The spoken language in the city is Kurdish, but the language which is used in schools and offices is Farsi, since the official language in Iran is Persian Almost everyone in the city are fluent in Farsi.
The city of Sanandaj was originally called Saneh, and because it was located near an important castle it was later called Sanehdaj, meaning castle at the foot of a mountain. This presumably turned into Sanandaj over time.
The population of Sanandaj is mainly Kurdish. The city also had an Armenian minority who gradually emigrated from the city. Until the Iranian Revolution (1979), the city had a small Aramaic-speaking Jewish community of about 4,000 people. The city boasted a sizable Assyrian community that spoke a unique dialect of Aramaic called Senaya. The economy of Sanandaj is based upon the production of carpets, processed hides and skins, milled rice, refined sugar, woodworking, cotton weaving, metalware and cutlery.
The Ardalani dialect of Kurdish is spoken in Sanandaj and its surroundings. Ardalani dialect is distinct to Kurdistan province and is spoken in Sanandaj and other cities of Kurdistan province. The other important dialect of Sorani Kurdish is Mokriani which is spoken in Mokrian region in the cities of Piranshahr and Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province.