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
  • chāhār (chār for short) - four
  • panj - five
  • sheesh - six
  • haft - seven
  • hasht - eight
  • noh - nine
  • dah - ten


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?)

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 designed to teach conversational persian to beginners

Leyla: We've been so delighted by all the positive feedback we've been receiving. Please continue to send us comments and suggestions. It really helps to inform the direction of the show.

Matt: And remember, the podcast is only one part of the learning process. Visit our website at chaiandconversation.com where you will find tons of bonus materials to help with the learning process

Leyla: One of the most helpful of these is the pdf guide, which provides explanations of the words we learn in the podcast and spells them out for you in phonetic English. In addition, there's an enhanced podcast that provides flashcards for you to learn with.

Matt: This can all be found on our website.

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

Matt: Ready!

Leyla: Great, then let's begin to learn persian with Chai and Conversation.

Leyla: So last week we learned words for different members of the family and we learned how to introduce your family members to others, as well as how 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. Let's begin by going over what 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 minute to come up with the answer before giving your own answer. So first, brother

Matt: baradar

Leyla: Second, sister

Matt: khahar

Leyla: Great. Next we have mother

Matt: madar

Leyla: And how would you say father

Matt: pedar

Leyla: That's right, pedar. And wife

Matt: zan

Leyla: And finally, husband

Matt: shohar

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

Matt: baradareh man

Leyla: Exactly, so madareh man, baradareh man, etc. So if madareh man means my mother, what do you think madareh to means?

Matt: Your mother

Leyla: Exactly, so how would you say your father

Matt: pedareh to

Leyla: perfect, and your brother?

Matt: baradareh to

Leyla: your sister

Matt: khahareh to

Leyla: and one more your wife

Matt: zaneh to

Leyla: great. Again, we joined the words together by using the e sound, so zaneh man, shohareh to. As you know, to is the informal word, so baradareh to, shohareh to is the informal way of saying it, if you're talking to someone with whom you need to use the formal form, you would use the formal you and you would say 'zaneh shoma

Matt: zaneh shoma

Leyla: and this can be used for any of the words such as baradareh shoma, khahareh shoma. Now we are going to learn some other words linked to the family, words that specifically children would say. We leawrned the words for mother and father, madar and pedar, but kids are more likely to use the words maman

Matt: maman

Leyla:  and baba

Matt: baba

Leyla: mamaneh to

Matt: mamaneh to

Leyla: and babayeh to

Matt: babayeh to

Leyla: so on babayeh to, notice that becasue baba ends in a vowel, we use the ye sound to join them together instead of the e sound. So babayeh to

Matt: babayeh to

Leyla: mamaneh man

Matt: mamaneh man

Leyla: babayeh man

Matt: babayeh man

Leyla: exactly. Now we're going to learn 'I have' as in 'I have a sister'. I have in Persian is daram

Leyla: Now, in the phrase I have a sister, there is a word that we haven't learned before, and that's the word 'a'. In Persian, a gets translated as 'one'. Ye is a shorter version of the word yek,, which means one. So you would say 'man ye khahar daram

Matt: man ye khahar daram

Leyla: Now you could use the longer version of the word yek, so man yek khahar daram, but this means more specifically 'I have one sister'. When you say 'man ye khahar daram' it's more similar to the English phrase, I have a sister. So listeners, how would you say 'I have a brother'

Matt: man ye baradar daram

Leyla: So this is all well if you have one daughter or one brother, or one child, but it is likely that you have more than one, or meet other people that do. If you have more, you're going to need to learn some numbers. We're 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











Leyla: And now that you know all the numbers, let's try applying them to talking about our families. In addition to not differentiating between masculine and feminine, another wonderful thing about Persian is that there is no differentiation between talking about singular things and plural things. So for example, to say I have a brother you say 'man ye baradar daram' and to say I have two brothers, you simply say 'man do baradar daram'.

Matt: man do baradar daram

Leyla: so now to say i have two sisters, we say 'man do khahar daram'

Matt: man do khahar daram

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 ye khahar daram, esmesh sara hast.' if you have two sisters and you want to say their names, you say 'man do khahar daram. esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Matt: man do khahar daram. esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Leyla: almost, let's try that second part again esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Matt: esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Leyla: so let's try putting all that together man do khahar daram. esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Matt: man do khahar daram. esmashoon sara va maryam hast'

Leyla: And now we're going to try somethign 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 been learning, you should be able to tell who the special guest is. We're going to access her via telephone.




Esme shoma cheeyeh?

Man Farzaneh hastam

Shoma kee hasteen?

Man madareh shoma hastee

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

Matt: Your mother Farzaneh.

Leyla: So we asked her who she is and she said

Matt: 'Man Farzaneh Hastam

Leyla: which means

Matt: I am Farzaneh, or my name is Farzaneh

Leyla: And I asked shoma kee hasteed? And this means 'who are you"? and she answered

Matt: man madareh to hastam

Leyla: which means

Matt: I am your mother

Leyla: exactly, and I answered "baleh, shoma madareh man hasteed va man dokhtareh shoma hastam, which means

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

Leyla: Exactly. And notice she used the informal you while I used the formal you. Well, merci maman

Matt: khahesh 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 hope and we will be delighted to have her

Matt: And that concludes Lesson 6!

Leyla: Ideally you can listen to this lesson over and over again until you learn all the vocabulary words.

Matt: Thanks for listening!