BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has become the first university in North America to offer a class in the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish, a language spoken throughout several Middle Eastern lands, including Iraq and Iran.

Kurmanji Kurdish is spoken by nearly 15 million of the estimated 27 to 30 million Kurdish speakers worldwide. It also is spoken in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey and is the exclusive Kurdish dialect in the former Soviet Republics of the Trans-Caucasus and Central Asia. It also is common in Western Europe, where close to 1 million Kurds have been...

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