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  #1  
Old 01-27-2005, 02:08 PM
World Eater World Eater is offline
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What is the difference between Arabs and Persians?

I know theres a difference, but I have no idea what it is. I wasn't able to dig up a satisfactory answer. A little help please?
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2005, 02:31 PM
duality72 duality72 is offline
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Simplistically, Persians are from Persia (Iran) and speak Farsi. Arabs are a bit harder to nail down, but are genereally from an "Arab" country and/or speak Arabic.

OK, not incredibly informative, but hopefully those links will get you started.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2005, 02:59 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Essentially, two different ethnic groups. The arabs, strictly speaking, hail from the Arabian penninsula. But that's not really acccurate nowadays, because it also sometimes applies to people they conquered in the Middle East. Except that some of those ethnic groups don't like Arabs at all and would be very insulted to hear anyone call them that.

Essentially, Turks, Palestinians (they don't a very god ethnic descriptor, but it will do), I think Jordanians, Kurds, Egyptians, and Persians all stand in the same Middle East. Afganistan, farther east, has several dozen tribal groups. And then you find the Pakistani (which, IIRC, mostly share ethnicity with Indians) and Indians themselves.

There's no way you or I am going to tell which characteristics and facial features belong to which group, not without a lot of experience. Human differences are subtle unless you've been taught or otherwise learned what to look for. The skin tones in the region go from caucasian to very nearly black; facial featres vary just as much.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2005, 04:11 PM
Crandolph Crandolph is offline
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[QUOTE=smiling bandit]
Essentially, Turks, Palestinians (they don't a very god ethnic descriptor, but it will do), I think Jordanians, Kurds, Egyptians, and Persians all stand in the same Middle East. Afganistan, farther east, has several dozen tribal groups. And then you find the Pakistani (which, IIRC, mostly share ethnicity with Indians) and Indians themselves.
QUOTE]



Palestinians and Jordanians are Arabs, as are the vast majority of Egyptians. All of the other ethnic groups in the paragraph are... other shoe about to drop... other ethnic groups.

Broadly, Arab is an ethnolinguistic group. They speak wildly varied dialects of Arabic. There's a core genetic base in the Arabian Penninsula, but as a practical matter people who speak Arabic and cleave to Arabic customs are Arabs, even if phenotypically they look sub-Saharan African. There are Christian and Jewish Arabs, but they're a minority. Some Arab countries have non-Arab minorities, such as Kurds or Berbers. They aren't Arabs, although they are Muslim.

Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. Majorities of all of the aforementioned are Muslim, and this appears to be the source of a lot of confusion for most people.

The Persian language, like many of the Middle Eastern ones, uses a modified Arabic alphabet. But this doesn't make them Arabs anymore than British people using the Roman alphabet makes them Italian.

It's like asking "What's the difference between the French and the Germans?" and then getting added confusion thrown in by listing a bunch of European Christians who are neither French nor German...
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2005, 08:28 PM
Can Handle the Truth Can Handle the Truth is offline
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Arabs are semites and persians are indo-europeans.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2005, 08:44 PM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is offline
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Persians speak an Indo-European language and largely inhabit in the nation of Iran (formerly Persia). If I'm not mistaken, the Kurds are a related group.

Arabs are descended from the native peoples of the Arabian pennisula, and/or speak Arabic as their first or primary language. Arabic is a Semitic language, related to Hebrew.

Turks speak an Altaic language and their ancestors immigrated to the Middle East from Central Asia.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2005, 12:24 AM
Bytegeist Bytegeist is offline
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Really, it's quite simple. Arabs are a human ethnic group. Persians are a breed of cat. Offhand the differences seem pretty obvious to me.

Or am I missing something here?
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2005, 01:02 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Aryan is another word used to distinguish Persian/Iranians from Arabs.

BTW, if I am correct, before Iran was called Persia, it was also called Iran. I don't know the time periods on the changes.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2005, 08:15 AM
Can Handle the Truth Can Handle the Truth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe
Aryan is another word used to distinguish Persian/Iranians from Arabs.

BTW, if I am correct, before Iran was called Persia, it was also called Iran. I don't know the time periods on the changes.
According to this website, the name Iran means "Land of the Aryans.

From an inscription by Darius the Great at Naqshe-e-Rostam, around 504 BC: "I am Darius, the great king... Persian, the son of a Persian; Aryan, from the Aryan race."
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2005, 04:30 PM
CC CC is offline
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stupid to stupider, I guess.

Now I'm some what clearer and more confused, too. As to Aryan - wasn't that the term Hitler used to describe the Nordic, or northern European light skinned, blue-eyed, blonde people he wanted to protect, at the expense of the Semites? How could that term also apply to people of darker skin, more....Arab or even Semitic looking? I came here to learn and now I'm more lost than I started.
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:30 PM
CC CC is offline
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stupid to stupider, I guess.

Now I'm some what clearer and more confused, too. As to Aryan - wasn't that the term Hitler used to describe the Nordic, or northern European light skinned, blue-eyed, blonde people he wanted to protect, at the expense of the Semites? How could that term also apply to people of darker skin, more....Arab or even Semitic looking? I came here to learn and now I'm more lost than I started.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2005, 04:31 PM
CC CC is offline
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stupid to stupider, I guess.

Now I'm some what clearer and more confused, too. As to Aryan - wasn't that the term Hitler used to describe the Nordic, or northern European light skinned, blue-eyed, blonde people he wanted to protect, at the expense of the Semites? How could that term also apply to people of darker skin, more....Arab or even Semitic looking? I came here to learn and now I'm more lost than I started.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2005, 04:53 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
Now I'm some what clearer and more confused, too. As to Aryan - wasn't that the term Hitler used to describe the Nordic, or northern European light skinned, blue-eyed, blonde people he wanted to protect, at the expense of the Semites? How could that term also apply to people of darker skin, more....Arab or even Semitic looking? I came here to learn and now I'm more lost than I started.
Nice triple post!

Hitler basically redefined Aryan to mean "White, Germanic/Scandinavian peoples" rather than its proper linguistic definition. It's an example of the kind of semantic-twisting propaganda that Orwell warned about (his Newspeak) in 1984.

Now, you use the word (outside of linguistic circles) and you sound like a fascist.

Stranger
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2005, 06:38 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
Now I'm some what clearer and more confused, too. As to Aryan - wasn't that the term Hitler used to describe the Nordic, or northern European light skinned, blue-eyed, blonde people he wanted to protect, at the expense of the Semites? How could that term also apply to people of darker skin, more....Arab or even Semitic looking? I came here to learn and now I'm more lost than I started.

Hitler was convinced that the nordic/german blond blue-eyed people were the real, the purest descendants of the Aryans. By this name, he was refering to the original "indo-europeans" a people that spread its language and culture over large tracks of land, in Europe, Asia and India.


Farsi, the language of the persians is an indo-european language, like English, Russian or Hindi. Arabic is a semitic language.



Persia had been for a very long time (think about the wars between the Greeks and the Persians) a powerful empire with a flourishing civilization, until its conquest by the arabs. Despite having, for the most part, adopted Islam as their religion, they always viewed themselves as Persians, kept cultural peculiarities, and their language. IME, they're rather proud of their heritage and longstanding history.


On the other hand, in many areas also conquered by the arabs, most of the people view themselves as arabs, have adopted an arabic dialect, etc...(which doesn't mean that they're actually of arab descent, though some will argue to the contrary). These are what we call "arab countries" like Irak, or Egyptia or Morroco, etc..


In most of these "arabs" countries, there are however minorities that held on their language and part of their cultural peculiarities, like the aforementionned Berbers or Kurds. They're generally much less well known that the Persians, because their role in history has been rather minor, and they never had a civilization as bright as the Persian one. It doesn't mean that they will like being mistaken for arabs, either.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2005, 07:14 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippienne
Persians speak an Indo-European language and largely inhabit in the nation of Iran (formerly Persia).
Languages related to Persian are also spoken in large pockets of Central Asia (Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and other widely dispersed places) and the Caucasus. Others can probably go into more detail than I can about how various chunks of Persians ended up where they did (yoohoo, Tamerlane, where aaaare you?) but present-day Iran wasn't their origin.

Persian language family tree: http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=999
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