Mostly used in formal settings with roots dating back to ancient Persia (before the Arabic influence over the Persian language circa 600s AD), the term Sepās-gozāram (سپاسگزارم) is used to say “I am grateful”.
Want to impress? Add kheili (خیلی) meaning “very” before sepās-gozāram to emphasize your gratitude. In semi-casual settings, you can shorten the phrase to sepās (سپاس).
2. Mersi (مرسی) or Merci
Looking for a more colloquial term? You can use the French loan word, Merci – pronounced “mer-see” with a rolled r. It is an informal term which is used commonly within Farsi-speaking communities. As a response, you may hear khahesh mikonam (خواهش میکنم) meaning “you’re welcome”.
3. Daste shomā dard nakone (دست شما درد نکنه)
This phrase literally means “may your hand not hurt”. You can use it to express gratitude when receiving a gift*, any form of assistance from someone, or even when being served a nice meal!
Shoma (شما) is a formal pronoun for “you” (similar to the French polite form “vous”). Make this phrase informal by taking it off and tweaking the first word: Dastet dard nakone (دستت درد نکنه).
*It comes particularly handy if you happen to give/receive our Persian Gift of Conversation to/from a loved one this holiday season 😉
4. Kheili lotf dārid (خیلی لطف دارید)
Remember “kheili” (خیلی, very)? This phrase literally translates to “you have much kindness” or “that’s very kind of you”. This can be used when receiving compliments, gifts, or even declining favors kindly and respectfully.
5. Ghorbāne shomā (قربان شما )
Literally meaning “your sacrifice”, this expression is an example of Persian taarof, or Iranian etiquette, and a sign of politeness. When someone compliments you, instead of saying “thank you” to accept the compliment, it is more common to display modesty and deny the compliment. This is where ghorbāne shomā comes in. It is used to display humility and to acknowledge and show appreciation for the sacrifice of the other.
For a more informal use, replace the formal shoma (شما) with ghorboone to (قربون تو) or ghorboonet (قربونت).
As in Arabic, these translations can come across as quite dramatic; however, they reflect the beauty of the Persian language (and culture)!
Lastly, remember “mamnoun” (ممنون) from our Arabic blog? Persians use it, too! If you’re fascinated by the links between Arabic and Persian, check this out: the Persian words tashakkur (تشکر) and motashakkeram (متشکرم) come from the Arabic root “sh-k-r”, meaning “to thank” – exactly like shukran (شكراً)!
Practice these phrases and learn more about the Persian language and culture with NaTakallam’s language partners this holiday season!