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Speak / Lesson 6

How to Talk More About Your Family, and How to Count to Ten

In this lesson, we expand on introducing family members to others, and we also learn how to count to ten! Also, we introduce a special guest at the end of the program.

If you need a quick reference, the vocabulary for counting from one to ten in Persian is:

  • yek - one
  • - two
  • - three
  • chahār (chār for short) - four
  • panj - five
  • sheesh - six
  • haft - seven
  • hasht - eight
  • noh - nine
  • dah - ten

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

Leyla: Hello and welcome to the sixth episode of Chai and Conversation!

Matt: By now, you know that this is the one and only podcast made to teach conversational Persian to beginners.

Leyla: For now, Matt, are you ready to begin the lesson?

Matt: Ready!

Leyla: Great! Let's begin to learn Persian with Chai and Conversation.

 

So, last week, we learned the words for different members of the family, and we learned how to introduce your family members to others, as well as to introduce their names. This week, we'll be expanding on that by talking a bit more about families. Also, we're going to learn how to count to ten. So let's start off by doing a little revision of the vocabulary we learned last week. Matt, I'm going to say the word in English and see if you can come up with the Persian word. Give the listeners a moment to come up with the answer before giving your own answer. So first, ‘brother’.

Matt: barādar.

Leyla: Second, ‘sister’.

Matt: khāhar.

Leyla: Great. Next, we have ‘mother’.

Matt: mādar.

Leyla: And how would you say ‘father’?

Matt: pedār.

Leyla: That's right, pedar. And ‘wife’?

Matt: zan.

Leyla: And finally, ‘husband’.

Matt: shohar.

Leyla: Okay, wonderful. And to say ‘my brother’ or ‘my father’, how do you join words together? For example, let's say ‘my brother’.

Matt: barādaré man.

Leyla: Exactly, so “mādaré man,” “pedaré man,” etc. So if “mādaré man” means ‘my mother’, what do you think “mādaré tō” means?

Matt: ‘Your mother’.

Leyla: 'Your mother', exactly, so how would you say ‘your father’?

Matt: pedaré tō.

Leyla: Perfect, and ‘your brother’?

Matt: barādaré tō.

Leyla: ‘Your sister’.

Matt: khāharé tō.

Leyla: And one more, ‘your wife’.

Matt: zané tō.

Leyla: Great! Again, we join the words together by using the “é” sound, so “zané man,” “shoharé man,” “zané tō,” “shoharé tō.” As you know, “” is the informal ‘you’, so “zané tō” or “shoharé tō" is the informal way of saying ‘your wife’ or ‘your husband’. If you're talking to someone with whom you need to use the formal form, you would use the formal ‘you’, and you would simply say “zané shomā.”

Matt: zané shomā.

Leyla: And this can be used for any of the words such as “barādaré shomā," “khāharé shomā," etc. Now we're going to learn a couple of other words that are linked to the family, words that specifically children would say. We learned the words for ‘mother’ and ‘father’, “mādar” and “pedar," but kids are more likely to use the words "māmān…"

Matt: māmān.

Leyla: And "bābā."

Matt: bābā.

Leyla: māmāné .

Matt: māmāné .

Leyla: And bābāyé .

Matt: bābāyé .

Leyla: So on “bābāyé ,” notice that because “bābā" ends in a vowel, we add the “” sound to join it to “” instead of “é.” So, bābāyé .

Matt: bābāyé .

Leyla: māmāné man.

Matt: māmāné man.

Leyla: bābāyé man.

Matt: bābāyé man.

Leyla: Exactly. Now we're going to learn 'I have' as in 'I have a sister'. ‘I have’ in Persian is “dāram.” Now, in the phrase ‘I have a sister’, there is a word that we haven't covered yet, and that would be the word for 'a'. In Persian, ‘a’ gets translated as 'one'. “” is a shorter word for the word “yek,” which means ‘one’. So you would say “man khāhar dāram.”

Matt: man khāhar dāram.

Leyla: Now you could use the complete word for ‘one’, which is “yek": “man yek khāhar dāram,” but this means more specifically 'I have one sister'. When you say “man khāhar dāram,” it's more similar to the English phrase ‘I have a sister’. So, listeners, then how would you say 'I have a brother'? Matt?

Matt: man barādar dāram.

Leyla: So that's all very well if you have one sister, one brother, one son, or one daughter, but it is likely that you have more siblings or children or meet people who have more. So if you have more, you're going to need to learn some numbers. And we are going to learn how to count to 10 in this lesson, and we're going to learn this to some rhythm. So first, let's learn ‘one’ through ‘four’.

 

yek

chahār.

 

So Matt, repeat after me:

 

yek

chahār.

Matt: yek

chahār.

Leyla: yek

chahār.

Matt: yek

chahār.

Leyla: yek

chahār.

Matt: yek

chahār.

 

Leyla: Okay, time to move on to ‘five’ through ‘eight’:

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

 

So Matt, repeat after me:

 

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Matt: panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Leyla: panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Matt: panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Leyla: panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Matt: panj

sheesh

haft

hasht.

Leyla: Great, now let's learn ‘nine’ and ‘ten’:

 

noh

dah.

 

Now repeat after me:

 

noh

dah.

Matt: noh

dah.

Leyla: noh

dah.

Matt: noh

dah.

Leyla: Great, and now let's put it all together:

 

yek

chahār

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht

noh

dah.

Matt: yek

chahār

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht

noh

dah.

Leyla: yek

chahār

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht

noh

dah.

Matt: yek

chahār

panj

sheesh

haft

hasht

noh

dah.

 

Leyla: And now that you know all the numbers, let's try applying them to talking about our families. In addition to not having to differentiate between masculine and feminine, another wonderful thing about Persian is that there is no differentiation between a sentence about singular things and a sentence about plural things. So for example, to say ‘I have a brother’, you say “man barādar dāram,” and to say ‘I have two brothers’, you simply change this to “man barādar dāram.”

Matt: man barādar dāram.

Leyla: So now, to say ‘I have two sisters’, we say “man khāhar dāram.”

Matt: man khāhar dāram.

Leyla: Now let's say you want to introduce their names. You have to change the sentence slightly. If you have one sister and you want to say her name, you say “man khāhar dāram. esmesh sārā hast.' If you have two sisters and you want to say their names, you say ”man khāhar dāram. esmāshoon sārā va maryam hast."

Matt: man khāhar dāram. esmeshoon sārā va maryam hast.

Leyla: Almost, let's try that second part again. esmāshoon sārā va maryam hast.

Matt: esmāshoon sārā va maryam hast.

Leyla: So let's try putting all that together: man khāhar dāram. esmāshoon sārā va maryam hast.

Matt: man khāhar dāram. esmāshoon sārā va maryam hast.

Leyla: And now we're going to try something a little bit different. We're going to have a special guest on the program. If you've been listening to the lesson so far with the vocabulary we've learned, you should be able to make out who the special guest is. We're going to access her via telephone. Here we go!

 

alō?

salām!

salām!

esmé shomā chee-yé?

man farzāneh hastam.

shomā kee hasteed?

man mādaré tō hastam.

salām māmān! balé, shomā mādaré man hasteed, va man dokhtaré shomā hastam.

 

So Matt, can you make out that conversation? Who are we talking to?

Matt: Your mother Farzaneh.

Leyla: Exactly. So I asked:

 

esmé shomā chee-yé?

 

And she answered:

 

man farzāneh hastam.

 

Which means…?

Matt: ‘I am Farzaneh’, or ‘my name is Farzaneh’.

Leyla: So I asked:

 

shomā kee hasteed?

 

This means ‘who are you?’ and she answered:

 

man mādaré tō hastam.

 

Which means…?

Matt: 'I am your mother'.

Leyla: Exactly, and I answered:

 

salām māmān! balé, shomā mādaré man hasteed, va man dokhtaré shomā hastam.

 

You know all these words, so what does that phrase mean?

Matt: ‘Yes, you are my mother and I am your daughter.’

Leyla: Exactly, and notice she used the informal ‘you’ while I addressed her with the formal ‘you’ out of a sign of respect. Well, merci māmān!

Farzaneh: khāhesh meekonam. I hope you are enjoying learning Persian, and I will join you again soon.

Leyla: My mother will be joining us in later podcasts, I'm sure, and we will be delighted to have her again.

 

And that concludes the Lesson 6 podcast!

Matt: We hope you enjoyed the show!

Leyla: Ideally, you can listen to this podcast over and over again until you learn all the vocabulary. Until next time, khodāhāfez from Leyla.

Matt: And tā ba'ad from Matt.