Kurmanji: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish (Kurdish: Kurmancî) (sometimes misspelled as Kirmanji, Kurmangi or Kermanji) is the most commonly spoken variety of the Kurdish macrolanguage.


Scripts and books

The Kurmanji language, which uses the Latin script, is the most common variety of the Kurdish macrolanguage and spoken by 80 % of all Kurds.

Kurmanji is the ceremonial language of national Kurdish religion “Yezidism”. The sacred book Mishefa Reş (“Black Book”) and all the prayers are written and said in Kurmanji.


Most important native communities in Kurdistan

Kurmanji is the only Kurdish dialect that is spoken in all four parts of Kurdistan.

  • Most Kurds in Northern Kurdistan (Eastern Turkey) speak Kurmanji.
  • It’s also the mother tongue of the all Kurds in Kurdistan of Syria.

Iran and Iraq also has a significant amount of Kurmanji speakers:

  • Kurmanji is also spoken in the Southern part of Kurdistan (Northern Iraq), in the cities of Mosul, Duhok, Zakho, Akre, Amedia, Sheikhan, Shangal, Zummar. In the southern part of Kurdistan, Kurmanji is mistakenly called by some as Bahdini, simply because Kurmanji speaking Kurds live in Bahdinan region, which consists of the above mentioned cities and towns.
  • In Iran, Kurmanji is spoken in the northern parts of the country, in the cities of Urmia, Maku, Xoy as well as exile by some two million Kurds living in Khorasan province of Iran.
    • In Iran, it’s sometimes called "Shikaki", due to major Kurmanji tribe Shikak which is the tribe of legendary Kurdish leader Ismail Aghaye Shikak, also known as legendary Simko among the Kurds.


The main theory about the etymology of Kurmanji is that the term Kurmanji, according to Prince Jaladet Bedirkhan, the great Kurdish intellectual who prepared the Latin Kurdish alphabet, comes from Kurd+man+cî which means, those Kurds who remained in their places (not moved like others). In earler publicatons of this century, the term Kurmanji was sometimes spelled with a "d" like "Kurdmanji" but the standard spelling of the term is Kurmanji in English and Kurmancî in Kurdish.

One other theory is that the term Kurmanji is believed by some scholars to mean Median Kurd.[1] Some scholars say the older form of this word is Khormenj (also possibly Hormenj, which means “place of Khormens” or “land of Khormens” in Kurdish). Kurds historically lived in the area Greek sources defined as Armenia; thus Greek Armen could be a rendering of local Khormen. Note that modern Armenians' name for themselves has historically been Haiq.

The Magi Theory

Other scholars dismiss the above theories as false. These scholars claim the term Kurmanji originates from the two distinct words, kur (“boy” or “child”) and magi. Magi refers to one of the ancient tribes of the Median Empire whose priests are referenced in the Bible and are commonly known as the Three Wise Men from Medya.[2] The direct translation applied to the term Kurên Magî is “Children of Magi”. Scholars say that Manji is simply a distorted form of the original term. These scholars also claim that the Magi tribe, or followers of the priests that were referred to as “Magi of the people”, may have been the original speakers of Proto-Kurdish.[3] Indeed pre-modern documents write the name Kurmanj as Kurmaj; For instance Masture Ardalan writes: ... the third group of Kurmaj are Baban... Also there is a desire in Kurdish to add a n before j. (ex. Iranian taj in Kurdish becomes tanj.and " n" in some words is optional eg. "mi" English" i" can be spoken "min"). But probably it has more than one meaning as it is seen above since all these meanings fully related to each other and as many important names and countless words in Kurmanci/Kurdish has more than one meaning.Thus the name/word Kurmanc and Kurmanci has e few meanings.


  1. ^ E.B. Soane, Grammar of the Kurmanji or Kurdish Language, Part I, p 5, London 1913
  2. ^ The Magi - A short history
  3. ^ Who Were the Magi?

See also

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




Proper noun




  1. North Kurdish: the major Kurdish dialect spoken in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and by Kurds living in Central Asia
  2. Kurdish language (especially Kurmanji (as in sense 1)) and Sorani


See also

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address