Persian

5 Ways to Express your Love in Persian

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Valentine’s Day may have passed, but we have the lesser-known Sepandār-mazgān (سپندارمذگان) – the ancient Persian celebration of earth, women and love – coming up on February 23rd! 

Only recently gaining popularity among Persian communities, Sepandār-mazgān historically takes place on the 5th of ‘Esfand’ (the 12th month in the Persian calendar) and dates back to the 20th century BC! Today, in Iran, this day is observed a week earlier due to calendar changes with time.

This Sepandār-mazgān, express your affection to loved ones with our top 5 Persian phrases! ❤️

1. Doostet daram “دوستت دارم”

It literally translates to “I like you” but it is the most common and widely recognized way to say “I love you” to a loved one, family or friends in Persian!

2. Asheghetam “عاشقتم”

From the word eshghعشق” (love), it literally translates to: “I’m in love with you.” It’s a much more intense expression or display of love, for romantic or close platonic relationships alike! 

3. Jigar tala “جیگر طلا

This Persian expression takes the cake for unique ways to address your lover, literally meaning “golden liver”. An English equivalent might look something like “A heart of gold.” 

4. Fadat besham “فدات بشم”

The ultimate expression of affection, this phrase means “I am willing to sacrifice myself for you.” Use this expression the next time someone says something super adorable that makes you melt. Said in fun, this phrase is not to be taken seriously!

5. Eshghe mani “عشق منی” 

Translating to “you are my love”; this phrase can be used in response to an adorable comment by a loved one. Derived from the word eshgh “عشق” (love), you can flip around the expression and add the possessive pronoun “my”, or suffix “-am” in Persian: “eshgh” + “am” = eshgham (my love).

Other common terms of endearment include: azizam (my dear), asalam (my honey), khoshgelam (my beautiful), nafasam (my breath), jigaram (my liver).

This February (and beyond), sign up for NaTakallam’s NEW Duo Sessions in Persian and share the love WITH your jigar tala (جیگر طلا)! At NaTakallam, every language session contributes to the livelihoods of our skilled tutors from refugee/displaced backgrounds. What say’s “doostet daram” more than that?

Double the fun and impact; learn more here.

10 untranslatable love expressions from 6 languages

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Love is a universal language but some days you need a little extra to express your affection to your loved one. With Valentine’s just around the corner, here are our top 10 love expressions in 6 languages!

1. Arabic: “دمه خفيف” (damu-hu khafeef)
Literally “his blood is light”, is a way of saying that you find someone extremely funny and adorable! Change to “دمها خفيف” (damu-ha khafeef) when speaking to a lady 😉

2. Spanish: “Eres un bombón”
For days when your eye candy is looking particularly sweet, literally meaning “you are a bonbon”.

3. French“Mon petit chou” (masculine) or “Ma choupinette” (feminine)
Want a unique way to address your beloved? This French term of endearment, literally translates to “my little cabbage”! Confused? The “chou” here is actually short for ‘chou à la crème’, a sweet puff pastry!

4. Persian (Farsi): “دلم برات تنگ شده” (delam barat tang shode)
When “I miss you” just isn’t enough, employ this poetic Persian phrase: lit. “my heart has tightened for you”. This could mean the mental feeling of missing someone transforms into physical pain or that you miss someone so much you can’t breathe!

5. Spanish: “Me haces mucha falta”
Or if you’d prefer en español, this very common phrase is often directly translated as “I miss you”. But when you break it down, it basically translates to: you make a big absence in me, or you are lacking from me!

6. French: “Retrouvailles”
More relevant this year than ever: the unmatched feeling of joy when finally reunited after much time apart – that’s exactly what this untranslatable French word describes!

7. Kurdish (Kurmanji): “Kezeb-a min”
Go beyond the typical terms of endearment with Kurmanji and address your loved one – lover, family or friend – with: “Kezeb-a min”, literally meaning “my liver”. As a vital organ, this is truly a sign of affection!

8. Arabic “تقبرني” (tuqburnii):

No, we did not mix up our Valentine’s Day and Halloween expression lists! Although this phrase literally means:, “You bury me”, it’s used to imply: one would rather die and have you bury them, than live without you! It’s actually quite touching.

9. Persian “دورت بگردم” (doret begardam):
Another poetic Persian phrase, this one translates literally to: “let me circle around you”, in effect, meaning, “I would do anything for you”. We love the planetary imagery this evokes!

10. Armenian: մեռնեմ ջանիդ (mermen janid)
As suggested by its literal translation, “let me die for/on your body”, this phrase indicates a readiness to sacrifice your life for your loved one, and may be said to anyone you love and care for.

Looking for more ways to express your love? Skip the chocolates!

This year, try NaTakallam’s NEW Duo language option and discover your language of love WITH your loved one (and save up to 25% compared to individual sessions!).

Twice the learning, twice the impact. Available in Arabic, French, Persian and Spanish!

10 ways to go beyond a simple “thank you” in different languages

Reading Time: 2 minutes2020 has been a testing year for us all, to say the least. As a way of expressing our gratitude to all our language learners, language instructors, translators, interpreters, volunteers & team members throughout, here are 10 ways of saying thank you — in Arabic, French, Persian and Spanish! 

1.Tislam/Tislami (تسلم / تسلمي)

Coming from the root verb “سلم” or “salama” meaning “to come out safe/healthy”, this phrase means “May you stay safe”, and can be used as a way to thank someone, while literally also wishing well for their health and safety!

2. Ya‘tik al-‘afiya (يعطيك العافية)

Literally translating to “may [God] give you health,” this is a recognition of someone’s hard work and allows you to show your appreciation.

3. Merci de tout coeur (mekh-see dah tu ker)

A heartfelt phrase in French meaning, “thank you with all my heart”.

4. C’est très gentil à toi / vous (seh tkheh jan-tee a twa/voo)

In more formal settings, one might say “that’s very kind of you”. Remember to use “vous” when speaking in a respectful manner!

5. Daste shomā dard nakone (دست شما درد نکنه )

Never realized how poetic Persian is? This phrase means “may your hand not hurt”, often used when someone gives you a gift or prepares food for you.

6. Ghorbāne shomā (قربان شما )

Literally meaning “your sacrifice”, this is an example of a Persian taarof or an Iranian sign of etiquette and politeness, displaying humility. Read more here for context.

7. Te la/lo debo (te la/lo de-bo)

Spanish for “I owe you” – use this with friends to let them know you’re grateful for them and you got them next time!

8. (Estoy) Muy agradecido/a (ehs-toy muy agra-de-cido/a)

This is a lovely way to say “(I’m) very grateful for you” – another version of “thank you so much”, as the adjective “agradecido” is translated as “grateful”.

9. Mamnoun(t)ak/ek (ممنونك/ممنونتك)

You may hear this Arabic loanword, “mamnoun” or “ممنون”, in Arabic or Persian, as a way to say “thank you” or “I’m grateful to you”.

10. Merci (mekh-see)

Don’t be surprised if you hear “merci”, a common way to say “thank you”, beyond francophone countries, it’s also common in Middle Eastern countries and even Iran!

Happy new year, كل سنة وأنتم بخير, Feliz año nuevo, Bonne année, سال نو مبارک, from the NaTakallam family to yours 🙂 Here’s to reaching new language feats in 2021!

P.S. In case you missed our thank you series in the past month, check them here in ArabicPersianFrench and Spanish!

Shabe Yalda: The Longest Night of the Year

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blog contributor: Sayed, NaTakallam Persian Language Partner

Shabe Yalda; a night of welcoming. A night of love, light, and rebirth of the sun. The night of Hafez and Bidel (Persian poets) and lovers in the hope of a bright sunrise and longer days to come.

Shabe Yalda (شب یلدا‎), or the Night of Yalda, is a Persian festival celebrated on the longest and darkest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere i.e., the night of the winter solstice. It is one of the most important ancient Persian traditions which is still practiced today, falling on either the 20th or the 21st of December. This festival is also called “Shabe Chelleh” (شب چله‎), or the Night of the Forty, because it marks the beginning of the first forty days of winter, believed to be the coldest and toughest days of the year.

According to the Persian calendar*, this festival is celebrated from sunset on the 30th day of the month of Azar (the 9th month of the Persian calendar and the last day of autumn) till sunrise on the 1st day of the month of Dey (the 10th month and the first day of winter). Shabe Yalda brings together family and friends to pass the longest and darkest night of the year in good company and cheer, and celebrate the “rebirth of the sun” the following day, known as “Khurram ruz” (the day of the sun). The festival has particular significance for rural communities that depend on agriculture and animal husbandry.

The word “yalda” (یلدا‎) comes from the Syriac word yēled (ܝܠܕ), meaning “birth”. However, it is likely that the festivities themselves were adopted by ancient Persians (of Zoroastrian faith) from the annual celebration of the ‘renewal of the Sun’ of the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians.

Today, Iranian, Afghan, Tajik, Kurdish, and Azeri communities come together with family and friends to celebrate Shabe Yalda. They gather, usually at the home of grandparents or elderly relatives, to spend the night waiting for the sun to rise with legends, stories, and riddles. They recite verses from the Shahnameh (the epic Book of Kings by Ferdowsi, and the longest poem ever written by a single author) and intone poems from Divan-e Hafez**, accompanied by musical instruments, singing, and delicacies such as – watermelon, persimmon,  pomegranate, and “ajil” ( آجیل), a colorful mix of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

According to an old Persian belief, sunrise the following day would break the back of darkness, and with its radiance, remove darkness from people’s lives.

As Persians say… Shabe Yalda Mobarakشب یلدا مبارک – Happy Yalda Night!

Fascinated by Persian traditions, language, and poetry? Get more insight into the culture with NaTakallam’s native instructors! Sign up here, today.

 

*Fun fact: Did you know the Persian calendar is based on astronomical observations and is considered one of the closest to a perfect calendar according to this and this source? (The months are also aligned with the star signs!)

**Reciting poems from Divan-e Hafez is a special tradition on this night. Each member, in turn, makes a secret wish or poses a secret question (in their heart), and opens a random page in the book, in which the elder member of the family, or best reciter/interpreter, reads the selected poem out loud. It is believed that the randomly selected poem is a response, guidance or direction to the secret wish or question. It is fun to guess the secret wishes of others when in groups, as well!

 

This piece was contributed by Sayed, our Persian Language Partner, based in Indonesia.

Sayed Mohammad Nabi was born in Afghanistan right after the Soviet withdrawal but has lived as a refugee in Iran and currently resides in Indonesia. He studied French language and literature at Kabul University and has a background in translation and interpretation. In his free time, he enjoys poetry, photography, and hiking. He’s been working with NaTakallam since 2020.

5 Ways to say “thank you” in Persian

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Salaam (سلام, hello)! After exploring how to say “thank you” in Spanish and Arabic in our previous posts, this week we bring you 5 culturally meaningful ways to express gratitude in Persian!

1. Sepās-gozāram (سپاسگزارم)

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!

Book a one-on-one Persian language session here. Or give our Gift of Conversation to a Persian-learning friend!

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