Speak / Lesson 58
In this lesson, we learn all the language associated with pregnancy, babies and small children.
how are you?
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.
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.
how are you?|
I’m very well|
I’m not well|
I’m not bad|
how are you? (formal)|
hālé shomā chetor-é?|
how are you? (formal)|
how are you? (informal)|
are you well? (informal)|
chetor peesh meeré?|
how’s it going?|
what’s the news? (what’s up?)|
Leyla: Hello everyone, and welcome to the 58th lesson of Chai and Conversation!
Matt: As you know, unit 6 of Chai and Conversation is the culture series. We’ve been covering the vocabulary needed to navigate through a lot of situations you’ll find yourself with Persian speakers. Last week, we covered a subject many of us married to Persians can relate to- that of Persian weddings.
Leyla: That’s right. So after the wedding episode, we thought it was only appropriate to cover another topic many of you, including you Matt, can relate to- and that is the topic of babies! So Matt and Ladan have two children now, one girl and one boy- both absolutely adorable. And Matt, I’m sure you’ve learned a lot of words from Ladan and her family associated with babies.
Matt: Oh yes, I have. Ladan’s family speak to Kimiya and Arman in Persian, so I pick up a lot that way, and try to throw in a few words to them myself when I can. And what about you, what language do you speak with Rooz?
Leyla: Well, my husband, Chris, is American, so when we’re all together, we’ll speak English. But of course, I speak to Rooz as much as I can in Persian- I’m trying to learn as much as I can how to raise a bilingual baby- hopefully I’ll have tips to share with listeners from what I learn and from experience as well. But I also try to have him spend time with my family in Dallas, so he can speak Persian with them exclusively. He’s only 4 months old so he doesn’t say anything just yet, but soon enough hopefully!
Anyhow, we’re going to go over language associated with babies, things we can say to them, and things we say to others when talking about them. So first, the word for child in Persian is bacheh
Leyla: And we don’t exactly have a word for baby, so there are a few different routes we can take when referring to babies. So the technical word for newborn is ‘now zad’
Matt: Now zad
Leyla: Zayeedan is the word for giving birth, so now zad literally means newly birthed. Now zad
Matt: Now zad
Leyla: But what about baby in general. So again, we don’t have a literal translation of baby, but we have a cute word used for babies, and that is neenee
Leyla: So that means baby: neenee
Leyla: And to really emphasize the point, you can call the baby neenee koochooloo, which means little baby. Neenee koochooloo
Matt: Neenee koochooloo
Leyla: So so far we have bacheh, or child- bacheh
Leyla: We have nowzad, meaning newborn. Nowzad
Leyla: And finally we have neenee koochooloo, which means little baby and is the most fun to say. Neenee koochooloo
Matt: Neenee koochooloo
Leyla: Great! There’s another good word to know, and that is koodak. Koodak is another word for child. Koodak
Leyla: Great- and now let’s rewind a little bit. Before the child is actually here, we have pregnancy, and a whole slew of words associated with that time of life. So let’s go over a few of those so you can know how to refer to your pregnant friends or spouses. So first, the word for pregnant is ‘hameleh’
Leyla: And pregnancy is ‘hamelegee’
Leyla: So for example, to say I am pregnant you can say ‘man hamelam’
Matt: Man hamelam
Leyla: So unfortunately or not unfortunately, Matt, you can never say that. You, instead, would say ‘zanam hamelast’
Matt: Zanam hamelast
Leyla: Meaning my wife is pregnant. To be a little more specific, you can say how many months pregnant she is. So for instance, if she’s 4 months pregnant, it would be ‘zanam chahar mah hamelast’
Matt: Zanam chahar mah hamelast
Leyla: Similarly, I could say ‘man chahar mah hamelam,’ meaning I’m four months pregnant
Matt: Man chahar mah hamelam
Leyla: So Matt, how would you say ‘Ladan is 6 months pregnant’? I know she’s not, but back when she was, you would say-
Matt: Ladan sheesh mah hamelast
Leyla: Exactly, great! Ladan sheesh mah hamelast. Ladan is six months pregnant. When referring to a pregnant lady, many people call her ‘bar dar’ meaning she’s carrying a load. Bar dar
Matt: Bar dar
Leyla: That might sound strange when translated literally like that, but it’s like when we say someone is ‘carrying’ or ‘with child’. Bar dar
Matt: Bar dar
Leyla: And now, let’s go over the vocabulary needed for giving birth. The verb for birthing, as we said earlier, is zayeedan
Leyla: And this has the same conjugation as other regular verbs- man zayeedam, to zayeedee, oo zayeed, etc. But the whole concept of giving birth is called ‘zayeman’
Leyla: So again, this means giving birth. Zayeman
Leyla: And the place to give birth is called a zayeshgah
Leyla: Although like in the west, this refers to a birthing center with midwives, which isn’t so common. Most people in Iran like in the west give birth in a hospital, beemarestan
Leyla: Exactly. So while zayeedan is the verb for giving birth, it is also commonly referred to as vazeh haml
Matt: Vazeh haml
Leyla: So you can say ‘man dar beemarestan vazeh haml kardam
Matt: Man dar beemarestan vazeh haml kardam
Leyla: Meaning I gave birth in a hospital. All right, I think that’s all we really need to know about before the baby is here. Now let’s go over a few of the words you’ll need to know when the baby actually arrives. First of all, being born is referred to as ‘bedonya oomadan’. This is really nice translated literally as it means ‘coming to the world’. Donya is the word for world, ‘be donya oomadan’, coming to the world. Bedonya oomadan
Matt: Bedonya oomadan
Leyla: So when you want to tell people when the baby is born, you say for instance deerooz bedonya oomad- he was born yesterday. Deerooz bedonya oomad
Matt: Deerooz bedonya oomad
Leyla: You can also ask- ‘kay bedonya oomad?’ When was he or she born? Kay bedonya oomad
Matt: Kay bedonya oomad’
Leyla: Or I could say ‘Rooz dar Austin bedonya oomad’. What does that mean Matt?
Matt: It means Rooz was born in Austin
Leyla: That’s right. Rooz dar Austin bedonya oomad
Matt: Rooz dar Austin bedonya oomad
Leyla: So Matt, Kimiya koja bedonya oomad?
Matt: Kimiya ham dar Austin bedonya oomad.
Leyla: Arman chetor?
Matt: Arman dar Dallas bedonya oomad.
Leyla: Perfect. And I’ll just add a few more things- Rooz chahar mah peesh dar Austin bedonya oomad. And what does this mean?
Matt: Rooz was born four months ago in Austin.
Leyla: That’s right! Rooz chahar mah peesh dar Austin bedonya oomad
Matt: Rooz chahar mah peesh dar Austin bedonya oomad
Leyla: Great. Now, everyone has different pet names they call their babies whether it’s in English or in Persian. There are some common pet names though that are pretty universal. One is, as we said, neenee kooochooloo, meaning little baby. Neenee koochooloo
Matt: Neenee koochooloo
Leyla; Another one is one I always heard you calling Kimiya, Matt, and that is moosh
Matt: That’s right. Moosh
Leyla: And that means mouse, but is used often to refer to babies. Moosh
Leyla: And similarly, I’ve heard you call your kids joojeh
Matt: Ha, yes, joojeh
Matt: baby bird?
Leyla: That’s right- another common pet name for babies- joojeh
Leyla: Another word that comes up often with babies is naz, meaning sweet. Naz
Leyla: And petting a baby in a comforting way is called ‘naz kardan’
Matt: Naz kardan
Leyla: And we also tell babies ‘nazee’ while patting them, meaning something along the lines of ‘sweetie’. Nazee
Leyla: Great! Another very common word to call a baby is ‘azeez’
Leyla: Which means dear. Azizam means my dear, and is used often to refer to children. Azizam
Leyla: And now let’s go over a couple words referring to activities babies do, that you generally only use for babies. One is lalayee, and that is the word for lullabye. Lalayee
Leyla: So lalayee khoondan is singing lullabies. Lalayee khoondan
Matt: Lalayee khoondan
Leyla: An important item most babies have is the doroshkeh- stroller. Doroshkeh
Leyla: So we have the lullaby, the stroller, and the thing keeping the baby alive is… milk! Sheer
Leyla: And you can have sheereh madar, mother’s milk- sheereh madar
Matt: Sheereh madar
Leyla: And sheesheyeh sheer, bottle of milk. sheesheyeh sheer
Matt: sheesheyeh sheer
Leyla: And another really important word- pestoonak. Pacifier. Pestoonak
Leyla: Perfect! There’s of course so many other words we can learn when referring to neenee koochooloos, but we’ll leave it at that for now. You can find plenty of extra bonus words on the bonus materials for this lesson.
Matt: We have two lessons left in Unit 6 of Chai and Conversation, the cultural series
Leyla: And you’ll find those and so much more on our website at www.chaiandconversation.com
Matt: With chai spelled CHAI. But for now, khodahafez from Matt
Leyla: And beh omeedeh deedar from Leyla!