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Speak / Lesson 67

House / Home (Vocabulary Sprint)

In this lesson, we go over vocabulary needed to talk about the home. In Persian, house is called 'khooné' (in written Persian, it's khāné). Different rooms in the house include:

  • room - otāgh
  • bedroom - otāgh khāb
  • bathroom - dast shoowee or toowālet
  • dining room - āshpaz khooné
  • living room - sālon

We also go over vocabulary for common parts of a house, like doors, windows, ceilings and floors, and furniture and popular items inside each of these rooms of the house.


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.


I’m well

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.

Persian English
salām hello
chetor-ee how are you?
khoobam I’m well
merci thank you
khayli very
khayli khoobam I’m very well
khoob neestam I’m not well
man me/I
bad neestam I’m not bad
ālee great
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)
mamnoonam thank you
chetor peesh meeré? how’s it going?
ché khabar? what’s the news? (what’s up?)

Leyla: Hello and welcome to lesson 84 of Chai and Conversation. I'm Leyla, I'm your host, and I'm joined by my husband, Chris. salām Chris.

Chris: salām. This is Chris; I'm Leyla's husband. I'm learning Persian along with you guys.

Leyla: And, as you know, we are in our vocabulary sprint unit of Chai and Conversation, which means we are following one topic and learning all the vocabulary words related to that topic. And our topic today is of houses.

Chris: Now that's something that's very dear to our hearts, because we are both architects. And you know, we also know a little bit about it.

Leyla: That's right, and the word for ‘architects’ is me'mār.

Chris: me'mār.

Leyla: And the word for a house in Persian is khooné.

Chris: khooné.

Leyla: That's one of these words that's very different written versus spoken. Written, it's khāné.

Chris: khāné.

Leyla: But whenever you say ‘house’ you say khooné.

Chris: khooné.

Leyla: Great, and I thought we'd go over different rooms in the house and different objects that you might be able to find in those rooms. So actually, we have a friend, Johnny, who's learning Spanish right now with his wife. And one thing he's doing is making little notes on sticky notes and putting it around the house on those different objects. That might be a great way for you to learn these words as well.

Chris: So if you end up doing this, please take a picture and tag us on your social media.

Leyla: That's a good idea, good idea. We're big on Instagram right now, Chai and Conversation. Find us there.

Chris: We're very popular.

Leyla: So the word for ‘room’ in, in Persian first is otāgh.

Chris: otāgh.

Leyla: So that gh sound, of course, this is one of those ones that you have to just keep practicing. Word for ‘room’: otāgh.

Chris: otāgh.

Leyla: And some different, different things that you find in most rooms. One is the word for ‘door’. And that in Persian is dar.

Chris: dar. Oh, that's an easy one. 

Leyla: Exactly. It has the same roots as “door,” ‘door’, dar.

Chris: dar.

Leyla: Another thing that you find in most rooms is the word for window; has nothing to do with English word. It's panjeré.

Chris: panjeré.

Leyla: That's right. So, dar.

Chris: dar.

Leyla: And panjeré.

Chris: panjeré.

Leyla: Two openings within an otāgh.

Chris: otāgh.

Leyla: Which is the word for a ‘room’.

Chris: That's right.

Leyla: So other things that you find in rooms, you find walls. A wall is a deevār.

Chris: deevār.

Leyla: And the word for ‘ceiling’ is saghf.

Chris: saghf.

Leyla: That's right. And the word for a ground or floor of a room is zameen.

Chris: zameen.

Leyla: Perfect.

Chris: So that ‘ceiling’ one, that, that has some, several consonants in a row there.

Leyla: It does; it's one of those words where the gh sound and the f are right together, no vowel between them. saghf.

Chris: saghf.

Leyla: Which we don't have very many in English, but we do have a lot in Persian. Okay, so now, let's go over different otāghs that we have in the house. One of the most common otāghs, ‘rooms’, is the sālon.

Chris: sālon.

Leyla: And this might sound like a familiar word. It's a French borrowed word. Do you know what that is?

Chris: Yeah, it's the living room.

Leyla: That's right, so sālon, and a few common things that you find in the sālon, the word for ‘table’ is meez.

Chris: Oh, meez. So that sounds like it has roots with with other languages, mesa

Leyla: That's right. Mesa, ‘table’ in Spanish; meez, ‘table’ in Persian. Another common thing that you find in a living room is a mobl.

Chris: mobl.

Leyla: And that is the word for a couch.

Chris: All right, mobl.

Leyla: Another common thing in a living room is lāmp.

Chris: lāmp. Okay, let me guess what that is. I think that's probably a lamp.

Leyla: That's right. lāmp, you have that often in living rooms. And the most important part of any room, not just a living room, is farsh.

Chris: There it is, farsh!

Leyla: And that is…?

Chris: Well, if you know Persian culture, you know that the most important part of any room is going to be the rug.

Leyla: That's right, ‘rug’ in Persian, farsh.

Chris: farsh. Now, you'll probably see farsh come up on every single other room that we cover here, too. Persians are renowned for their rugs, because they make lovely rugs.

Leyla: That's right. And they're all very unique to different regions of Iran, different colors, different ways of creating them. But yes, we do take our rugs very seriously.

Chris: Very seriously. This is a, this is a big topic in our household and probably every other Persian household. We have one rug that our sons have in their room and it's covered with little figures. So I know a lot of you are, you know, when you think of a Persian rug, there's probably an image in your mind of a very ornate, symmetrical rug, maybe a deep red that has, you know, different kinds of symbols on it and stuff, but they, there's a really a wide variety of Persian rugs.

Leyla: Yeah, that one is called a geleem.

Chris: geleem.

Leyla: Okay, so moving on to ‘bedroom’, as you've mentioned, a bedroom is called an otāgh khāb.

Chris: otāgh khāb.

Leyla: otāgh.

Chris: otāgh.

Leyla: khāb.

Chris: khāb.

Leyla: And khāb is the word for sleep, so an otāgh khāb is a bedroom or sleeping room.

Chris: 'Sleeping room', okay.

Leyla: That's right, and the most common thing that you find in a sleeping room, of course, is your bed, and that is takht.

Chris: takht.

Leyla: And another common thing that you might find in a bedroom is your closet, and that is a komod.

Chris: komod.

Leyla: So again, I won't bring it in there, but probably another most important thing is a farsh. We'll just take that for granted.

Chris: Right, you're gonna have a rug in your bedroom.

Leyla: Exactly. Another common room that we all have in our houses is a toowālet.

Chris: toowālet.

Leyla: So just as in, you know, in English, there's several different words for the bathroom: “bathroom,” “restroom,” “toilet,” in Persian, same thing. It's often defined by what's in it, toowālet

Chris: toowālet.

Leyla: …is a toilet, or you can use it to refer to the room, or dastshoowee.

Chris: dastshoowee, so, so we know that dast is your hand. shoowee must be a sink.

Leyla: It's washing. Yeah, hand-washing, so a sink, exactly. So you could call the entire, that entire room a dastshoowee, and that is the polite way to retur-, refer to it. So another thing that you can find in a dastshoowee is your shower, and that is hamoom.

Chris: hamoom.

Leyla: hamoom.

Chris: hamoom.

Leyla: Right, two m sounds, and your tub is a vān.

Chris: vān. So if I was at a Persian friend's house and I want to ask where the bathroom is, I could say, “dastshoowee koo?

Leyla: Yeah, that's right!

Chris: Or maybe, or I could say “toowālet koo?

Leyla: Yes, you can say either. Yes.

Chris: Okay. Now, now one last thing, are we throwing the, the farsh in here, or…no farshes in the…?

Leyla: No farshes in the toowālet. Moving on, the, a dining room is also another common room in a house, and that would be otāghé nāhār khoree.

Chris: otāghé nāhār khoree.

Leyla: otāghé.

Chris: otāghé.

Leyla: nāhār.

Chris: nāhār.

Leyla: khoree.

Chris: khoree.

Leyla: And that nāhār is the word for…?

Chris: Is that ‘lunch’?

Leyla: Yes, so nāhār khoree, ‘eating lunch’, the room to eat lunch in, so your dining room, and among that same thread, you have a dining table, and that is meezé nāhār khoree.

Chris: meezé nāhār khoree.

Leyla: So the table for eating lunch.

Chris: Okay.

Leyla: meezé nāhār khoree, and another thing that you have around your meezé nāhār khoree is sandalee.

Chris: sandalee.

Leyla: And that is the word for ‘chair’.

Chris: Oh, that's a great one! sandalee.

Leyla: sandalee. Okay, so those are most of the common rooms in the house. Another common part of the house is a poshteboon.

Chris: poshteboon.

Leyla: And that is the word for a rooftop, and in Iran, you have basically flat roofs. Everyone really makes use of those rooftops, putting, you know tables and chairs out there or even sleeping there in the summer, so thought that would be an important word to learn. poshteboon.

Chris: poshteboon.

Leyla: Another important room in the house, I can't believe we're leaving this one for last, but is āshpaz khooné.

Chris: āshpaz khooné.

Leyla: And what is an āshpaz? Do you remember that from our food…?

Chris: Yeah, we, we just learned this. āsh is ‘soup’, paz is ‘cooker’, and if we're saying āshpaz khooné, that sounds like it is a soup cooker's house.

Leyla: That's right, so the kitchen.

Chris: The kitchen!

Leyla: āshpaz khooné.

Chris: āshpaz khooné.

Leyla: So the house for the soup cooker, or kitchen, and some important things that you have in an āshpaz khooné is a yakhchāl.

Chris: yakhchāl.

Leyla: And this word actually has an interesting history. yakh is the word for 'ice', and a chāl is the word for a dugout. So in the past, before there was the modern version of this, people would dig holes in the ground, put ice in it, and it would serve as a…?

Chris: Swimming pool, right? It's a swimming pool? No, it's a refrigerator!

Leyla: That's right, ‘refrigerator’. So yakhchāl.

Chris: yakhchāl.

Leyla: And then there's also a zarf shoowee.

Chris: zarf shoowee.

Leyla: So zarf, we learned in our food lesson, and that means a ‘dish’. So what is a zarf shoowee?

Chris: zafzarf shoowee. Well, so we have a dastshoowee in the bathroom for washing our hands. So a zarf shoowee is a, it's probably gonna be a sink for you to wash your zarfs in!

Leyla: That's right, so your kitchen sink is called zarf shoowee.

Chris: zarf shoowee.

Leyla: And we make that distinction: dastshoowee in the bathroom, zarf shoowee in the kitchen, and you brought up another important part of a lot of houses, and that is estakhr.

Chris: estakhr.

Leyla: And that is a pool. 

Chris: Oh, there you go! estakhr.

Leyla: Your father just added one of those in his house.

Chris: He did, and, and we're looking maybe of doing, like, a little above ground one in our backyard. I don't know. It gets hot here in Texas.

Leyla: It does get very hot. So another important word for a house is your gārāge.

Chris: gārāge.

Leyla: Which is a…? Oh no!

Chris: It's a garage, right?

Leyla: Yes, it is.

Chris: Ah!

Leyla: And a basement is zeer zameen.

Chris: zeer zameen. I like that.

Leyla: Yeah, a lot of houses in, in Iran have that, and that means, zeer is ‘under’, and zameen is ‘ground’, so ‘underground’. zeer zameen.

Chris: zeer zameen.

Leyla: There you go! So those are vocabulary related to a khooné. Hope you enjoyed it. There's plenty more on our website. Check out our bonus materials, with “chai” spelled C-H-A-I. And there, you have any questions, comments, we'd love to hear them. And we'll see you next time on Chai and Conversation. khodāhāfez from Leyla.

Chris: khodāhāfez from Chris.