What Language Do Parsis Speak?

The Modi Atash Behram Parsi fire temple in Surat, Gujarat, India.  Editorial credit: AnilD / Shutterstock.com
The Modi Atash Behram Parsi fire temple in Surat, Gujarat, India. Editorial credit: AnilD / Shutterstock.com

Parsis are members of an Indian Zoroastrian society that moved to India from Persia during the second half of the first millennium. Historical evidence suggests that the community moved to India following the religious persecution at the hands of Muslims who had taken over their country. When the Parsis first moved to India from Persia, they primarily spoke Persian. In subsequent years, they learned the local language of the Indian people such as Gujarati and Marathi to communicate with their Indian neighbors. In the modern era, most Parsis speak English, Marathi or Gujarati.

Language Spoken by the Parsi People


In the past, Persian was one of the most important languages to the Parsis since it was the language of their homeland. Persian was extremely vital to the Parsis since it was the language in which most of their ceremonies were conducted. Therefore most of the Parsis who learned Persian did it mainly to understand the religious activities. Parsi priests were usually among some of the best-versed in Persian as a result of their religious roles. In the modern era, Persian still plays a vital role in the life of the Parsis since most of their prayers, as well as their first names, are in the language.


When the Parsis first moved to India, they settled in the land that Jadi Rana, one of the local rulers in the region, had provided them. Jadi Rana gave the Parsis several conditions for living in his territory and one of the requirements was that they had to learn the Gujarati language. The Parsis soon learned Gujarati to appease Jadi Rana and to enable them to communicate with the Indian communities around them. In the modern era, Gujarati is one of the most widely spoken languages among the Parsi community.


A large number of Parsis also speak Marathi, an Indian language common to the western part of the country. Due to the rapid increase in the population of Parsis during the years after their arrival, they were forced to expand into other areas. As a result of the expansion of the Parsi community, they came into contact with Marathi speakers who. In the modern era, Marathi is among the languages of the Parsi people.


Another language spoken by a significant number of Parsis is English which was probably first introduced to them during the colonial era. The Parsis attended schools set up by the British where, in addition to studying English, they acquired new skills. Most of the Parsis who learned English went on to work for the British and some became immensely wealthy. In the modern age, English is significant to the Parsi since it is an international language that enables them to communicate with a vast portion of the World's population.

The Significance of Language

Language is one of the essential components of human life primarily because it facilitates communication between individuals or groups. Language is also important as it allows individuals to express their thoughts and ideas, and to share them with others.


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