Lesson 15: How to Talk to People in a Formal Manner, and More on Hosting and Being Hosted

Continuing with the theme of hosting and being hosted, the theme of this Persian / Farsi lesson is a visit to the in-laws on a Saturday afternoon. We follow Matt on a hypothetical visit to his in-laws house, and a potential conversation as they try to serve him food.

We also talk about formal speech- as we've said before, Persian culture errs on the side of formality, especially when talking to elders. Because there's an informal and formal way of addressing 'you', it's very important to choose the correct form, especially when dealing with the in-laws. For this reason, we'll go over how to ask questions in a formal way, and speaking respectfully. This will get you a lot of points with you Iranian in-laws.

We also go over how to talk about whether or not we are hungry or thirsty, because as you may know, Iranians LOVE to feed people and often will not take 'no' for an answer.

KEY CONCEPTS:

  • More about the formal and informal forms of 'you'
  • Formal phrases to use with in-laws
  • How to 'tarof' by asking someone to 'help themselves' or say 'please'
  • Talking about hunger or thirst

GREETINGS:

salām
hello
سَلام
chetor-ee
how are you?
چِطوری؟

Note: In Persian, as in many other languages, there is a formal and an informal way of speaking. We will be covering this in more detail in later lessons. For now, however, chetor-ee is the informal way of asking someone how they are, so it should only be used with people that you are familiar with. hālé shomā chetor-é is the formal expression for ‘how are you.’

Spelling note: In written Persian, words are not capitalized. For this reason, we do not capitalize Persian words written in phonetic English in the guides.


ANSWERS:

khoobam
I’m well
خوبَم

Pronunciation tip: kh is one of two unique sounds in the Persian language that is not used in the English language. It should be repeated daily until mastered, as it is essential to successfully speak Persian. Listen to the podcast for more information on how to make the sound.

Leyla: Hello and welcome to learn Persian with chai and conversation, the podcast for anyone looking to learn conversational Persian. My name is Leyla and I’ll be your teacher for this course.

Matt: And my name is Matt and I will be learning Persian along with you.

Leyla: Chai and conversation will teach you conversational Persian in weekly lessons of about 15 minutes each.

Matt: If you know anything about Iranians, they don’t do anything without first grabbing a cup of tea – or as they call it, chai. So pour yourself a cup and join us in learning the Persian language.

Leyla: Hello and welcome to Learn Persian with chai and conversation. The point of this podcast is to provide you with a simple, effective and easy way to learn conversational Persian. As we’ve said, my name is Leyla and I’m joined by Matt.

Matt: Hello.

Leyla: If you’ve downloaded this program, you are looking for a way to learn to speak and understand Persian. I was born in Iran, and although I moved to Texas when I was only four years old, I grew up speaking the language. My mother was a Persian language instructor who taught me to read and write the language from an early age. But if you’re learning on your own, you’ve probably noticed that there is a lack of effective learning material out there, online and otherwise. And although there are so many language learning podcasts available, none of them are for learning the Persian language. We decided to put an end to this by creating a podcast specifically for people seeking to learn conversational Persian.