In this Persian (Farsi) lesson, we learn the common terms for members of a family. Family in Persian is khānevādé. In this unit of Chai and Conversation, we are learning several vocabulary words related to a certain theme at once. Listen to the lesson for many different words associated with families. Many common words are in the list below. Listen to the lesson for many other words related to this topic.
how are you?
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.
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.
|chetor-ee||how are you?|
|khayli khoobam||I’m very well|
|khoob neestam||I’m not well|
|bad neestam||I’m not bad|
|chetor-een?||how are you? (formal)|
|hālé shomā chetor-é?||how are you? (formal)|
|hālet chetor-é?||how are you? (informal)|
|khoob-ee?||are you well? (informal)|
|chetor peesh meeré?||how’s it going?|
|ché khabar?||what’s the news? (what’s up?)|
Leyla Shams: Hello and welcome to lesson 85 of Chai and Conversation. I'm Leyla, your host and I'm joined by my husband Chris. Salam Chris
Chris Gannon: Salam. This is Chris. I am Leyla's husband and I'm learning Persian along with the rest of you.
Leyla: And we are in our vocabulary sprint unit of Chai and Conversation. And we're learning groups of vocabulary around a certain topic. And today's topic is a very important one in Persian culture. And that is the topic of family.
Chris: Oh, yes, family is a very important one. I would say it is central to the Persian identity.
Leyla: That's right. And to that end, we have a lot of words related to different members of your family that are pretty interesting. And so first let's start with the word for family. And that is khanevadeh
Leyla: That's right. So that's the general word for family. And let's just go through different family members. First the word for mother is madar
Leyla: Madar, and this has the same roots is all these different languages mother a mother. I could go down the list. So it should be very easy for you to learn. So again, madar,
Leyla: and the word for father. Pedar.
Leyla: So again, very similar to Latin words. Madre, Padre. The word for sister in the Persian language is khahar
Leyla: And that one's a little bit different but we bring it back with the word for brother and that is baradar
Leyla: baradar and that is brother. So again. Let's go through these one more time. Mother madar
Leyla: Father- pedar
Leyla: sister. khahar
Leyla: And the word for brother bardar.
Leyla: And now that we're on the topic of us brothers and sisters Chris and I actually don't have any full brothers and sisters. We have half brothers and sisters. So to say a half sister you say khahareh natanee
Chris: khahareh natanee
Leyla: That's right. khahareh natanee
Chris: khahareh natanee
Leyla: And that means half sister and I have one half sister and Chris has two.
Chris: I have three half sisters actually. That's okay. In fact, two of them are staying with me right now in Austin. It's been wonderful.
Leyla: That's right. And we each also have half brothers. Baradareh natanee
Chris: Baradareh natanee. So what does natanee mean?
Leyla: Natanee that not of the same body so they're just half. Tan is body so then natanee
Chris: Not fully from the same.
Leyla: Exactly. Okay, but then there's also a word for step siblings. And that would be a step brother would be a nabaradaree
Leyla: And a step sister is a nakhaharee
Leyla: which takes us to step father and stepmother. The step mother is namadaree.
Leyla: and a stepfather is napedaree
Leyla: that's simple enough. So again, namadaree, napedaree. And then nabaradaree nakhaharee that would all be in the step family, whereas khahareh natanee and baradareh natanee is half.
Gotcha. Okay. I understand.
Chris: Okay. So then going on to other members of a family, a grandmother is madar bozorg.
Chris: madar bozorg
Leyla: and my grandfather is a pedar bozorg
Chris: pedar bozorg. I love that word bozorg.
Leyla: Bozorg means grand, big.
Leyla: And Iranians always make a big distinction of trying to figure out if someone's from your mother's side or your father's side. So a grandmother on your mother's side is madar bozorgeh madaree.
Chris: madar bozorgeh madaree
Leyla: and then a grandmother on your father side is madar bozorge pedaree
Chris: madar bozorgeh pedaree
Leyla: Yeah, and that's a distinction that you always make. Is it madaree? Or is it pedaree? Which side is it on? So from the same token, let's talk about aunts. So like Chris said, his sisters are in town, and they are are watching our sons. And so to our sons, your sisters are ameh
Leyla: So the word for aunt. But if my sisters were in town, they would be called khaleh.
Leyla: So your aunt on your mom's side is khaleh
Leyla: and your aunt on your father's side is ameh
Chris: ameh. Now in Persian culture, there's also there's a lot of jokes made about your father's sister. Whereas your mother's sisters are always, you know, revered in an upstanding way it's, you know, it's an interesting distinction.
Leyla: It is. And then your uncle's on your father's side are amoo
Leyla: and your uncle's on your mother's side, our dayee,
Leyla: So one other interesting thing that I want to point out is that this vocabulary goes both ways. I don't know if you know this, Chris, but, for example, a mother, her child will call her mother, madar, that a mother will also call her child, madar, no matter if it's a boyor a girl. Did you know this?
Chris: No, I've never heard that before.
Leyla: Okay, so it's reciprocal. So it's a little bit difficult to explain, but it also happens with the words for aunts and uncles. So for example, our son Rooz will call his uncle dayee, and then if the dayee wants to refer to Rooz they'd also say, okay, dayee, beeya eenja, come here dayee
Chris: So my brother would, would refer to Rooz as dayee
Leyla: as dayee as a term of endearment, saying This is how you see me. I see you the same way.
Chris: Wow, that blows my mind.
Leyla: It's an interesting thing. It's not in other cultures I've been seeing this talked about a lot in the Iranian culture lately. I never realized that it's a weird thing. It's just something that you instinctively instantly do. So for example, Rooz, our son will come to you and say, Hey, Daddy, and you'll go Oh, Daddy, you're sweet.
Chris: That is super interesting.
Leyla: Yeah. So that is also something to keep in mind.
Chris: It's gonna it's gonna have to go against my Western nature to call my sons Daddy
Leyla: That's true. It is very strange. Let's go now to cousins. Now in English you have one word for cousin, cousin. In Persian yet different combinations of what a cousin could be.
Chris: Oh my goodness.
Leyla: Okay. So let's understand the concept. We won't go through every single word but as we said, we have four different words for uncle and aunt right, depending on where they're on your father's side or on your mother's side.
Chris: Right, let's go through those again. But this time, your father's sister is called ameh.
Chris: Your father's brother is called
Chris: Amoo. Your mother's sister is called
Chris: khaleh. Your mother's brother is called
Chris: So there you go on your father's side you get amoo and ameh. On your mother's side you have the dayee and khaleh.
Leyla: Right. Exactly. And then for cousin then the way you say cousin is to say if it's the son or the daughter of an aunt or an uncle on your mother or father's side so as you can see there's 16 different combinations. So say it is your aunt on your mother's side's son. It is a pesar khaleh
Chris: pesar khaleh
Leyla: Is your boy cousin on your mom's sister's side.
Chris: Okay, please shouldn't there just be eight different combinations
Leyla: Maybe I got the math wrong- eight different? Yes. Okay. Yeah, that's right. So then there's that. And then let's say it's your girl cousin on your dad's side, your dad's sister. It would be dokhtar ameh.
Chris: Dokhtar ameh.
Leyla: exactly dokhtar ameh is your girl cousin on your dad's sisters side.
Chris: Okay, we've covered a son and daughter so far in this sprint
Leyla: pesar is your son. We have not covered it. Pesar is just the word for boy pesar
Leyla: and then your daughter is just the word for girl dokhtar
Leyla: Okay, and to say like my son it's pesareh man
Chris: pesareh man
Leyla: and my daughter dokhtareh man
Chris: dokhtareh man
Leyla: Okay, so now let's go on to vocabulary first spouses. The word for husband is showhar
Leyla: and the word for wife is just the word for woman. It's zan
Leyla: But a word for a spouse in general is hamsar.
Leyla: my equal head. And that's a nice word. So we can use that hamsar
Leyla: And that could be either your husband or your wife, just your equal head, your spouse your equal. Okay, moving on to vocabulary related to families in general, a big family would be khanevadeyeh bozorg
Chris: khanevadeyeh bozorg
Leyla: So khanevadeyeh
Leyla: and most Iranians have very big families. So this is a big one or you can have a small family khanevadeyeh koocheek
Chris: khanevadeyeh koocheek
Leyla: The word for, for being married marriage is ezdevaj
Leyla: And the word for a wedding that ceremony that you have is aroosee
Leyla: So, to be to have a fiance or to be be truth to someone is namzad
Leyla: Yeah, so namzad is a fiance. Okay, and a girlfriend, doost dokhtar
Chris: doost dokhtar
Leyla: doost dokhtar, a friend that's a girl though that is the word for girl and a boyfriend would be doost pesar
Chris: doost pesar
Leyla: Okay, so again, the word for family khanevadeh, and that was a lot of different vocabulary related to families but it is an important part of Iranian culture. So you can by the number of sheer number of words that we have to describe individual family members, how important families are.
Chris: It's a nuanced subject with multiple ways to discuss and describe the family unit,
Leyla: Right. And so on our bonus vocabulary, we'll have nice charts to explain all this little family tree drawing to make it a little bit more clear, make it easier to understand. So hope you enjoyed this lesson and we'll be back next next lesson with another vocabulary sprint about a different subject to thank you for listening. Khodahafez from Leyla
Chris: Khodahafez from Chris. I'll see you next time.