College of Liberal Arts


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The Neo-Persian language, an Indo-European language which came into being in the 9th century CE, has three chief dialects: Farsi, spoken in Iran; Dari, spoken in Afghanistan, and Tajiki or Tajik, spoken in the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajiki, written in Cyrillic script and spoken by more than 6,000,000 people, is the vehicle and voice for a rich contemporary literary and cultural life, which it shares with Iran and Afghanistan. The Tajik people thus have special regard for such medieval Persian poets as Rudaki (d. 940/1), Ferdowsi (d. 1020), Rumi (d. 1273), and Hafiz (d.c. 1390). In the modern era, several works by first-generation modern Tajiki writer Sadriddin Aini (1878-1954) are available in English.

Academic, business, and government employment opportunities exist for college graduates proficient in Tajiki, with travel to and research in Tajikistan unproblematic for Americans.

Begun in 1998, UT's Tajiki program consists of three courses: Basic Tajiki, offered almost every year; Intermediate Tajiki Texts; and Advanced Tajiki and Dari Texts, offered occasionally on demand.