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Persian phrasebook

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Persian is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and neighbouring countries; there are also numerous Persian speaking communities throughout the world. Sometimes the language is also refered to as Farsi.

It is an Indo-European language, so there are many similarities to English, French, Russian and many other languages you might be more familiar with.

Pronunciation guide

The Persian alphabet is the same as the Arabic alphabet, plus four extra letters. It consists entirely of consonants. Vowels are written inconsistently, if at all; ا usually stands for ah when it's a vowel, but sometimes o. Most of the letters change shape when they are followed by another letter.

Vowels

Note that the short a sound occurs at the ends of words and other places where it doesn't in English; e.g. چهارده (cha-hahr-DA) "fourteen".

like 'a' in "apple" or "cat"
aa 
like 'a' in "father"
between the 'e' in "bed" and "bake"
like 'i' in "elite"
like 'o' in "note"
like 'u' in "flute

Consonants

ا 
glottal stop or long vowel
ب 
as in bob
پ 
as in put
ت 
as in put
ث 
as in miss
ج 
as in Jim
چ 
as in cheese
ح 
as in head
خ 
as in loch
ر 
as in Spanish reloj
ز 
as in buzz
ژ 
as in garage
س 
as in seem
ش 
as in sheet
ص 
ض 
ط 
ظ 
ع 
tighten the throat
غ 
a sort of voiced gargling noise
ف 
as in feet
ق 
as in coop but farther back
ک 
as in keep
گ 
as in go
ل 
as in leave
م 
as in moon
ن 
as in noon
و 
as in move or soon
ی 
as in yet or see
ه 
as in head or silent

Basics

Hello. 
Salaam. "salaam" سلام
Hello. (informal
Hi. Salaam سلام
How are you? 
 ? Haale shomaa chetor e حالِ شما چطور است or in less formal situations: haalet chator e حالت چطور است
Fine, thank you. 
Fine, thank you. khubam, mersi خوبم مرسي
What is your name? 
What is your name? esme shomaa chi e? اسمِ شما چيست؟ or esmat chist? اسمت چيست؟ (less formal)
My name is ______ . 
My name is ______ . esme man ___ e اسمِ من ـــــ است or esmam _____ e اسمم ـــــ است
Nice to meet you. 
Nice to meet you. (az didane shomaa khosh-haalam)
Please. 
Please. (khahesh mikonam or lotfan)
Thank you. 
Thank you. (mersi or "Manmnoon")
You're welcome. 
You're welcome. (ghabeli nadare or khaahesh mikonam)
Yes. 
Yes. (bale or aareh) "are" is very informal.
No. 
No. (na or Kheir)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Excuse me. (bebakh-shid)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Excuse me. (bebakh-shid)
I'm sorry. 
I'm sorry. (mazerat mikhaam)
Goodbye 
Goodbye. (khodaa haafez)
Goodbye (informal
Bye. (meebeenamet)
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
I can't speak English [well]. (Man engelisi [khoob] harf nemizanam)
Do you speak English? 
Do you speak English? (Englisi harf mizanid?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Is there someone here who speaks English? (Kesi inja engilisi harf mizane?)
Help! 
Help! (Komak!)
Look out! 
Look out! (Movazeb bash!)
Good morning. 
Good morning. (sob be kheir)
Good evening. 
Good evening. (Asr be kheir)
Good night. 
Good night. (shab be kheir)
Good night (to sleep
Good night. (shab bekheir)
I don't understand. 
I don't understand. (nemeefah-mam or "motevajeh nemisham")
Where is the toilet? 
Where is the toilet? (Dast-shooee kojast?)

Problems

Leave me alone. 
Leave me alone. (Velam kon!)
Don't touch me! 
Don't touch me! (Dast behem nazan!)
I'll call the police. 
I'll call the police. (Be police zang mizanam!)
Police! 
Police! (police)
Stop! Thief! 
Stop! Thief! (Ist! Dozd!)
I need your help. 
I need your help. (Lotfan komakam konid)
It's an emergency. 
It's an emergency. (In ye amre zarourieh)
I'm lost. 
I'm lost. (Man gom shodam)
Go away! 
Get lost! (Boro gom sho!)
I lost my bag. 
I lost my bag. (Man sakamo gom kardam)
I lost my wallet. 
I lost my wallet. (Man kifamo gom kardam)
I'm sick. 
I'm sick. (Halam khoob nist)
I've been injured. 
I've been injured. (Zakhm shodam)
I need a doctor. 
I need a doctor. (Doctor ehtiaj daram)
Can I use your phone? 
Can I use your phone? (Mitounam az telephon e shoma estefadeh konam?)

Numbers

یک (Yek)
دو (Dow)
سه (Seh)
چهار (ChaahaaR)
پانج (Paanch)
شش (Shesh)
هفت (Haft)
هشت (Hasht)
نو (Noh)
10 
ده (Dah)
11 
یزده (Yaz-dah)
12 
دوازده (Davaz-dah)
13 
سزده (Siz-dah)
14 
چهارده (Chahahr-dah)
15 
پانزده (Panz-dah)
16 
شانزده (Shanz-dah)
17 
هفده (Hev-dah)
18 
هشده (Hedg-dah)
19 
نوزده (Nooz-dah)
20 
بیست (Beest)
21 
بیسا ویک (Beest oo-YEK)
22 
بیست ودو (Beest oo-DOW)
23 
بیسن وسه (Beest oo-SEH)
30 
thirty (See)
40 
forty (Che hel)
50 
fifty (Panjaah)
60 
sixty (Shast)
70 
seventy (Haftaad)
80 
eighty (Hashtaad)
90 
ninety (Navad)
100 
one hundred (Sad)
200 
two hundred (Deveest)
300 
three hundred (See Sad)
1000 
one thousand (Hezaar)
2000 
two thousand (Dow Hezaar)
1,000,000 
one million (Yek Millioun)
1,000,000,000 
one thousand million in UK, one billion in USA (Yek Millirad)
1,000,000,000,000 
one billion in UK, one trillion in USA (Yek Trillioun)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
number _____ (.Adad)
half 
half (Nesf)
less 
less (Kamtar)
more 
more (Bishtar)

Time

now 
now (Alaan)
later 
later (Badan)
before 
before (Ghablan)
morning 
morning (Sobh)
afternoon 
afternoon (Ba'ad az zohr)
evening 
evening (Ghoroub)
night 
night (Shab)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
one o'clock AM (Yek e sobh)
two o'clock AM 
two o'clock AM (Dow e sobh)
noon 
noon (Zohr)
one o'clock PM 
one o'clock PM (Yek e ba'ad az zohr)
two o'clock PM 
two o'clock PM (Dow e ba'ad az zohr)
midnight 
midnight (Nesf e shab)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minute(s) (Daghigheh Plural: Daghaiegh)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ hour(s) (Sa'at Plural: Sa'at ha or Sa aat)
_____ day(s) 
_____ day(s) (Rouz Plural: Rouz ha)
_____ week(s) 
_____ week(s) (Hafteh Plural Hafte ha)
_____ month(s) 
_____ month(s) (Maah Plural: Mah ha)
_____ year(s) 
_____ year(s) (Sal Plural: Sal ha)

Days

today 
today (Emrouz)
yesterday 
yesterday (Dirouz)
tomorrow 
tomorrow (Farda)
this week 
this week (In hafte)
last week 
last week (Hafteie Gozashteh)
next week 
next week (Hafteie aiandeh)
Sunday 
Sunday (Yek Shanbeh)
Monday 
Monday (Dow Shanbeh)
Tuesday 
Tuesday (Se Shanbeh)
Wednesday 
Wednesday (Chaahaar Shanbeh)
Thursday 
Thursday (Panj Shanbeh)
Friday 
Friday (Jom e or Adineh)
Saturday 
Saturday (Shanbeh)

Months

If speakers of the language commonly use a calendar other than the Gregorian, explain it here and list its months. See Hebrew phrasebook for an example.

January 
January (Day)
February 
February (Bahman)
March 
March (Esfand)
April 
April (Farvardin)
May 
May (Ordibehesht)
June 
June (Khordad)
July 
July (Tir)
August 
August (Mordad)
September 
September (Shahrivar)
October 
October (Mehr)
November 
November (Aban)
December 
December (Azar)

Writing time and date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

Colors

black 
black (Siaah)
white 
white (Sefeed or Sepeed)
gray 
gray (Khakestari)
red 
red (Ghermez or Sorkh)
blue 
blue (Aabee)
yellow 
yellow (Zard)
green 
green (Sabz)
orange 
orange (Narenji)
purple 
purple (Banafsh)
brown 
brown (Ghahveie)

Transportation

Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
How much is a ticket to _____? (Gheimat e bleet be _____ chande?)
One ticket to _____, please. 
One ticket to _____, please. (Yek bleet be _____ lotfan)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Where does this train/bus go? (In Ghatar/Autobous be koja miravad?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Where is the train/bus to _____? (Ghatar e/Autobous e _____ koja ast?)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Does this train/bus stop in _____? (Aya in Ghatar/Autobous dar _____ mi istad?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? (Ghatar/Autobous key harekat mikonad?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
When will this bus arrive in _____? (In Ghatar/Autobous key be _____ miresad )

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
How do I get to _____ ? (Che jouri mitounam be ____ beram?)
...the train station? 
...the train station? (Ist gahe Ghatar?)
...the bus station? 
...the bus station? (Ist gahe Autobous)
...the airport? 
...the airport? (Foroud gah)
...downtown? 
...downtown? (Markaze shahr)
...the youth hostel? 
...the youth hostel? (Oun khab gahe Javanan)
...the _____ hotel? 
...the _____ hotel? (Hotel e ____)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? (Sefarat Amrica/Caanaadaa/Ostralia/inslis?)
Where are there a lot of... 
Where are there a lot of... (Koja ye te'e dade ... mitavan peida kard?)
...hotels? 
...hotels? (hotel ha)
...restaurants? 
...restaurants? (Restouran ha)
...bars? 
...bars? (There is no bar in Iran, so do not ask for)
...sites to see? 
...sites to see? (Jaie didani)
Can you show me on the map? 
Can you show me on the map? (Mitouni roye naghshe be man neshoun bedi?)
street 
street (Khiabaan)
Turn left. 
Turn left. (Gardesh be chap)
Turn right. 
Turn right. (Gardesh be raast)
left 
left (Chap)
right 
right (Raast)
straight ahead 
straight ahead (dorost mostaghim)
towards the _____ 
towards the _____ (Be samte _____)
past the _____ 
past the _____ (Ba'ad az _____)
before the _____ 
before the _____ (Ghabl az _____)
Watch for the _____. 
Watch for the _____. (Donbale _____ begard)
intersection 
intersection (Chaahaar rah or Taghato'e)
north 
north (Shomal)
south 
south (Jonoub)
east 
east (Shargh or khavar)
west 
west (Gharb or baakhtar )
uphill 
uphill (Sar balaie)
downhill 
downhill (Sar a ziri)

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi! (Taaxi!)
Take me to _____, please. 
Take me to _____, please. (Saying the name of the place is pretty much sufficient)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
How much does it cost to

get to _____? (Ta ... chande?)

Take me there, please. 
Take me there, please. (Saying the name of the place is pretty much sufficient)

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
Do you have any rooms available? (Otaaghe khaali daarid?)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
How much is a room for one person/two people? (Ye otaagh baraaie yek/dow nafar che ghadre?)
Does the room come with... 
Does the room come with... (Otaagh ba _____ ast?)
...bedsheets? 
...bedsheets? (Malaafeh)
...a bathroom? 
...a bathroom? (Hammaam)
...a telephone? 
...a telephone? (Telephon)
...a TV? 
...a TV? (Televizion like pronunciation in French)
May I see the room first? 
May I see the room first? (Mitounam aval otagh o bebinam?)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Do you have anything quieter? (Jaaie araam tar daarid?)
...bigger? 
...bigger? (Bozourg tar)
...cleaner? 
...cleaner? (Tamiz tar)
...cheaper? 
...cheaper? (Arzaan tar)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (Kheili khoub, man ino bar midaaram or kheili khoub, man ino mikhaam)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
I will stay for _____ night(s). (_____ shab minuman)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Can you suggest another hotel? (Yeh hotel e dige pishnahaad darin?)
Do you have a safe? 
Do you have a safe? (Sandogh e amaanat daarid?)
...lockers? 
...lockers? (Sandoghe Amanat)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is breakfast/supper included? (Sobhaane/Shaam shaamel e in otaagh hast?)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
What time is breakfast/supper? (Vaghte Sobhaane/Shaam kaey e)
Please clean my room. 
Please clean my room. (Lotfan otaaghe man raa tamiz koneed)
Can you wake me at _____? | Can you wake me at _____? (Lotfan _____ bidaar koneed?)
I want to check out. 
I want to check out. (Mikhaaham tasvieh konam?)

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? (Aya shomaa dolaar e Amrica/Ostralia/Caanaadaa ghaboul mikonid?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept British pounds? (''Aya shomaa Pound e inglis ghaboul mikonid?)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Do you accept credit cards? (Aya credit card ghaboul mikounid?)
Can you change money for me? 
Can you change money for me? (Aya mitavanid poul e man ro change konid?)
Where can I get money changed? 
Where can I get money changed? (Koja mitavaanam poulam ro change konam?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Can you change a traveler's check for me? (Aya mitavanid travel check e mano khord konid? )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? (Koja mitavaanam travel checkamo khord konam)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (Nerkhe arz che ghadre?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? (Note, there is no foreign currency ATM in Iran)

Eating

A table for one person/two people, please. 
A table for one person/two people, please. (Yek miz baraaie yek/dow nafar lotfan.)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Can I look at the menu, please? (Mitunam ye negaah be menou bi andaazam?)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Can I look in the kitchen? (Mitunam ye negaah be aashpaz khaaneh bi andaazam?)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (Aya monaasebat e vije ei dar khaaneh hast?)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (Aya monaasebat e vije ei mahali hast?)
I'm a vegetarian. 
I'm a vegetarian. (Man sabzi kharam)
I don't eat pork. 
I don't eat pork. (Man goshte khouk nemikhouram)
I don't eat beef. 
I don't eat beef. (Man goshte gaav nemikhouram)
I only eat kosher food. 
I only eat kosher food. (Man faghat gosht e halal mikhouram )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (Mituni lotfan ye meghdar sabouk taresh koni?) (Roughane kamtar/Kare/Charbi e heivani or Charbi e Khouk)
fixed-price meal 
fixed-price meal (Ghaza ba gheimat e moshakhas)
à la carte 
à la carte (Ghazaie ke joda joda sefaresh dadeh mishavad)
breakfast 
breakfast (Sobhane)
lunch 
lunch (Naahaar)
tea (meal
tea (Chaai)
supper 
supper (Shaam)
I want _____. 
I want _____. (Man ____ mihkaam)
I want a dish containing _____. 
I want a dish containing _____. (Man ye boshghaab mikhaam ke shaamel e _____ baashe)
chicken 
chicken (Morgh or Joojeh)
beef 
beef (Goosht)
fish 
fish (Maahi)
ham 
ham (Hamberger)
sausage 
sausage (Sows)
cheese 
cheese (Paneer)
eggs 
eggs (Tokhme morgh)
salad 
salad (Saalaad)
(fresh) vegetables 
(fresh) vegetables (Sabzi e tazeh)
(fresh) fruit 
(fresh) fruit (Mive ie tazeh)
bread 
bread (Naan)
toast 
toast (Towst)
noodles 
noodles (Makarouni)
rice 
rice (Berenj)
beans 
beans (Loubiaa)
May I have a glass of _____? 
May I have a glass of _____? (Mitunam ye livaan _____ daashteh baasham?)
May I have a cup of _____? 
May I have a cup of _____? (Mitunam ye fenjan _____ daashteh baasham?)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
May I have a bottle of _____? (Mitunam ye shisheh _____ daashteh baasham)
coffee 
coffee (Ghahve)
tea (drink
tea (Chaai)
juice 
juice (...)
(bubbly) water 
water (Aab sodaa)
water 
water (Aab)
beer 
beer (Abjo Note: There is no alcohol beer in restaurants)
red/white wine 
red/white wine (Sharaab e ghermez/Sefid There is no alcohol wine in restaurants)
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (Mitunam ye meghdaar _____ daashteh baasham?)
salt 
salt (Namak)
black pepper 
black pepper (Felfel e Siaah)
butter 
butter (Kareh)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Excuse me, waiter? (Bebakhshid pish khedmat? Litterally, but better to say Bebakhshid Aaghaa)
I'm finished. 
I'm finished. (Baraaie man basseh or Baraaie man tamoum shod )
It was delicious. 
It was delicious. (Khosh mazzeh boud)
Please clear the plates. 
Please clear the plates. (Lotfan zarf harou tamiz konid)
The check, please. 
The check, please. (Sourat hesaab, lotfan)

Bars

Remember that the possession, sale and service in Iran is illegal.

Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (mashroob serv mikonin?)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (Sefaaresh migirin?)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (yek/do taa Aabjo lotfan!)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (yek gilas sharaab-e ghermez/sefid lotfan)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (yek livan lotfan)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (yek shishe lotfan)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (veeski)
vodka 
vodka (vodkaa)
rum 
rum (rum)
water 
water (aab)
club soda 
club soda (shnaaps)
tonic water 
tonic water (aab-e gaazdaar)
orange juice 
orange juice (aab portaghaal)
Coke (soda
Coke (kokaa)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (mazze daarin?)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (yeki dige lotfan)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (yek dore dige lotfan)
When is closing time? 
When is closing time? (saa'at-e chand mibandin?)

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
Do you have this in my size? (ino andaazeye man daarin?)
How much is this? 
How much is this? (chande?)
That's too expensive. 
That's too expensive. (kheili geroone!)
Would you take _____? 
Would you take _____? (____ ghabool mikonin?)
expensive 
expensive (geroon)
cheap 
cheap (arzoon)
I can't afford it. 
I can't afford it. (vos'am nemirese!)
I don't want it. 
I don't want it. (nemikhaamsh)
You're cheating me. 
You're cheating me. (daarin saram kolaah mizarin)
I'm not interested. 
I'm not interested. (delam nemikhad)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (baashe, mikharamesh)
Can I have a bag? 
Can I have a bag? (yek kise/saak khedmatetoon hast?)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Do you ship (overseas)? (be khaarej post mikonin?)
I need... 
I need... (... mikhaam)
...toothpaste. 
...toothpaste. (khamir dandoon)
...a toothbrush. 
...a toothbrush. (mesvaak)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (tampon)
...soap. 
...soap. (saaboon)
...shampoo. 
...shampoo. (shaampoo)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...pain reliever. (mosakken (aaspirin))
...cold medicine. 
...cold medicine. (darooye sarmaakhordegi)
...stomach medicine. 
...stomach medicine. (daarooye del-dard)
...a razor. 
...a razor. (teegh-e rish taraashi)
...an umbrella. 
...an umbrella. (chatr)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (kerem-e zedde aaftaab)
...a postcard. 
...a postcard. (kaart postal)
...postage stamps. 
...postage stamps. (tamr-e post)
...batteries. 
...batteries. (baatri)
...writing paper. 
...writing paper. (kaaghaz yaad daasht)
...a pen. 
...a pen. (ghalam (ballpoint: khod-kaar))
...English-language books. 
...English-language books. (ketaab be engilisi)
...English-language magazines. 
...English-language magazines. (majaleye engilisi)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...an English-language newspaper. (rooznaameye engilisi)
...an English-English dictionary. 
...an English-English dictionary. (loghatnaameye engilisi be engilisi)

Driving

Notice: in Iran there are no car rental agencies. Most of the time, you would need to rent a car with a driver from an "aajaans" (taxi agency) who will drive you around. The agencies often have set daily/weekly rental prices which you should make sure to ask for!

I want to rent a car. 
I want to rent a car. (mikhaam maashin ejaare konam)
Can I get insurance? 
Can I get insurance? (beemeh ham mikhaam)
stop (on a street sign
stop (IST ايست!)
one way 
one way (يک طرفه)
yield 
yield (...)
no parking 
no parking (paark mamnoo'پارک ممنوع)
speed limit 
speed limit (sor'ate mojaaz...سرعت مجاز)
gas (petrol) station 
gas station (pomp-e benzin...پمپ بنزين)
petrol 
petrol (benzin...بنزين)
diesel 
diesel (deezel...ديزل)

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
I haven't done anything wrong. (maan kaar-e khalaafi nakardam)
It was a misunderstanding. 
It was a misunderstanding. (eshtebaah shode)
Where are you taking me? 
Where are you taking me? (mano kojaa mibarin?)
Am I under arrest? 
Am I under arrest? (aaya dar togheef-am?)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (man emrikayi/ostoraaliyaayi/engilisi/kaanaadaayi hastam)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
I need to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. (mikhaam baa sefaarat/konsoolgariye Emrika/Ostoraaliya/Engelestan/Kanaadaa tamaas begiram)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
I want to talk to a lawyer. (ehtiyaaj be yek vakil daaram)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Can I just pay a fine now? (mitoonam jarime-am ro bepardaazam?)

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