Lesson 3: How to Introduce Where You are From, and Introducing the Different forms of You

In the Persian language, there are two different ways of saying 'you'- a formal version (shomā), and an informal version (tō). In this lesson, we learn both forms, and learn when it's appropriate to use them. For instance, when you're talking to a close friend or a family member close to your age, you would use the informal you, tō. When speaking with someone older than you, or someone you should show respect for, you use the formal version, shomā. Iranian culture tends to err on the side of formality, so when in doubt, or when it's a bit ambiguous, err on the side of formality. In the podcast, we talk more about this so that you are confident with your choice of which to use.

In addition to the different forms of you, we go over some questions you can ask using the formal or information versions of you. These include:

  • And you?
  • What is your name?

Another wonderful topic of conversation and good way to get to know others is by asking them where they're from. This is a great topic of conversation no matter where in the world you are. We'll learn the formal and informal way of asking. The phrases learned in this section include:

  • Where are you from? (informal)
  • Where are you from? (formal)
  • I am from ________

We also learn a list of countries and how to say them in the Persian language. The countries learned in this lesson include:

  • Iran (pronounced ee-rān)
  • the United States
  • Spain
  • England
  • Germany
  • France
  • Mexico

We also include several other countries in the bonus vocabulary.


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 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.