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Zendsprache is a misnomer that can be traced back to a nominal description of the Avesta as "Zendavesta".

With Zendsprach both

  • Avestan , the language of the Avesta texts , as well
  • Pazend , a modification of Middle Persian that was used for the commentaries ( zend ) of the Avesta

be meant.

The misnomer in German can probably be traced back to a work written by Rasmus Christian Rask : About the age and authenticity of the Zend language (Bombay, 1826). In this book, the term refers to the language as used in the Zoroastrian texts studied by Rask. Among them are Avestan texts as well as texts written in Pazend.