There has been a lot of discussions on SCI about changing the Persian alphabet.  Some want some changes to the existing Persian writing, just like there are people who like to change the existing English writing, not to allow words like "night" and "knight", etc., since "gh" in both words is not needed and "k" in the latter word is not pronounced.  Some others argue that Persian writing should become latinized like Turkey.


I believe that changing Persian writing, which has happened once to Iran at the time of Arab invasion, is not a good idea, as it was not a good thing then either, because it creates a big discontinuity in the culture.  We can read Saadi but cannot read "avesta".  But I can understand why then and now there was such an interest in the change.  It was because Arabic at that time, and English now, are more than a language of a particular country.


I believe English is now the international language. Not Esperanto or anything else.  I believe writing and reading in English, especially in the fields of research, science, technology, and business is extremely needed.


If Avicenna needed to write and read in Arabic to work at the state of the arts in his time, I believe writing and reading in English, is even more important in our time, with the growth of global economy, and globalization of science and technology.


I think Persian, as is, should be kept, but at the same time, English should be taught intensively.  Even now, most of the fields like Artificial Intelligence in Iran, at the PhD level, use English text books.


Instead of wasting resources to translate such technical books to Persian, I think work should be done to make Iranian youth stronger in English literacy.


I think in some fields, translations are needed, but writing and reading in English is critical in science and technology, to be on par with the world's state of the art.


Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher


20 Oct 1999

UPDATED on DEC 8, 2003 (see below)






NOTE: The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on Oct 20, 1999.  In English, I originally used the word *Farsi* rather than *Persian*, when referring to the Persian language and writing in Iran .  Thanks to the input of Yek Irani on SCI, I changed my wording to *Persian*.  If I refer to the language, when I write in Persian, I call it *fArsi*, but when referring to it in English, the proper word to use, as Yek Irani noted to me, is *Persian*,  and not *fArsi*.  Also my thanks to MrMojoMan on the same forum for his input on this discussion.


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