Speak / Lesson 16
How to Talk More About Food and Specific Persian Meals
It's hard to talk about Persian food without wanting to eat it, so we apologize for this lesson in advance. In this lesson, we will go over different mealtimes that come up in every culture, such as:
breakfast - sobhāné
lunch - nāhār
dinner - shām
and a few other meals in between. We learn how to call people to a meal, and talk about a few different extremely popular Persian foods.
We also learn how to leave a party. In Persian culture, leaving requires a whole ritual- it's not a simple process. So for instance, Iranians never simply say they have to go. Instead, they use the phrase 'bāyad yavāsh yavāsh beram,' which literally means 'I have to slowly, slowly go.' This begins the incremental process of leaving. They use the phrase a few times in order to warn the host that they're about to leave. It takes a few more steps to actually accomplish this task however, such as getting up, standing by the door for a while, standing by the car for a while, etc. Iranians just like to keep the party going.
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.
|chetor-ee||how are you?|
|khayli khoobam||I’m very well|
|khoob neestam||I’m not well|
|bad neestam||I’m not bad|
|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)|
|chetor peesh meeré?||how’s it going?|
|ché khabar?||what’s the news? (what’s up?)|
Leyla: In lesson 14, we went over the names for different places around town. In this lesson, we're going to expand on that by learning how to ask for directions and how to get more information about places in general. Let's begin, however, with vocabulary for more places around town that we didn't get to in that lesson, and let's also go over the vocabulary for a few different modes of transportation. Perhaps you're on vacation and you're not staying at home. You would stay in a hotel, or in Persian hotel
Leyla: So as you can see, the words for these two are not so different. Hotel vs. hotel. Hotel
Leyla: The word for post office is edareye post
Matt: Edareye post
Leyla: We've learned edare before, it means office. So edareye post, post office
Matt: Edareye post
Leyla: The word for university is daneshgah
Leyla: And school is madrese
Leyla: You might remember the word madrasa- it was in the news quite frequently recently and was mistakenly translated as Islamic school. But in fact, madrese in Persian simply means school and has no relgious connotations. Madreseh
Leyla: Keeping on the theme of children, daycare is 'mahdekoodak'
Leyla: Let's learn one more extremely easy one, and that is the word for park, park
Leyla: Now let's go over the vocabulary for a few forms of transportation. Let's start with car, masheen
Leyla: Just like in English where automobile is an alternative for car, automobile is an alternative for masheen. Automobile
Leyla: The word for bicycle in Persian is 'docharkheh'
Leyla: The word for bus is 'autobus'
Leyla: The word for train is ghatar
Leyla: Plane is havapayma
Leyla: There are plenty other modes of transportation but let's learn one more for now and that is on foot, or peeyadeh
so now, if you see someone in the street and you want to ask them where something is, you could always add an intonation of a question to the word and look really lost, like muse? but you could also ask the complete question, where is the museum? We've learned the word for where before 'koja'
Leyla: To say where is the museum then, you would say 'Muse kojast?'
Matt: muse kojast?
Leyla: And of course knowing that in Persian words are often combined, kojast is a combination of koja and hast. Kojast. Muse kojast?
Matt: Muse kojast?
Leyla: And if you see someone in the street and you'd like to stop them to ask them a question, you say 'I'm sorry'- bebakhsheed
Leyla: This literally means pardon me, or excuse me. Babakhsheed
Leyla: So to say excuse me, where is the museum, you say 'bebakhsheed, muse kojast?'
Matt: Bebakhsheed, muse kojast
Leyla: How would you say excuse me where is the bank?
Matt: Bebakhsheed, bank kojast?
Leyla: How about where is the restaurant?
Matt: Bebakhsheed, restooran kojast?
Leyla: There are several ways to ask for the location of a place, and one could be that you have a map, and they're going to point out the location on the map. To say this, we need to learn a couple of phrases. If you ask where a museum is, and they're going to point out the location to you, they could say 'eenjast'
Leyla: meaning 'it's here'. or muse eenjast
Matt: muse eenjast
Leyla: They could also point to the building and if it is slightly in the distance could say 'oonjast' meaning it's there. oonjast
Leyla: So eenjast means 'it's here' and oonjast means 'it's there'. One more thing, you might be looking for a particular building and you might want to ask, is it near? or is it far? The word for near is nazdeek
Leyla: so to ask is it near, you'd simply say 'nazdeeke?'
Leyla: so you know the word for here, it's eenja
Leyla: so to say is it close to here, you simply say 'nazdeeke eenjast?
Matt: Nazdeeke eenjast?
Leyla: And to say for instance, the museum close to here, you could say muse nazdeeke eenjast
Matt: Muse nazdeeke eenjast
Leyla: And as always, to make it a question, raise the tone at the end- muse nazdeeke eenjast?
Matt: Muse nazdeeke eenjast?
Leyla: The opposite of near is far which in Persian is 'door'
Leyla: So doore?
Leyla: that's is it far. To ask is it far from here, we have to flip things around a bit. To say is it far from here, the phrase is 'az eenja doore?'
Matt: Az eenja doore
Leyla: and to say is the museum far from here, it's
Matt: muse az eenja doore
Leyla: Now to combine these sentiments with the modes of transportation we learned earlier, there are several questions you can ask to find out whether the place you want to go is near or far. To begin, you could ask, 'could we get there by foot?' In Persian this is 'peeyade meeshe raft?'
Matt: Peeyade meesheh raft
Leyla: Meeshe is the word for is it possible, and you will hear this said a lot in Persian. Meeshe
Leyla: And to answer, you could simply say 'baleh meeshe'
Matt: Baleh, meesheh
Leyla: Which means 'yes it is is possible'. Or 'na, nemeesheh'
Matt: Na, nemeesheh
Leyla: Which means Òno, it is not possible'
Leyla: You could also ask 'could we get there by bus'É 'ba autobus meesheh raft?'
Matt: Ba autobus meesheh raft?
Leyla: Ba again is the word for with, so you can use this for any of the vehicles of transportation, for instance, ba machine meesheh raft, ba docharkheh meesheh raft, etc.
So now let's try a short dialogues combining the words we've learned so far. Matt, you start
Matt: Bebakhsheed, park kojast?
Leyla: Hamoon oonjast
Matt: Khayli nazdeeke!
Leyla: Bale, nazdeeke
Matt: Pass peeyade meeshe raft
Leyla: Baleh, meeshe
Matt: Khayli mamnoon!
Leyla: Moshgelee neest
Leyla: Ok, so you should have been able to recognize most of the words in this dialogue. First Matt asked 'babakhsheed, park kojast?' What does this mean Matt
Matt: It means 'excuse me, where is the park'
Leyla: Exactly, and I presumably pointed in some direction and said 'hamoon oonjast. Hamoon is a word that we haven't covered but it's a filler word which translates to the equivalent of 'it's right there'. So instead of simply saying 'there' you're saying 'it's right there' in a conversational way. Hamoon oonjast
Matt: Hamoon oonjast
Leyla: And Matt replied with 'khayli nazdeekeh!' You know both of these words, so what does that mean Matt?
Matt: It's very close!
Leyla: And then I replied that 'baleh nazdeeke'É yes it's close, simple enough. Then Matt replies 'pass peeyade meeshe raft'. Peeyade meesheh raft as we learned means 'it's possible to go by foot'. What do you think pass means Matt
Matt: Something like 'then'
Leyla: Exactly, so Matt is saying 'then it's possible to go by foot.' After Matt says 'khayli mamnoon' or thanks very much, I replied moshgelee neest. This means 'no problem'. Moshgelee neest
Matt: Moshgelee neest