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Kurdish is the language spoken by Kurds in western Asia. Unlike many other languages it does not have a single standardized linguistic entity with the status of an official or state language. On the contrary, it is a continuum of closely related dialects that are spoken in a large geographic area spanning several national states, in some of these states forming one, or several, regional substandards (e.g., Kurmanji in Turkey; Sorani in northern Iraq). Today the term Kurdish language is a term used for several languages spoken by Kurds. It is mainly concentrated in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Kurdish languages belong to the northwestern sub-group of the Iranian languages, which themselves belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. The most closely related languages to Kurdish are Balochi, Gileki and Talysh, all of which belong to the north-western branch of Iranian languages. There are also transitional dialects between Southern Kurdish and the Lori and Bakhtiari dialects which are in the south-western branch of Iranian.