June 07, 2018

Azizam and Joonam- What do they Mean?

Although we’ve published a list of terms of endearment to call your Persian lover here on the Chai and Conversation blog before, and devoted an entire lesson to essential words and phrases for love and friendship, two terms of endearment are especially worthy of more lengthy discussion- aziz-am and joon-am.
February 12, 2014

12 Things to Call Your Persian Lover

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.
February 05, 2014

The Surprising Poetry of Persian Colors

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. Rather than associate words purely with the corresponding color, the Persian words associate many of them with a greater concept related to that color, therefore immediately evoking a metaphor with each word. Again, these may be words you've used over and over again without ever thinking of them literally.
January 21, 2014

11 Persian Sayings That Make No Sense in English

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.
December 30, 2013

Video: The First Four Persian Words You Need to Know

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. Whether you're a new listener to Chai and Conversation, or a long time student, you can listen and repeat the words with Graham to get a good grasp on these four introductory words.
March 18, 2011

Happy Norooz to all!

It’s almost time for Norooz, the most important holiday in the Iranian culture. This holiday marks the beginning of the Persian calendar and occurs every year at the exact moment that spring starts. This year, it will occur on March 20, 2011 at exactly 6:21 central time in the United States, and the corresponding times around the world. It occurs at the same moment everywhere on earth, at the exact moment the earth enters the vernal equinox. However, we won’t be celebrating 2011 in Iran, we will be celebrating 1390, signifying the number of years after the birth date of Mohammad.