Jewish Achomi
Native toIsrael, Iran
Native speakers
200 (2023)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Judeo-Shirazi is a variety of Fars. Some Judeo-Shirazi speakers refer to the language as Jidi, though Jidi is normally a designation used by speakers of Judeo-Esfahani. It is spoken mostly by Persian Jews living in Shiraz and surrounding areas of the Fars Province in Iran.


Judeo-Shirazi is descended from Medieval Shirazi.[2] In 1900, there were an estimated 10,000 speakers of Judeo-Shirazi, but in 2023 that estimate has dwindled to less than 200. Like speakers of other Jewish-Iranian languages, many Judeo-Shirazi speakers immigrated to Israel or North America in the late 20th century. Today, around 4,000 individuals of Shirazi descent are living in Brooklyn, New York.[1]

Unlike other Judeo-Iranian languages, Judeo-Shirazi has history of literature.[3]


Oral history of Judeo-Shirazi.

Unlike the other Judeo-Iranian languages, which are part of the Median languages, Judeo-Shirazi is a Southwest Iranian language, like Persian. Highlighting this are the lexical isoglosses Judeo-Shirazi exhibits, such as go- “say” and geyra “weeping”. Despite this affiliation, Judeo-Shirazi is distinct from Persian in its grammar.[2]

The following list of words indicates a few isoglosses distinguishing Judeo-Shirazi from the dialect of Judeo-Esfahani.[4]

English Esfahani Judeo-Shirazi
Big bele gonde
Dog kuδe keleb
Cat meli gorbe
Shirt perhan piran
Throw xuθ ba-


Judeo-Shirazi displays several features of Southwest Iranian languages, as well as several features of Old Shirazi which has now been replaces by Persian.[5] Judeo-Shirazi has little mutual intelligiblity with Persian.[6]


Judeo-Shirazi displays split ergativity in the past tenses of transitive verbs. This feature is a common link between Fars varieties. Additionally, Judeo-Shirazi marks person in the past transitive using a proclitic, which otherwise functions as an oblique pronominal suffix. Other grammatical features of note:[4]


Judeo-Shirazi articulates sibilants (s, z) as intra-dental (θ, ð). Given that Persian, and other Southwest Iranian languages, distinguished these phonemes, it is suggested that Judeo-Shirazi came from the old dialect of Shiraz. The systematic replacement of /s z/ by /θ ð/ in Judeo-Shirazi may be a result of two processes: the post-vocalic fricativatization found in other Fars dialects, like Davāni, and the original phoneme /θ/ stemming from proto-Shirazi.[7]

Though it has been to some extent influenced by Persian, over the years, Judeo-Shirazi has remained relatively stable. The language resembled the 14th century national poet Hafiz more than Standard New Persian does, suggesting that Judeo-Shirazi preserved many characteristics of Old Persian. Other phonological features contribute to evidence of its descendance from proto-Shirazi and other old Fars dialects:

Additional features similar to Fars dialects include the fronting of back vowels and final -a and -e.[4]


Judeo-Shirazi is now Moribund with only 200 speakers as of 2023.[3] The language is poorly documented but there is currently linguistic study being done by the Endangered Language Alliance, among the Shirazi jewish community of New York.[6]

Sample Text

Judeo-Shirazi[6] Persian[6] English[6]
har-kodom-ešu ešu–go dišna xow-e bad har-kodâm-ešân goft-and dišab xâb-e bad Both (lit. each) of them said: Last night we dreamed a bad dream


  1. ^ a b Jewish Languages Project
  2. ^ a b Judeo-Shirazi, Endangered Language Alliance
  3. ^ a b Lily Khan, Aaron D. Rubin. A Handbook of Jewish Language revised and Updated Edition. Brill. p. 236.
  4. ^ a b c Borjian, H. (2014). What Is Judeo-Median—and How Does it Differ from Judeo-Persian? Journal of Jewish Languages, 2(2), 117 – 142-117 – 142. doi:10.1163/22134638-12340026 [1]
  5. ^ Lily Khan, Aaron D. Rubin. A Handbook of Jewish languages revised and Updated Edition. Brill. p. 274.
  6. ^ a b c d e Lily Khan, Aaron D. Rubin (2015-01-01). "Judeo-Iranian Languages". Handbook of Jewish Languages: 275 – via Academia.ecu.
  7. ^ Borjian, H. (2020). The Perside Language of Shiraz Jewry: A Historical-Comparative Phonology, Iranian Studies, 53(3-4), 403 - 415. doi:10.1080/00210862.2020.1723409 [2]

Further reading

  1. Lazard, Gilbert. 1968. La Dialectologie du Judeo-Persan. Studies in Bibliography and Booklore 8. 77–98.