Persian vs Farsi (half-OT) (was RFC 4645bis: making 'pes' and 'prs' extlangs)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Sun Dec 7 23:58:34 CET 2008

Hi.  I guess both varieties can be called either 'Persian' or 'Farsi' without the name 'Western' or 'Eastern' preceding that, but I think maybe it is the name of the 'Western' variety that is more controversial (I somehow maybe mistakenly thought that the 'Eastern' variety was called 'Dari' or 'Eastern Persian' or 'Eastern Farsi,' but not 'Farsi' by itself, while the 'Western' variety could be called 'Farsi' by itself; correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks.> > Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2008 12:20:05 -0700> From: "Doug Ewell" <doug at>> > CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:> > > I've begun to rethink my original comments; it seems to me that what > > really has two names is the Persian language as spoken in Iran > > (Persian/Farsi are thus both English names for Western > > Persian?)--while maybe the larger (macrolanguage) can be referred to > > as 'Persian' exclusively--although there does seem to be some debate > > on this matter as well.> > What we are talking about is the names of the two specific languages > that ISO 639-3 currently calls "Eastern Farsi" and "Western Farsi." > These languages are not in the Registry yet. Draft-4645bis proposes to > add them, along with the other ISO 639-3 languages.
Yes, I understand that this is what we are talking about; but the 'Western' variety is also called just 'Farsi' or 'Persian' by itself (maybe the Eastern variety is called those names too, without the word 'Eastern' before either??).   I think it's the name of the Western variety that is controversial (that's the controversy I am familiar with); correct me  if I am wrong.
Thanks.> > We are not talking about 'fa', which all relevant parts of ISO 639 > currently call "Persian."> 
Yes, I noted that. > > I also agree with Michael Everson that we had probably best not tell > > Iranians what we will call the name of their language.> > We take names from ISO and UN standards, and reserve the right to add > other names, though we have not yet done the latter. It should be > clear, from the hot debates we have had in cases like the Belarusian > variants, that we do not blithely and unilaterally go in and add our own > choice of offensive names with reckless disregard for people's > sensibilities. 
> There is a public review process. That's the main > reason why this list exists.> > --> Doug Ewell * Thornton, Colorado, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14>
Best wishes,
C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at
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