cheetaur

Poetry /

Saadi's bani ādam

Part 3
بنی آدم

In this final part of the discussion of Bani Adam by Saadi, we go over the last two lines of the poem, and review the entire poem in its entirety as well. 

GREETINGS:

salām
hello
سَلام
chetor-ee
how are you?
چِطوری؟

Note: In Persian, as in many other languages, there is a formal and an informal way of speaking. We will be covering this in more detail in later lessons. For now, however, chetor-ee is the informal way of asking someone how they are, so it should only be used with people that you are familiar with. hālé shomā chetor-é is the formal expression for ‘how are you.’

Spelling note: In written Persian, words are not capitalized. For this reason, we do not capitalize Persian words written in phonetic English in the guides.


ANSWERS:

khoobam
I’m well
خوبَم

Pronunciation tip: kh is one of two unique sounds in the Persian language that is not used in the English language. It should be repeated daily until mastered, as it is essential to successfully speak Persian. Listen to the podcast for more information on how to make the sound.

Persian English
salām hello
chetor-ee how are you?
khoobam I’m well
merci thank you
khayli very
khayli khoobam I’m very well
khoob neestam I’m not well
man me/I
bad neestam I’m not bad
ālee great
chetor-een? how are you? (formal)
hālé shomā chetor-é? how are you? (formal)
hālet chetor-é? how are you? (informal)
khoob-ee? are you well? (informal)
mamnoonam thank you
chetor peesh meeré? how’s it going?
ché khabar? what’s the news? (what’s up?)
testeeeee

Hello and welcome to Lesson 97 of Chai and Conversation! This is part 3 of our study of the poem bani Adam by Sa’adi. Let’s begin by listening to my aunt’s reading of the entire poem:

 

Bani adam azayeh yek paykarand

Ké dar āfareenesh zé yek goharand

 

Chō ozvee bé dard āvarad roozégār

Degar ozvhā rā namānad gharār

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

 

At this point, you should be able to understand the first two sections of the poem. These lessons are cumulative, so if you haven’t already, go back and listen to Lesson 94 and 95 as well to really get a grasp on the poem so far. 

 

So now let’s get right to the last two lines.

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

Ok, first this word to. To means you in the persian language. Like in many other language, Persian has a formal and informal version of you. This is the informal version. To

 

To

 

And shoma is the formal version. Shoma

 

Shoma

 

So here, Sa’adi is directly confronting the listener. And referring to them in an informal way- to

 

To

 

Next word is k’az. K’az is actually a combination of two words- ke and az. We’ve had both of these words earlier in the poem. Ke mean that. Ke

 

Ke

 

And az means of. Az

 

Az

 

Remember before we had a version that was just like z’ and that meant az. It was ke dar afarneenesh ze yek goharand- and there ze actually stood in for az. In this case, k’az is used to have just one syllable which fits in with the poem here. K’az. 

 

K’az

 

Next is mehnat. Mehnat is the word for pain or difficulty. Mehnat

 

Mehnat

 

Another word for this in Persian is sakhtee. Sakhtee

 

Sakhtee

 

And this also means difficult. So it someone is going through pain or difficulty, you call it mehnat

 

Mehnat

 

So we have mehnate deegaree. Deegaree means an other. Deegaree

 

Deegaree

 

So another person. Literally this means an other, but it’s referring to another soul, another person- deegaree

 

Deegaree

 

Mehnateh deegaree means the difficult of another person. Remember we have that e sound in there to connect the two- it’s saying ‘who’s difficulty are we talking about? An other’s difficulty’- the e helps to bind those two words together- mehnateh deegaree

 

Mehnateh deegaree

 

The pain suffering or difficulty of another. Mehnateh deegaree

 

Mehnateh deegaree

 

Finally in this sentence is bee ghamee. Bee means without. Bee

 

Bee

 

And gham is the word for sorrow. Gham

 

Gham

 

Gh is one of those sounds in the Persian language that isn’t in the English language- it’s one that you just have to practice until you get it. Gh gh gh

 

Gh gh gh

 

So this word, sorry, is gham

 

Gham

 

And the ee at the end, gham-ee is actually the second person conjugation for to be. So bee ghamee together means you are without sorrow. Bee ghamee

 

Bee ghamee

 

This is how the verb to be works in the persian language- it comes at the end of the word like that. To say I’m without sorrow, for instance, I’d say bee ghamam

 

Bee ghamam

 

Or he is without sorry- bee ghameh

 

Bee ghameh

 

But again we have bee ghamee, meaning you, informal, are without sorry. Bee ghamee

 

Bee ghamee

 

You can learn more about this verb and all its conjugations in lesson 21. Nut again let’s listen to this whole phrase again- 

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

 

So he says you who are without sorry at the pain of others. So you have no empathy. Let’s repeat all this again- to k’az mehnate deegaran bee ghamee

 

To k’az mehnate deegarn bee ghamee

 

And final sentence:

 

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

So the first word in this phrase is nashayad

 

Nashayad

 

And this means it’s not worthy- the word shayesteh is in there, which means deserving or worthy- shayesteh

 

Shayesteh

 

So nashayad means its not worthy- nashayad

 

Nashayad

 

Next, namat- nam means name. nam

 

Nam

 

Namat means your name. Namat

 

Namat

 

So the -at at the end signifies that he’s referring to you, informal- namat

 

Namat

 

And nahand means they put or they place. Nahand

 

Nahand

 

So namat nahand means they wouldn’t put your name- or they wouldn’t give you the name- what name? adamee. And again with this we go to the very first sentence- bani adam- adam meant human. So adamee, human kind. Adamee

 

Adamee

 

So the full sentence- nashayad ke namat nahand adamee becomes you’re not worthy of them giving you the name humanbeing, pretty much. Let’s say this all together-

 

Nashayad ke namat nahand adamee

 

Now this last sentence is not at all the way we would say anything in conversational persian now- it’s very poetic speaking. The only word we really recognize in there that is simple is ke, which means that- keh

 

Keh

 

So let’s say the full thing together- nashayad keh namat nahand adamee

 

Nashayad keh namat nahand adamee

 

So again, you’re not worthy of being given the name human. Nashayad keh namat nahand adamee

 

Nashayad keh namat nahand adamee.

 

So now again, let’s listen to those last two sentences:

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

 

So these last two sentences are directly addressing the listener in an accusatory way- saying you who are ignorant of others pain, you’re not worthy of them giving you the title of human being.

 

Let’s now hear my aunt read the entire poem. Hopefully you’ll understand the full thing now: 

 

Bani adam azayeh yek paykarand

Ké dar āfareenesh zé yek goharand

 

Chō ozvee bé dard āvarad roozégār

Degar ozvhā rā namānad gharār

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

 

So now we’ve gone over all the individual words and phrases of this poem. Now what I want to do is go over it together again line by line, and then two lines at a time. The best way to do this is to follow along with your pdf guide. You can find that on our website at chaiandconversation.com/lesson97

 

So, I’m going to read each sentence one by one, and I’d like you to repeat it out loud after me:

 

Bani adam azayeh yek paykarand

Ké dar āfareenesh zé yek goharand

 

Chō ozvee bé dard āvarad roozégār

Degar ozvhā rā namānad gharār

 

Tō k’az mehnaté deegarān bee ghamee

Nashāyad ké nāmat nahand ādamee

 

And hopefully now, after having heard each of these words and phrases, it’s a little easier for you to repeat and have confidence in your pronunciation!

 

So at this point, I want you to go practice this poem line by line by using the resources on the website. You can click on each individual word and phrase on the bonus materials of the website at chaiandconversation.com/lesson97. If you’re not a member already, you can get a free 30 day trial membership to our website and have access to all the resources you need to learn this poem as well as tons of other persian language learning materials on our website. 

 

After you’ve learned the poem, please take a video of yourself reciting it in a beautiful location and send it to me at leyla@chaiandconversation.com- we love getting your videos- it really means so much when the community comes together and shares reading such lovely poetry. 

 

And until next time, thanks so much for listening. Chadwick Wood edited this podcast. My dear aunt Farnaz Nouri read the poem in this episode. Babak Rajabi composed and performed our theme music. And until next time- I’m your host, Leyla Shams. Khodahafez!