Indo-Iranian languages

language family
(Redirected from Iranian languages)

The Indo-Iranian languages are the largest group of the Indo-European language family. They include the Indo-Aryan (Indic) and Iranic (Iranian) languages. They are mostly spoken in the Indian subcontinent and the Iranian plateau. Originally, they were spoken in Central Asia, to the east and the north of the Caspian Sea.

Eastern Europe, Western Asia, South Asia
Linguistic classification:Indo-European
  • Indo-Iranian
ISO 639-5:iir
Indo-European branches map.png
The general location of Indo-European speakers in Europe and Asia.

Indo-Aryan languagesEdit

There are about 221 Indo-Aryan (Indic) languages, with more than 800 million speakers.

Below are the most widely spoken Indo-Aryan languages.

Sanskrit, the sacred language of the Hindus, is also an Indo-Aryan language. Today it is spoken by around 14,000 people, is an official language in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and is one of the 22 official languages of India.

Iranian languagesEdit

Genetic division of Iranic languages

There are about 86 Iranian languages, with between 150 and 200 million speakers.

Below are the most widely spoken Iranian languages.

The Iranian languages also contain the extinct language Avestan, which is used in the Zoroastrian scriptures. It is similar to Sanskrit but is not widely spoken today.

Nuristani, Bangani, and BadeshiEdit

Some scholars consider the Nuristani and Bangani languages as part of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, but some other scholars consider them as two separate subgroups of Indo-Iranian. The Badeshi language is also an unclassified Indo-Iranian language.


  • Cardona, George. "Indo-Iranian languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  • Indo-Iranian. Ethnologue. Retrieved 27 August 2018.