Speak / Lesson 10

Review of Unit 1!

This is the last lesson in ‘Unit 1′ of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation. In this lesson, we review all the materials learned before, and learn some extra vocabulary that will help you to communicate effectively in the Persian language! Congratulations on reaching the end of ‘Unit 1′!

The bonus materials of this lesson include exercises in which you can review your knowledge of what we've learned so far.


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: Welcome to the tenth episode of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation! We congratulate you on making it this far into the program!

Matt: We've been learning so much new vocabulary in each lesson, and we hope that it's helped you become more comfortable with learning the Persian language!

Leyla: This episode is a very special one. It marks the end of what we're calling Unit 1 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation, so we'll be using this edition to review and consolidate all the vocabulary and phrases we've been learning so far. We're going to end the episode by going through two sets of dialogues that will combine the vocabulary from the different lessons as well as teach you a few filler vocabulary words you can use in practical conversation. For now, are you ready to begin the lesson Matt?

Matt: balé! fārsi yād begeereem bā Chai and Conversation!


Leyla: So in the past eight weeks, you've learned so much new vocabulary and new phrases in the Persian language. Hopefully, you've listened to the lessons enough times to become confident with the vocabulary we've learned. Today, we're going to go through all the vocabulary with a few different activities. This lesson is all about building even more confidence with what you know so far so that you can more easily use the vocabulary in simple conversations in Persian.

Matt, I hope that you remember this vocabulary!

Matt: Me too!

Leyla: To begin with, in the first program, we covered greetings and how to ask people how they are. So, Matt, how do we say 'how are you'? Give the listeners a second to come up with their own answers before providing yours, Matt. So, 'how are you' would be…?

Matt: chetor-ee?

Leyla: Great, and now that we've learned a bit more about the Persian language, I can explain that this is a very informal way of asking someone how they're doing, and it uses the informal ‘you’. To ask someone how they are doing in the formal sense, you would say “hālé shomā chetor-é?”

Matt: hālé shomā chetor-é?

Leyla: Now, this is a general review program, but I will fill in some gaps that are necessary. So again, let's try that: hālé shomā chetor-é?

Matt: hālé shomā chetor-é?

Leyla: Great, and how would you say 'very well!'?

Matt: khayli khoob-am.

Leyla: Exactly, “khayli khoob-am,” and what if you're not doing very well and you want to say 'I'm not well'?

Matt: khoob neestam.

Leyla: Exactly, and when you wanna say 'you're not bad'?

Matt: bad neestam.

Leyla: So in that first program you talked about how to say how you're doing. Then we went on to the next lesson to learn greetings throughout the day. Do you remember the way you say 'good morning'?

Matt: sobh bekhayr.

Leyla: Exactly, so then we used this word “bekhayr” to greet people throughout the day. There were words for ‘good day’, “rooz bekhayr,” ‘good afternoon’, “asr bekhayr,” and then do you remember the word for ‘night’, to say 'good night'?

Matt: shab bekhayr.

Leyla: Exactly, perfect! Then in Program 3, we learned how to ask people where they are from, and like most questions in the Persian language, there are two ways to do this. What is the informal version of 'where are you from?'

Matt: ahlé kojā hastee?

Leyla: Right, “ahlé kojā hastee,” and what would be the formal version of asking the same question?

Matt: ahlé kojā hasteen?

Leyla: Great, simple enough. Then we learned how to answer where you are from. How would you say ‘I am from Iran’?

Matt: man az eerān hastam.

Leyla: Then we learned how to say 'I live in', so how would you say 'I live in Austin'?

Matt: dar austin zendegee meekonam.

Leyla: So putting this together, you would say 'I am from Iran, but I live in Austin', and Matt, can you put that all together?

Matt: man az eerān hastam, vali dar austin zendegee meekonam.

Leyla: Exactly, “man az eerān hastam, vali dar austin zendegee meekonam”, and “vali” was the word for ‘but’. Now, I want to note that as we're going through this, we're only covering a bit from each lesson. There's so much more in each individual lesson, but you can go through each individually and review them on your own. This review session will give a good indication of which lessons you should probably go back to and go over. Also, be sure to use the notes and extra podcasts we make available on the website in the bonus material.

Then we also went over the words for family members. So Matt, we're going to go over a few of the family members. I'm going to ask you the Persian word for different members of the family, and give the listeners a moment to come up with their answer before giving yours.

First one: How do you say ‘brother’?

Matt: barādar.

Leyla: Right, “barādar.” Second, how do you say ‘sister’?

Matt: khāhar.

Leyla: That's right, “khāhar.” Third, how would you say ‘mother’?

Matt: mādar.

Leyla:mādar,” and number four, ‘son’.

Matt: pesar.

Leyla: That's right, “pesar.” Number five, ‘husband’.

Matt: shohar.

Leyla:shohar.” Finally, number six, ‘wife'.

Matt: zan.

Leyla: khayli khoob! Now, we included a word on our extra bonus materials on the PDF guides, and it means 'spouse', and that is “hamsar.”

Matt: hamsar.

Leyla: So this word can be used either for ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, and the literal meaning of this word is something along the lines of ‘equal head’, so it means 'my equal' or 'my other half': hamsar.

Matt: hamsar.

Leyla: Moving on, we learned how to say 'I have'. Do you remember the word for this, Matt? ‘I have’?

Matt: dāram.

Leyla: Yes, so “yé khāhar dāram” would be ‘I have a sister’. How do you ask 'do you have a son'?

Matt: pesar dāree?

Leyla:dāree” means ‘you have’, so 'do you have a son' is “pesar dāree?”

Matt: pesar dāree?

Leyla: Now we're going to go through the numbers. We're going to listen to Matt repeating all the numbers set to rhythm from our sixth lesson.


Matt: yek









Leyla: And now, if you could repeat again along with me, Matt: yek.

Matt: yek.

Leyla: .

Matt: .

Leyla: .

Matt: .

Leyla: chahār.

Matt: chahār.

Leyla: panj.

Matt: panj.

Leyla: sheesh.

Matt: sheesh.

Leyla: haft.

Matt: haft.

Leyla: hasht.

Matt: hasht.

Leyla: noh.

Matt: noh.

Leyla: dah.

Matt: dah.

Leyla: We'll be covering larger numbers very soon.

So we went on to learn about jobs. We already learned the word for 'I am', which is…?


Leyla: So how would we say 'I am a teacher', Matt?

Matt: mo'alem hastam.

Leyla: And can you explain saying “man mo'alem hastam” versus “mo'alem hastam”?

Matt: The “man” is understood in “mo'alem hastam,” so you could say “man mo'alem hastam” to emphasize the 'I', but you don't need it in the sentence for it to be understood.

Leyla: Exactly. Also, it's important to note that 'a' as in 'I am a teacher' is also understood, so you don't need to add that in there, either. You just say 'I am teacher'. And what is the word for ‘work’?

Matt: kār.

Leyla: So “man dar kārkhooné kār meekonam” to say 'I work in a factory'. And we ended that lesson by learning how to say 'I like my job' or, in Persian…?

Matt:kāram-ō doost dāram.”

Leyla: And what if you don't like your work?

Matt:kāram-ō doost nadāram.”

Leyla: Then in the next lesson, we learned how to say what you like to do. So let's try saying ‘I like to learn Persian’.

Matt: doost dāram fārsi yād begeeram.

Leyla: And in the beginning of this lesson, Matt said, “fārsi yād begeereem,” and that means ‘let’s learn Persian!'. How would you say ‘I like chocolate’?

Matt: shokolāt doost dāram.

Leyla: Great, and now it's time for some dialogues, to see exactly how much you've learned so far. See if you can understand this conversation. There might be a couple challenging words in there or phrases you don't quite know, but you should be able to understand most of it. So in this dialogue, I am going to be a woman named Arezoo.

Matt: And I'm going to be named Andy.

Leyla: Matt is going to begin.


M: salām, sobh bekhayr, chetor-ee?

L: salām, khoob-am, merci, chetor-ee?

M: khayli khoob-am, merci. man andy hastam.

L: esmé man ārezoo hast. eeshoon mādaré man-and.

M: salām.

L: baché dāree?

M: balé, yek pesar dāram, esmesh cyrus hast, va yé dokhtar dāram, esmesh hast seemā.

L: ahlé eenjā hastee?

M; na, man az eerān hastam, vali dar pārees zendegee meekonam.

L: man va mādaram az eerān hasteem, va dar shirāz zendegee meekoneem.

M: khob, khoshvakhtam, tā ba’ad.

L: balé, tā ba’ad.


Leyla: So if you'd like you can rewind and listen to that conversation again, but now we're going to ask you a few questions about the dialogue. So we met Arezoo and her mother, and we met Andy. Do you remember, Matt, how many children Andy had?

Matt: He had two, a daughter and a son.

Leyla: And do you remember their names?

Matt: Yes, a daughter named Seema, and a son named Cyrus.

Leyla: And that's very common in Iranian children's names, by the way. Either the names will rhyme, such as Hamid, Majid, Fared, etc., or they'll begin with the same letter or same sound, like Cyrus and Seema. So you remember where Andy is from?

Matt: Well, he said “man az eerān hastam, vali dar pārees zendegee meekonam.” So he's from Iran, but he lives in Paris.

Leyla: And then Arezoo answered “man va mādaram az eerān hasteem, va dar shirāz zendegee meekoneem.” So she and her mother and from Iran, and they live in Shiraz, a city in Iran.

Now let's do another role-playing conversation covering some different vocabulary. Matt and I are going to be playing the roles of Dariush and Ana, two students meeting at the University of Texas in Austin. Matt will begin:


dāriush: salām, rooz bekhayr, chetor-ee?

āna: salām, khoob-am, merci.

dāriush: esmé tō chee-yé?

ānā: esmé man ānā hast. az mekzeek hastam, az monterrey.

dāriush: vali fārsi sohbat meekonee!

ānā: balé, fārsi baladam.

dāriush: man dāriush hastam. dar austin zendegee meekonam, vali az eerān hastam.

ānā: khāhar barādar dāree?

dāriush: balé, yek khāhar dāram, va yek barādar dāram. esmé khāharam donnā hast, va esmé barādaram daron hast. tō chetor? khāhar barādar dāree?

ānā: balé, dō khāhar, eliānā va eetzel.

dāriush: shāgerd hastee?

ānā: balé, dar dāneshgāhé teksās dars meekhoonam, vali dar restoorān ham kār meekonam.

dāriush: khayli khoob-é. man ham dar dāneshgāhé teksās shāgerd hastam, vali beekār-am. mooseeghee doost dāree?

ānā: balé, mooseeghee doost dāram.

dāriush: man ham mooseeghee doost dāram. khob, khoshvakhtam, bé omeedé deedār!

āna: balé, bé hamcheneen!


Leyla: Great, another conversation, and there were a few new phrases in there as well. So, first, Ana is not from Iran. Here's what she said:


az mekzeek hastam, az monterrey.


Which means ‘I am from Mexico, from Monterrey’. And then Dariush said to her:


vali fārsi sohbat meekonee!


What does this mean?

Matt: ‘But you speak Farsi!’

Leyla: Exactly, so “fārsi sohbat meekonee?”

Matt: fārsi sohbat meekonee?

Leyla: This means 'do you speak Farsi?' So then Ana answered, “balé, fārsi baladam.”

Matt: balé, fārsi baladam.

Leyla: ‘Yes, I speak Farsi’. She later asked him, “khāhar barādar dāree?” This simply means ‘you have brothers and sisters?’. khāhar barādar dāree?

Matt: khāhar barādar dāree?

Leyla: And then let's listen to how Dariush replied! 

Matt: balé, yek khāhar dāram, va yek barādar dāram. esmé khāharam donnā hast, va esmé barādaram daron hast.

Leyla: And what does this mean?

Matt: He said, ‘yes, I have a sister, and I have a brother. My sister’s name is Donna, and my brothers name is Daron'.

Leyla: Then Dariush asked, “shāgerd hastee?” and this simply means 'are you a student?' to which she replied, “balé, dar dāneshgāhé teksās dars meekhoonam, vali dar restoorān ham kār meekonam.” “dars meekhoonam” means 'I study', so what does this full sentence mean? Is she a student?

Matt: Yes, she studies at the University of Texas, but she also works at a restaurant.

Leyla: Great, and, Austin being the live music capital of the world, Dariush goes ahead and asks her, “mooseeghee doost dāree?”

Matt: ‘Do you like music?’.

Leyla: Exactly, to which she replies, “balé, mooseeghee doost dāram.” Now, in the end, he signs off by saying “bé omeedé deedār” to which she replies, “balé, bé hamcheneen!” This just means 'I also', so ‘I hope to see you again as well!'.

Matt: Hopefully, this review session helped you to consolidate all the vocabulary you've been learning so far in these lessons.

Leyla: And this concludes our Unit 1 for Chai and Conversation. We commend you on sticking with the learning process for so long!

Matt: We will see you in Unit 2 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation. tā bé zoodee from Matt!

Leyla: And bé omeedé deedār from Leyla.