exist any single Kurdish language per se.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Kurdish language'
Start a new discussion about 'Kurdish language'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia

Kurdish is a dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 of the Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

 group of Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

.

The Kurdish language itself has about 16 million speakers today. According to KONDA, 11,97% of total population of Turkey knows Kurdish as their native or second language. According to the CIA World Factbook, 9% of total population of Iran speaks Kurdish. The actual number of ethnic Kurds is higher than speakers of Kurdish varieties, estimated to be between 25-30 million.

It exists in a continuum of dialects spoken in a geographical area spanning border regions of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and a small number of speakers in the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
The South Caucasus is a geopolitical region located on the border of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia also referred to as Transcaucasia, or The Trans-Caucasus...

.

There does not exist any single Kurdish language per se. What exists is the concept, a discursive construct of such a language that at best refers to a group of speech varieties which are not mutually intelligible unless there has been considerable prior contact between their speakers.

The written literary output in Kurdic languages was confined mostly to poetry until the early 20th century, when a general written literature began to be developed. In its written form today "Kurdish" has two regional standards, namely Kurmanji
Kurmanji
Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish is the most commonly spoken dialect of the Kurdish language.- Scripts and books :...

 in the northern parts of the geographical region of Kurdistan, and Sorani
Soranî
Soranî is the name of a Kurdish language that is spoken in Iran and Iraq. Soranî is one of the main Kurdish languages, which are a branch of the Iranian languages.- Name :...

 further east and south. Another distinct language group called Zaza–Gorani is also spoken by several millions of ethnic Kurds today and is generally also described and referred to as Kurdish, or as Kurdic languages, because of the ethnic association of the communities speaking the languages and dialects. Hewrami, a variation of Gorani
Gorani language
Gorani is a Northwestern Iranian language, that includes Hewrami, and is spoken by Kurdish populations in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Some linguists classify it as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages...

, was an important literary language used by the Kurds but was steadily replaced by Sorani
Soranî
Soranî is the name of a Kurdish language that is spoken in Iran and Iraq. Soranî is one of the main Kurdish languages, which are a branch of the Iranian languages.- Name :...

 in the twentieth century.

Origin and roots


The Kurdish languages belong to the Iranian
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 branch of the Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 family. Systematic comparison of Kurdish with other Iranian languages shows that Kurdish is a northwestern Iranian language. The present state of knowledge about Kurdish allows, at least roughly, drawing the approximate borders of the areas where the main ethnic core of the speakers of the contemporary Kurdish dialects was formed. The most argued hypothesis on the localisation of the ethnic territory of the Kurds remains D.N. Mackenzie’s theory, proposed in the early 1960s (Mackenzie 1961). Developing the ideas of P. Tedesco (1921: 255) and regarding the common phonetic isoglosses shared by Kurdish, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, and Baluchi, D.N. Mackenzie concluded that the speakers of these three languages may once have been in closer contact. He has tried to reconstruct the alleged Persian-Kurdish-Baluchi linguistic unity presumably in the central parts of Iran. According to Mackenzie's theory, the Persians (or Proto-Persians) occupied the province of Fars in the southwest (proceeding from the assumption that the Achaemenids
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 spoke Persian), the Baluchis
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 (Proto-Baluchis) inhabited the central areas of Western Iran, and the Kurds (Proto-Kurds), in the wording of G. Windfuhr (1975: 459), lived either in northwestern Luristan
Lorestan Province
Lorestan Province is a historic territory and province of western Iran, amidst the Zagros Mountains. The population of Lorestan was estimated at 1,716,527 people in 2006.Lorestan covers an area of 28,392 km²...

 or in the province of Isfahan. Windfuhr identified Kurdish dialects as Parthian
Parthian language
The Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi and Pahlavanik, is a now-extinct ancient Northwestern Iranian language spoken in Parthia, a region of northeastern ancient Persia during the rule of the Parthian empire....

, albeit with a Median
Median language
The Median language was the language of the Medes. It is an Old Iranian language and classified as belonging to the northwestern Iranian subfamily which includes many other languages such as Azari, Zazaki, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Kurdish and Baluchi.-Attestation:Median is only attested by numerous...

 substratum.

History


Although Kurdish has a long history, little is known about Kurdish in pre-Islamic times. Among the earliest Kurdish religious texts is the Yazidi Black Book
Yazidi Black Book
The Yazidi Black Book or Meshaf Resh is one of the two holy books of the Yazidi religion, the other being the Book of Revelation ....

, the sacred book of Yazidi
Yazidi
The Yazidi are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to...

 faith. It is considered to have been authored by Hassan bin Adi (b. 1400 AD), the great-grandnephew of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, the founder of the faith, sometime in the 13th century AD. It contains the Yazidi account of the creation of the world, the origin of man, the story of Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

 and Eve
Eve
Eve is the first woman created by God in the Book of Genesis.Eve may also refer to:-People:*Eve , a common given name and surname*Eve , American recording artist and actress-Places:...

 and the major prohibitions of the faith. From the 15th to 17th centuries, classical Kurdish poets and writers developed a literary language. The most notable classical Kurdish poets from this period were Ali Hariri, Ahmad Khani, Malaye Jaziri
Malaye Jaziri
Malaye Jaziri , was a Kurdish writer, poet and mystic.He was born in Jazira , the capital of Bohtan principality. Here the first school of classical Kurdish poetry in the Kurmanji dialect was established. Malaye Jaziri was the leading representative of this school and, one can add, a fine...

 and Faqi Tayran
Faqi Tayran
Faqi Tayran is considered as one of the great classic Kurdish poets and writers. His real name was "Mir Mihemed". He was born in a village called "Miks" in the Hakkari region of the Ottoman Empire...

.

The Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 priest Maurizio Garzoni published the first Kurdish grammar titled Grammatica e Vocabolario della Lingua Kurda in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 1787 after eighteen years of missionary work among the Kurds of Amadiya.
This work is very important in Kurdish history as it is the first acknowledgment of the originality of the Kurdish language on a scientific base. Garzoni was given the title Father of Kurdology by later scholars. The Kurdish language was banned in a large portion of Kurdistan for some time. After the 1980 Turkish coup d'état until 1991 the use of the Kurdish language was illegal in Turkey.

Current status


Today, Kurdish is an official language in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. In Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, on the other hand, publishing material in Kurdish is forbidden. Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and the use of Kurdish names containing the letters X, W, and Q, which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet
Turkish alphabet
The Turkish alphabet is a Latin alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requirements of the language. This alphabet represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy...

, is not allowed. Kurdish education in private institutions is allowed in Turkey, but not in public basic education.

In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, though it is used in some local media and newspapers, it is not used in public schools. In 2005, 80 Iranian Kurds took part in an experiment and gained scholarships to study in Kurdish in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

.

In March 2006, Turkey allowed private television channels to begin airing programming in the Kurdish language. However, the Turkish government said that they must avoid showing children's cartoon
Cartoon
A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works...

s, or educational programs that teach the Kurdish language, and could broadcast only for 45 minutes a day or four hours a week. However, most of these restrictions on private Kurdish television channels were relaxed in September 2009. In 2010 Kurdish municipalities in southeast decided to begin printing water bills, marriage certificate
Marriage certificate
In some jurisdictions a marriage certificate is the official record that two people have undertaken a marriage ceremony. This does include jurisdictions where marriage licenses do not exist...

s and construction and road signs, as well as emergency, social and cultural notices in Kurdish alongside Turkish. Friday sermons by Imams began to be delivered in Kurdish, and Esnaf
Esnaf
Esnaf is a Turkish word which means “guild” or “corporation”. During the Early Modern Period belonging to a guild gave people a voice and was an important part of ones identity. Handicraft producers were linked to one another by a range of social, political, and economic ties. Guilds varied among...

 provided Kurdish price tags.

The state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) started its 24-hour Kurdish television station
TRT 6
TRT 6, part of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, is Turkey's first national Kurdish language television station.It broadcasts in the Kurmanji and Sorani dialects of the Kurdish language and in the Zaza language, offering programs aimed at all ages and promoting the perspective of the...

 on 1 January 2009 with the motto “we live under the same sky.” The Turkish Prime Minister sent a video message in Kurdish to the opening ceremony, which was attended by Minister of Culture and other state officials. The channel uses the X, W, Q letters during broadcasting.

Other Kurdish satellite televisions are available in the Middle East and Europe.

Kurdish blogs have emerged in recent years as virtual fora where Kurdish-speaking Internet users can express themselves in their native Kurdish or in other languages.

Kurmanji Kurdish versus Sorani Kurdish and Kemanshahi Kurdish


Kurdish has three standardized versions, which have been labelled 'Northern', 'Central' and 'Southern'. The northern version, commonly called Kurmanji
Kurmanji
Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish is the most commonly spoken dialect of the Kurdish language.- Scripts and books :...

, is spoken in Turkey, Syria, and the northern part of the Kurdish-speaking areas of Iraq and Iran, and it accounts for a little over three-quarters of all Kurdish speakers. The central version, commonly called Sorani
Soranî
Soranî is the name of a Kurdish language that is spoken in Iran and Iraq. Soranî is one of the main Kurdish languages, which are a branch of the Iranian languages.- Name :...

, is spoken in west Iran and much of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The southern version, commonly called Kermanshahi, is spoken in Kermanshah province
Kermanshah Province
Kermanshah Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran.-Counties:...

 of Iran. In historical evolution terms, Kurmanji is less modified than Sorani and Kermanshahi in both phonetic and morphological structure. The Sorani group has been influenced by among other things its closer cultural proximity to the other languages spoken by Kurds in the region including the Gorani language
Gorani language
Gorani is a Northwestern Iranian language, that includes Hewrami, and is spoken by Kurdish populations in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Some linguists classify it as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages...

 in parts of Iranian Kurdistan
Iranian Kurdistan
Iranian Kurdistan is an unofficial name for the parts of Iran inhabited by Kurds and has borders with Iraq and Turkey. It includes Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province, Ilam Province and parts of West Azerbaijan province....

 and Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

. The Kermanshahi group has been influenced by among other things its closer cultural proximity to Persian.

Philip G. Kreyenbroek, an expert writing in 1992, says:
According to Encyclopaedia of Islam
Encyclopaedia of Islam
The Encyclopaedia of Islam is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. It embraces articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and...

, although Kurdish is not a unified language, its many dialects are interrelated and at the same time distinguishable from other western Iranian languages. The same source classifies different Kurdish dialects as two main groups, northern and central. The reality is that the average Kurmanji speaker does not find it easy to communicate with the inhabitants of Suleymania or Halabja
Halabja
Halabja , is a Kurdish town in Northern Iraq, located about north-east of Baghdad and 8–10 miles from the Iranian border....

.

Sorani
Soranî
Soranî is the name of a Kurdish language that is spoken in Iran and Iraq. Soranî is one of the main Kurdish languages, which are a branch of the Iranian languages.- Name :...

 differs on six grammatical points from Kurmanji
Kurmanji
Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish is the most commonly spoken dialect of the Kurdish language.- Scripts and books :...

. This appears to be a result of Gorani
Gorani language
Gorani is a Northwestern Iranian language, that includes Hewrami, and is spoken by Kurdish populations in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Some linguists classify it as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages...

 (Haurami) influence.
  • The passive conjugation: the Sorani passive morpheme -r-/-ra- corresponds to -y-/-ya- in Gorani
    Gorani language
    Gorani is a Northwestern Iranian language, that includes Hewrami, and is spoken by Kurdish populations in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Some linguists classify it as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages...

     and Zazaki
    Zazaki language
    Zazaki is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in eastern Turkey. According to Ethnologue, the language is a part of the northwestern group of the Iranian section of the Indo-European family. Zazaki shares many features, structures, and vocabulary with Gorani, Talyshi and other Caspian...

    , while Kurmanji employs the auxiliary verb
    Auxiliary verb
    In linguistics, an auxiliary verb is a verb that gives further semantic or syntactic information about a main or full verb. In English, the extra meaning provided by an auxiliary verb alters the basic meaning of the main verb to make it have one or more of the following functions: passive voice,...

    , come;
  • a definite suffix -eke, also occurring in Zazaki
    Zazaki language
    Zazaki is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in eastern Turkey. According to Ethnologue, the language is a part of the northwestern group of the Iranian section of the Indo-European family. Zazaki shares many features, structures, and vocabulary with Gorani, Talyshi and other Caspian...

    ;
  • an intensifying postverb -ewe, corresponding to Kurmanji preverbal ve-;
  • an 'open compound' construction with a suffix -e, for definite noun phrases with an epithet
    Epithet
    An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

    ;
  • the preservation of enclitic personal pronouns, which have disappeared in Kurmanji and in Zazaki;
  • a simplified izāfa system.


Some linguistic scholars assert that the term "Kurdish" has been applied extrinsically in describing the language the Kurds speak, while Kurds have used the word "Kurdish" to simply describe their ethnic or national identity and refer to their language as Kurmanji, Sorani, Hewrami, Kermanshahi, Kalhery or whatever other dialect or language they speak. Some historians have noted that it is only recently that the Kurds who speak the Sorani dialect have begun referring to their language as Kurdî, in addition to their identity, which is translated to simply mean Kurdish.

Gorani Kurds, Zazaki, and Shabaki


Gorani
Gorani language
Gorani is a Northwestern Iranian language, that includes Hewrami, and is spoken by Kurdish populations in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Some linguists classify it as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages...

 is a language that appears to be distinct from Kurmanji and Sorani, but that shares vocabulary with both of the latter mentioned and some grammatical similarities with Sorani. Despite the differences, the Gorani language has been classified as part of the Kurdish language. This is probably due to the fact that Gorani-speakers, who are spread out across the southern and southeastern parts of Kurdistan, identify themselves as Kurds and the Gorani language is not spoken by other ethnic groups. European scholars have maintained that Gorani is separate from Kurdish and that Kurdish is synonymous with the Kurmanji-language group, while ethnic Kurds maintain that Kurdish encompasses any of the unique languages or dialects spoken by Kurds and that are not spoken by neighboring ethnic groups.

The Gorani language (which includes Horami) is often classified as part of the Zaza–Gorani branch of Indo-Iranian languages. The Zazaki
Zazaki
Zazaki is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in eastern Turkey. According to Ethnologue, the language is a part of the northwestern group of the Iranian section of the Indo-European family. Zazaki shares many features, structures, and vocabulary with Gorani, Talyshi and other Caspian...

 language, spoken in the northernmost parts of Kurdistan differs both grammatically and in vocabulary and is generally not understandable by Gorani speakers but it is considered related to Gorani. Almost all Zaza-speaking communities, as well as speakers of another closely related language spoken in parts of Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

 called Shabaki, identify themselves as ethnic Kurds.

Consonants

Bilabial
Bilabial consonant
In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. The bilabial consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

Labio-
dental
Labiodental consonant
In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth.-Labiodental consonant in IPA:The labiodental consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:...

Apical
Apical consonant
An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue . This contrasts with laminal consonants, which are produced by creating an obstruction with the blade of the tongue .This is not a very common distinction, and typically applied only to fricatives...

Post-
alveolar
Postalveolar consonant
Postalveolar consonants are consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the alveolar ridge, further back in the mouth than the alveolar consonants, which are at the ridge itself, but not as far back as the hard palate...

Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Uvular
Uvular consonant
Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

Pharyn-
geal
Pharyngeal consonant
A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx.-Pharyngeal consonants in the IPA:Pharyngeal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet :...

Glottal
Glottal consonant
Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m n ŋ
Plosive p   b t   d k   ɡ q ʔ
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

t͡ʃ   d͡ʒ
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

f   v s   z ʃ   ʒ ç x   ɣ ħ   ʕ h
Lateral
Lateral consonant
A lateral is an el-like consonant, in which airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth....

l   ɫ
Flap
Flap consonant
In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator is thrown against another.-Contrast with stops and trills:...

ɾ
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

r
Approximant
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

ʋ j

Just as in many English dialects, the velarized lateral does not appear in the onset of a syllable. Additionally, in some dialects, the velarized lateral ɫ changes to a ɾ in women's speech. k and ɡ are strongly palatalized before the close
Close front unrounded vowel
The close front unrounded vowel, or high front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ....

 and mid
Mid front unrounded vowel
Mid front unrounded vowel might refer to:*The exact mid front unrounded vowel , between and *The close-mid front unrounded vowel *The open-mid front unrounded vowel...

 front vowels (i and e̞) as well as the rounded high front
Close front rounded vowel
The close front rounded vowel, or high front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is y...

 allophone
Allophone
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...

 ɥ of the phoneme
Phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

 w, closing on t͡ʃ and d͡ʒ.

Vowels

Front
Front vowel
A front vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far in front as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Front vowels are sometimes also...

Central
Central vowel
A central vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a central vowel is that the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel...

Back
Back vowel
A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark...


unrounded
Back
Back vowel
A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark...


rounded
Close
Close vowel
A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.This term is prescribed by the...

i u
Near-close
Near-close vowel
A near-close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-close vowel is that the tongue is positioned similarly to a close vowel, but slightly less constricted. Near-close vowels are sometimes described as lax variants of the fully close vowels...

ɯ ʊ
Mid
Mid vowel
A mid vowel is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned mid-way between an open vowel and a close vowel...

Open-mid
Open-mid vowel
An open-mid vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of an open-mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned two-thirds of the way from an open vowel to a mid vowel...

ɛ
Open
Open vowel
An open vowel is defined as a vowel sound in which the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth. Open vowels are sometimes also called low vowels in reference to the low position of the tongue...

ä


As in most modern Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

, Kurdish vowels contrast in quality; they often carry a secondary length distinction that does not affect syllabic weight. This distinction appears in the writing systems developed for Kurdish. The three "short" vowels are ɛ, ɯ, and ʊ and the five long vowels are ä, e̞, i, o̞, and u.

Historical phonology

OP MP
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

Persian Kurdish Parthian
Parthian language
The Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi and Pahlavanik, is a now-extinct ancient Northwestern Iranian language spoken in Parthia, a region of northeastern ancient Persia during the rule of the Parthian empire....

Avestan
Avestan language
Avestan is an East Iranian language known only from its use as the language of Zoroastrian scripture, i.e. the Avesta, from which it derives its name...

Proto-Iranian
Proto-Iranian
Proto-Iranian, is the reconstructed proto-language of the Iranian languages branch of Indo-European language family, and as such, the ancestor of the Iranian languages such as Persian, Sogdian, Zazaki, Mazandarani, Kurdish and others...

θ h h s s s
d d d z z z
ç s s s? hr θr ('s'?) *θr
s/z s/z s/z sp?/zw? sp/zw sp/zw *św/ *źw
pasā pas pas pāš paš pas-ča *pas-ča
j z z ž ž j *j, *Vč
ç z z ž ž ç * ç
duv- d- d- d- b- duu- *dw-
(h)uv- xw- x(w)- x(w)- wx- xv-, huu- *hw-
rd l, r l unclear (maybe: l, ł, r) rδ & rz rd & rz *rd & *rź
y- j- j- j- y- y- *y-
fr- fr- (hr-) for- etc. fr- fr- fr- *fr-
θw h h h? or w/v? f θw *θw
b, d, g w, y, (') w, y, (/nil) w, y, (nil) β, δ, γ b, d, g *b, *d, *g
p, t, k b, d, g, b, d, g w, h, y, (/nil) β, δ, γ p, t, k *p, *t, *k
nd nd/nn nd n nd nd *nd
šn šn šn žn zn sn *śn
Všm, Vhm
-šm, -xm -v (-w)
*šm?
Vm
x- x- x- k- x- x- *x-
šiyav- šaw- šaw- č- šaw- šiiu- *čyau-
w- w- b- b- w- w- *w-
ft ft ft (w)t, (ft?) ft ft *ft
xt xt xt t xt xt *xt
-š-
*-š-

Indo-European linguistic comparison



Because Kurdish is an Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 language, there are many words that are cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

s in Kurdish and other Indo-European languages such as Avestan, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Norwegian
Nynorsk
Nynorsk or New Norwegian is one of two official written standards for the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. The standard language was created by Ivar Aasen during the mid-19th century, to provide a Norwegian alternative to the Danish language which was commonly written in Norway at the...

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

. (Source: Altiranisches Wörterbuch (1904) for the first two and last six.)
Kurdish Avestan  Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 
Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 
Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 
English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 
German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 
Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 
Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 
Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 
PIE
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

ez "I" äzəm [ezìm] adam [Old Persian] aham egō I (< OE
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 )
ich jag ego ja (related to OCS
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 azŭ)
lep "hand" (OE lōf "fillet, band") (OHG
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 lappo "palm (of the hand)")
lṓpa "paw, claw" lápa "paw"
žin "woman" ghenãnãmca [ghenâ] "woman" zan janay- gynē queen (OHG
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 quena)
kvinna femina (OPruss.
Old Prussian language
Prussian is an extinct Baltic language, once spoken by the inhabitants of the original territory of Prussia in an area of what later became East Prussia and eastern parts of...

 genna)
žená "wife"
leystin(bileyzim) "to play(I play)" ley ley kardan(to jump with one foot ) réjati paizo play leich leka láigyti "to jump, to spring, to play"
mezin,gewre "great" maz-, mazant masan (middle persian), gošn "numerous" mah(ī)-/mahānt- megas much (< OE
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 mićil, myćil)
(OHG
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 mihhil)
mycket "much" magnus "big, great"
mêzer "headband/turban" Miθra "binding", "god name" *Miça "god name"(Old Persian) mitrah mitra "headband, turban", mir "world, peace" "to tie"
pez "sheep" pasu- "sheep, goat" paśu "animal" fee (< OE
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 feoh "cattle")
Vieh "cattle" "cattle" pecus "cattle" pekus "ox" "sheep"
çiya,kash "mountain" kūh, chakād "peak/summit" kakúd-, kakúbh- "peak/summit" kinn "steep mountain side" cacūmen "top"
žîyar "alive" žiyan "to live" gaêm [gaya] zend[e] "alive", zî[stan] "to live", zaideh "child" jīvati zoi "life", "live" quick quick "bright" kvick "quick" vīvus "alive", vīvō "live", vīta "life" gývas žyzn' "life", žyvój "living, alive"
[di][a]zan[im] "I know" zan[în] "to know" zan- [mi]dān[am] "I know", dān[estan] "to know" jān[āti] [gi]gnō[skō] know kennen kunna "to be able to", "to know" nō[scō], [co]gn[itus] žin[au]"I know" žin[oti] "to know" znat' "to know"

Vocabulary


The bulk of the vocabulary in Kurdish is of Iranian
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 origin, especially of northwestern Iranian
Northwestern Iranian
The Northwestern Iranian languages are a branch of the Western Iranian language group, spoken by about 40-50 million people in southwest Asia; They are classified into about 9 groups; each group in this list contains subgroups, dialects or individual languages, eventually forming 53-54 branches.A...

. There are also Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 loanwords in Kurdish , entered mainly through poetry. A considerable number of loanwords come from Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

, mainly Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, which entered through Islam and historical relations with Arab tribes. Yet, a smaller group of loanwords which are of Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Caucasian, and Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 origins are used in Kurdish, besides some European words. There are also Kurdish words with no clear etymology.

Writing system



The Kurdish language uses three different writing systems. In Iran and Iraq it is written using a modified version of the Arabic alphabet (and more recently, sometimes with the Latin alphabet in Iraqi Kurdistan). In Turkey, Syria and Armenia, it is written using the Latin alphabet. As an example, see the following online news portal published in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

. http://www.peyamner.com Also see the VOA News site in Kurdish. http://www.voanews.com/kurdi/ Kurdish in the former USSR is written with a modified Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

. There is also a proposal for a unified international recognized Kurdish alphabet based on ISO-8859-1 called Yekgirtú.

Kurdish-only dictionaries

  • Wîkîferheng (Kurdish Wiktionary
    Wiktionary
    Wiktionary is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in 158 languages...

    )
  • Husein Muhammed: Soranî Kurdish – Kurmancî Kurdish dictionary (2005)
  • Khal, Sheikh Muhammad, Ferhengî Xal (Khal Dictionary), Kamarani Press, Sulaymaniya, 3 Volumes (1960, 1964, 1976)

Kurdish-English dictionaries

  • Rashid Karadaghi, The Azadi English–Kurdish Dictionary
  • Chyet, Michael L., Kurdish Dictionary: Kurmanji–English, Yale Language Series, U.S., 2003 (896 pages) (see )
  • Abdullah, S. and Alam, K., English–Kurdish (Sorani) and Kurdish (Sorani)–English Dictionary, Star Publications / Languages of the World Publications, India, 2004
  • Awde, Nicholas, Kurdish–English/English–Kurdish Dictionary and Phrasebook, Hippocrene Books Inc., U.S., 2004
  • Raman : English–Kurdish (Sorani) Dictionary, Pen Press Publishers Ltd, UK, 2003, (800 pages)
  • Saadallah, Salah, English–Kurdish Dictionary, Avesta/Paris Kurdish Institute, Istanbul, 2000, (1477 pages)
  • Amindarov, Aziz, Kurdish–English/English–Kurdish Dictionary, Hippocrene Books Inc., U.S., 1994
  • Rizgar, Baran (M. F. Onen), Kurdish–English/English–Kurdish (Kurmancî Dictionary) UK, 1993, 400 p. + 70 illustrations

See also


  • Kurdish people
    Kurdish people
    The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

  • Iranian Languages vocabulary comparison table
  • Western Iranian languages
    Western Iranian languages
    The Western Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages, attested from the time of Old Persian .The two sub-branches are:*Northwestern Iranian languages*Southwestern Iranian languages...

  • University of Kurdistan
    University of Kurdistan
    University of Kurdistan may refer to:* University of Kurdistan , Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan Province* University of Kurdistan - Hawler, Hawler , Kurdistan Region - Iraq...

  • List of countries by Kurdish-speaking population
  • Kurdish grammar
    Kurdish grammar
    -Nouns:A Kurdish noun in the absolute state,i.e. without any ending of any kind, gives a generic sense of the noun. It isalso the “lexical” form of the noun, i.e. the form in which a noun is given ina vocabulary list or dictionary...

  • Kurdish literature
    Kurdish literature
    Kurdish literature refers to literature written in Kurdish language. Literary Kurdish works have been written in one of the three main dialects of Gorani, Kurmanji and Sorani. Ali Hariri is one of the first well-known poets who wrote in Kurdish...

  • Kurdish Institute of Paris
    Kurdish Institute of Paris
    Kurdish Institute of Paris , founded in February 1983, is an organization focused on Kurdish language and culture. It is one of the main Kurdish academic centers in Europe...

  • Kurdish Institute of Istanbul
    Kurdish Institute of Istanbul
    Kurdish Institute of Istanbul , founded in 1992, is an organization focusing on Kurdish literature, language and culture. Kurdish and Turkish intellectuals such as Musa Anter, Yaşar Kaya, Feqî Huseyîn Sagniç, İsmail Beşikçi, Abdurrahman Dürre, İbrahim Gürbüz, Cemşîd Bender ve Süleyman İnanoğlu were...

  • Kurdish culture
    Kurdish culture
    Kurdish culture is a group of distinctive cultural traits practiced by Kurdish people...

  • Sorani
    Soranî
    Soranî is the name of a Kurdish language that is spoken in Iran and Iraq. Soranî is one of the main Kurdish languages, which are a branch of the Iranian languages.- Name :...

  • Kurmanji
    Kurmanji
    Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish is the most commonly spoken dialect of the Kurdish language.- Scripts and books :...

    /Bahdīnī
  • Kalhori/Kermanshahi
  • Laki language
    Laki language
    Laki is a Northwestern Iranian language. Although it is usually grouped with Southern Kurdish dialects, Ethnologue classifies it as a fourth subgroup of Kurdish....


External links