Languages

Bakhtiāri, which belongs to the Southwestern branch of the Iranian language family, is the province’s main language. Bakhtiāri is primarily spoken in the valleys of the higher areas in the western half of the province. It is also spoken in the lower areas around Lordegān in the south, and by speakers who have moved into the cities in the north-east.[4]

In the north-east quarter of the province, people in most cities and villages speak either Chārmahāli (also in the Southwestern branch of Iranian) or Turkic. Chārmahāli is transitional between Bakhtiari and Persian varieties of Esfahan Province, but more similar to the latter. Chārmahāli varieties spoken in cities include Dehkordi (in Shahr-e Kord), Ghafarrokhi (in Farrokh Shahr), Heysheguni (in Hafshejān), and Borujeni (in Borujen). There are also many other varieties of Chārmahāli spoken in rural areas. Most types of Turkic spoken in this province are similar to Qashqa’i of Fars Province, but they are transitional to the Āzarbāyjāni (Azerbaijani) language of north-west Iran. The Chārmahāli and Turkic language areas overlap with one another, and in the foothills of the Zagros and in the larger cities, they intermingle with Bakhtiāri as well.

Tehrani-type Persian is now being taught by parents to children as a first language in some parts of the province, with the highest concentrations in the cities.

The Atlas of the Languages of Iran (ALI) published a series of language maps for Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari Province, including a point-based and polygon (area-based) language distribution maps, and several linguistic data maps.Written descriptions of some of the Bakhtiāri varieties in the province and a lexicon of the Bakhtiāri language have also been published.