Speak / Lesson 7

How to Talk About Your Job and Where You Work

In this Persian (Farsi) lesson, you learn how to talk about your job, say where you work, and whether or not you like your job. We learn vocabulary for a long list of jobs, including:

  • student
  • engineer
  • lawyer
  • writer
  • architect
  • accountant
  • cook
  • waiter
  • dentist
  • pilot
  • artist

We then learn how to combine these words into the phrase saying what we do and asking others what they do for a living. Again, very useful phrases for making casual conversation with others to get to know them better.

We also learn how to say whether or not we like our jobs, and to ask others if they like their jobs as well.

We then learn the vocabulary for different places you could work. These include:

  • Restaurant
  • Hospital
  • Factory
  • Office

Not all people work, however. So we also learn the following Persian phrases:

  • I work
  • I don't work
  • I am jobless
  • I am retired



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.


I’m well

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?)

Matt: Hello and welcome to learn Persian with Chai and Conversation

Leyla: Each week on our show, we bring you a lesson in conversational Persian, so that you can build up confidence and vocabulary to have a casual conversation in the Persian language.

Matt: We hope you've been enjoying the shows so far.

Leyla: We've come quite a long way since beginning, and we're going to continue building our vocab and language skills as the weeks go on!

Matt: We've also been working building content on our website, at chaiandconversation.com with chai spelled chai.

Leyla: We had promised in the beginning to teach you about Persian culture on our blog, but we got a slow start on that front. Many of you wrote with questions pertaining to the Iranian culture, so we thought we'd answer these in the form of blog posts. Be sure to check out the blog on our webpage.

Matt: In addition to the blog, the website features bonus materials for each lesson. These include pdf guides, enhanced podcasts, and more!

Leyla: We hope that you will support us by purchasing the bonus materials for a nominal fee on the website. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Matt: But for now, let's begin the lesson!

Leyla: Agreed. Let's Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation!

Leyla: Today we are talking about jobs. By the end of the lesson you can say where you work, tell details of your work, and say if you like your job or not. Of course, if you haven't started working yet, or if you don't have a job, we'll include vocabulary for you too. Remember learning a language is all about building your language and understanding, even if it doesn't directly apply for you. The first word we're going to learn we've used before. Before when you said I am from the United States for example, how did you say it

Matt: Man az Amrika hastam

Leyla: Exactly, so the word for I am is 'hastam'. We're going to use this word to say I am a teacher, which would be 'man moalem hastam'.

Matt: Man moalem hastam.

Leyla: So when you are saying 'I am a teacher' in Persian, you don't need to say the 'a'. In essence, you are saying 'I am teacher'. So here, I am a teacher, and you're a student, so Matt you would say 'shagerd hastam'

Matt: Shagerd hastam.

Leyla: shagerd is student. Shagerd.

Matt: Shagerd

Leyla: ok so we have moalem, and shagerd. Let's learn another word, 'mohandes'

Matt: Mohandes.

Leyla: This means 'engineer.' Let's try repeating all these words




Leyla: Very good. So Matt, how do you say 'I am a teacher'

Matt: man mo-alem hastam

'Leyla: I am a student'

Matt: man shāgerd hastam

Leyla: 'I am an engineer'

Matt: man mohandes hastam

Leyla: Let's learn another word. Vakeel

Matt: Vakeel

Leyla: This is related to the word 'advocate' which is used in the U.K. to refer to lawyers sometimes.

Or, you may be neveesande, a writer. Neveesande

Matt: Neveesande

Leyla: Or me'mar, architect. That's is what I studied and the field I work in, so I would say 'me'mar hastam'

Matt: Me'mar hastam

Leyla: Let's repeat all these.







Now, the question you would be asked to see what you do would be

'to chekare hastee'?

Matt: To chekare hastee

Leyla: Kar is work, and 'che' represents 'what'. So chekare hastee?

Matt: Chekare hastee.

Leyla: Now, there's also a formal version of this question, since this is the informal version.

Shoma chekare hasteed?

Matt: Shoma chekare hasteed?

Leyla: Simple enough. Ok, now Matt I'm going to ask you using the informal version to see what you do and you go ahead and answer-

'to chekare hastee?'

Matt: shagerd hastam.

Leyla: Now, in a previous lesson, we learned how to say 'and you' in the formal sense, 'va shoma'. This isn't used too often when speaking Persian, but it is useful in some circumstances. Let's learn how to say the same phrase in the informal sense. And you in the informal sense would be 'to chetor?'

Matt: To chetor

Leyla: This literally means 'what about you?' So now, when I ask you 'chekare hastee' and you answer 'shagerd hastam' Matt, you could continue to the conversation in the informal sense by saying 'to chetor? cheekare hastee?' and this literally means 'what about you? what do you do?' Let's try this in a conversation

Leyla: to chekare hastee?

Matt: Shagerd hastam. To chetor? to chekare hastee?

Leyla: Man moalem hastam.

Leyla: Notice I included the word 'man' in there, to emphasize 'I am a teacher'. Again, you don't need this, I could have just said 'moalem hastam'. This just emphasizes, well I a teacher.' So Matt, if I've said 'man moalem hastam', and you wanted to answer back along the lines of 'well I am a student, how would you say it-

Matt: Man shāgerd hastam.

Leyla: So 'chekare hastee' means literally 'what kind of worker are you?' And with this, you answer with your profession. You could ask a different type of question, you could say 'koja kar meekonee?' This means 'where do you work? Note that the 'you' or 'to' in this question is impliedTo answer this question, you could answer what type of place you work in. For example, you could say 'I work in an office'. To say this we'll use a few words we've learned already. I work in an office would be 'dar edare kar meekonam'. You'll recognize the word 'kar' which means work, and 'dar' which means in. You've also learned the word meekonam before, it means 'I do'. So edare is the word for office. man dar edare kar meekonam.

Matt: Man dar edare kar meeonam

Leyla: So I'll ask you 'koja kar meekonee?' where do you work, and you can answer

'man dar edare kar meekonam. Koja kar meekonee?

Matt: Man dar edare kar meekonam.

Leyla: Or you can work in a factory- karkhoone

Matt: karkhoone

Leyla: So, man dar karkhoone kar meekonam.

Matt: Man dar karkhoone kar meekonam

Leyla: or a restaurant- restooran

Matt: Restooran

Leyla: or a hospital, beemarestan.

Matt: Beemarestan.

Leyla: And now let's learn how to ask if you like your job. To say it in the informal form, you ask 'kareto doost daree?'

Matt: Kareto doost daree?

Leyla: Doost means to like, and daree means 'do you'. So 'kareto doost daree?

Matt: KAreto doost daree?

Leyla: To say yes, you say 'bale, karamo doost daram.'

Matt: Bale, karamo doost daram.

Leyla: or to say no, you say 'na, karamo doost nadaram.'

Matt: Na, karamo doost nadaram.

Leyla: in the formal form you can ask 'karetoono doost dareed?'

Matt: Karetoono doost dared?

Leyla: now there's one more thing we're going to learn before we wrap up the lesson, and that is how to say you don't work at all. to say 'I don't work', you say 'man kar nemeekonam'

Matt: Man kar nemeekonam.

Leyla: This means I don't work. And to say you are without a job, you say 'man beekaram'

Matt: Man beekaram.

Leyla: Theres' a subtle difference between the two. Beekaram is usually what you use if you've been laid off or fired, or would like a job but don't have one. to s ay that you work you say 'kar meekonam'

Matt: Kar meekonam.

Leyla: and to say you don't work you say 'kar nemeekonam.

Matt: Kar nemeekonam.

Leyla: or if you're retired, you could say 'man bazneshaste hastam'.

Matt: Bazneshate hastam.

Leyla: bazneshaste is the word for retired. so you're saying 'I'm retired.'

And that brings us to the end of Lesson 7!

Leyla: so we've learned a lot in this lesson, and you'll have a chance to review all this with the bonus materials included on our website, chaiandconversation.com

Matt: Please continue to send us your questions, comments and suggestions. Information on how to contact us can be found on our site.

Leyla: We've also updated our bonus materials membership system on the website. It should be much easier and more convenient now to access all the bonus materials for the podcast.

Matt: Thanks again for listening and we look forward to you joining us next time on Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation