Difference Between Farsi and Arabic

Farsi vs Arabic

Arabic is a language that is spoken in the Arab world, and it includes the written language that is referred to as Modern Standard Arabic. People in the other parts of the world get confused between the Arabic and Farsi languages because of their similarities. In fact, there are many under the misconception that Arabic and Farsi are same languages. This article attempts to highlight the differences between these two great languages to enable students desirous of learning either of the two great languages.


Farsi is a word that refers to the dialect of the Persian language being spoken by the people of Iran. It is also called Western Persian as there are Eastern Persian (Dari) and Tajik Persian (Tajik). Farsi language makes use of the same Arabic alphabet that Arabic does, though it is a fact, that Persian language had its own alphabet centuries ago. Farsi or Parsi was the language of the people of the Persian Empire that ruled a large geographical area that included borders of India in the east, Russian borders in the north, and from Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean including Egypt. The language was the court language of the ancient Emperors in India until British came along and banned its use.

In fact, the actual name of Farsi is Persian, and Farsi is only its Arabic form. The Arabic alphabet does not have P, and this is why it is referred to as Farsi and not Parsi or Persian.


Arabic is a Semitic language that belongs to the Afro-Asian family of which the only surviving members are the Hebrew and Arabic at present. This language makes use of Arabic alphabet that is written in many different styles referred to as Arabic Calligraphy. Modern Arabic is a language being spoken in more than 25 countries of the world, mostly belonging to the Middle East and the Arab world. Arabic is written from right to left in a script called Abjad. Arabic is a language that has lent its words to many languages of the world, especially in the Islamic world and many Indian languages.

What is the difference between Farsi and Arabic?

• The word Farsi itself is Arabic form of Parsi that happens to be the language of Persia or modern Iran. This is because Arabic does not have P in its alphabet.

• Though Persian had its own script in ancient times, it was forced to adopt Arabic alphabet a few centuries ago, and the two languages today have the same alphabet giving rise to almost similar scripts.

• It is possible for a person who knows Arabic to read Farsi easily without even understanding what he is reading. However, there are words unique to Arabic just as there are words unique to Farsi.

• Farsi or Persian is spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan and by people in Pakistan, Iraq, and some other countries, as well. On the other hand, Arabic is spoken in more than 25 countries of the world.

• There are nearly 71 million speakers of Persian or Farsi, whereas there are nearly 245 million speakers of Arabic language.