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About Kurdistan


The Kurdistan Region's official languages for government purposes are Kurdish and Arabic. Kurdish is in the Indo-European family of languages. The two most widely spoken dialect of Kurdish are Sorani and Kurmanji. Other dialects spoken by smaller numbers are Hawrami (also known as Gorani) and Zaza. 

The Sorani dialect uses Arabic script while the Kurmanji dialect is written in Latin script. Sorani is spoken in Erbil and Slemani governorates, while Kurmanji is spoken in Duhok governorate and some parts of Erbil governorate. As the Region’s Kurdish-language media has developed and the population has moved, today nearly all people in the Kurdistan Region can speak or understand both of the major dialects. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s policy is to promote the two main dialects in the education system and the media.

Arabic is also an official language and is widely spoken or understood. Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic and Turkmanish are also spoken by their respective communities.

The Kurdistan Regional Government promotes linguistic diversity and rights, and schools have been established that teach mainly in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Turkmen and Arabic.