Dear friends and lovers of the Persian language, a couple months ago, we here at Chai and Conversation quickly put together a list of Persian sayings we thought sounded quite humorous when literally translated into the English language. Every language has sayings that when taken literally in other languages, make no sense at all, and Persian certainly has its fair share of such expressions. After hastily publishing our list of the illustrated phrases, we were completely surprised to find the post take off and be shared like wild-fire
To all our Iranian peeps, as well as the Kurds, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Ismailis, Alevis, Alawites, Babis, Bahá'ís, and many of the brave folks in Crimea and elsewhere throughout the world, NOWRUZ PIROUZ!
Valentine's Day is fast approaching, so we thought there's no better time to compile a list of unique Persian terms of endearment for you to shower your sweet love with. Many of these terms are similar to those found in the English language, while some are quite different, and would almost be insults (or nonsensical) in English.
The Persian language is an inherently poetic one- rather than being direct and functional (like English, for example), it is infused with metaphor, allegory, and song. This bleeds into the culture and rituals of Iranians (again, think of the tradition of Tarof), but is subtly present in everyday simple speech as well. A great example of this is in the naming of the colors.
Translating idioms and sayings into other languages is always an exercise in humor- often, you've repeated them so many times without thinking about what is literally being said. We decided to make a list of the 11 funniest Persian sayings and translate them literally into English, along with a photo accompaniment of their literal meanings. Try to take a guess at what they actually mean before reading the explanations below.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Amin Etemad of Ahjeel (right after he interviewed Maz Jobrani! I wish I'd practiced a few more jokes). Ahjeel is an online network that publishes different interviews with leaders in the Iranian American community. Amin asked me many thought provoking questions about Chai and Conversation, leading me through a journey of how it started to how we got to where we are now.
In this video, we introduce Graham, a new listener to the Chai and Conversation podcast. Graham wants to learn Persian for an upcoming trip to California, so we teach him four introductory words he needs to know in order to have an entire conversation in the Persian language.
Although The Little Prince (translated as shāzdé koochooloo) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is not a distinctly Persian novel, it has a very important place in the heart of Iranians. If you’re not familiar with the story (where have you been?!) The Little Prince is a beautiful story about a pilot who meets a little boy in the desert, and through a series of conversations, delves into the depths of the topics of life, love, death and everything in between.