Persophone Muslim population in China

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N.B.:  Persophone ("Persian-speaking"), which is very different from, and pronounced quite differently than, Persephone


Selected readings


  1. Scott de Brestian said,

    April 2, 2024 @ 5:56 pm

    I am curious about the description of Hui as Persian. Wikipedia claims that Hui is a Sinitic language, albeit with some Arabic/Persian phrases.

  2. david said,

    April 2, 2024 @ 7:54 pm

    There is more from Iskandar at

  3. ktschwarz said,

    April 2, 2024 @ 9:45 pm

    Scott, I think the tweet is saying that in 1405, the Hui people were still speaking Persian, but they were starting to shift to the local Sinitic language. That part isn't visible in the post here, you have to click on "Show more" to see the whole tweet, where Ding says that the grammar and vocabulary of the Persian text are evidence that the population was "in the process of linguistic assimilation". Maybe Prof. Mair can explain more about that.

  4. David Marjanović said,

    April 3, 2024 @ 9:30 am

    Full text of the known-as-tweet:

    In 1405, the 5th karmapa of Tibet visited Emperor Yongle of China, upon the latter's invitation. A scroll of painting was produced to depict he event. The commemorative texts on the scroll are in five languages: Chinese, Hui (Persian), Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mongolian. The Persian text, part of which is read out in the video I've posted here, is exceedingly interesting, as its vocabulary and sometimes odd grammar are evidence for a Persophone Muslim population in China in the process of linguistic assimilation. The text vocalised in the video can be found in my post in Persian below.

    I'm shown all this if I click on the embedded tweet (the embedded version ends in "Tibetan, and…"); but without an account on "the platform known as Twitter" there's no way of finding the post "below" unless somebody posts the URL.

  5. TonyG said,

    April 3, 2024 @ 9:45 am

    What a beautiful scroll — I love those vertical scripts! Does anybody know where to find a higher-resolution version?

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