The original website for Yahyaa is no more available online and I have no idea what happened to it. Therefore, I have made the texts available on easypersian.com for you to use. The problem here is that we miss parts of the original work, which is not a big deal but affects the way the story of Yahyaa is going. When I first wrote these lessons about Yahyaa, I was addressing to François and his web page. He is gone and all you need to remember today is that there was once a François who had made these few lessons dynamic!! I wish him all the best.
Thank you for your understanding – and my special thanks to those students who told me about the missing Yahyaa! Dastetun dard nakoneh!
Hello everybody! How are you? How was the last lesson? I hope you enjoyed it.
As I told you before, we are going to discus the Persian story called Yahyaa today. Did you happen to go through it? I assume you did!
I am not going to repeat the vocabulary of that story here since François has already done it for us. I guess you agree with me that it is not very easy to have translation discussions in detail during this online course. However, we will try our best to be as fruitful as possible. Let’s start if you have no questions!
Today, we are going to cover the first paragraph.
Before doing anything, we should be able to read the story in Persian. I give you two minutes to read the first paragraph. 1 ……… 2 …….. !!
Time’s up! Did you finish it? Good!
Now answer this question: What special thing did you notice in the first Persian paragraph?
There is no punctuation in this paragraph! You don’t know where the sentences end. Terrible!!
Now, let me read the first paragraph for you. Please click here to listen.Yahyaa
So, the first thing in translation is to read the original text as correctly as possible.
Now, let’s see the first sentence:
Yahyaa was eleven years old and it was the very first day that he wanted to sell the “Daily News” newspaper.
In English we say, “He was 11 years old”.
As you notice, the main verb is ‘To be’ = (was).
In Persian, we mainly use ‘To have’ as our main verb.
Now, I replace ‘To be’ with ‘To have’ in our English sentence.
Our English sentence would become like this: ‘He had 11 years old’.
Yes? Ok! Here is the answer!!
Is it clear? Great!
It was the very first day that
This structure is very common in Persian.
And so on.
It was the first time I met her.
It was the first week I had started my work.
It was the first day I had arrived there.
And so on.
And so on.
The word ‘very’ is for emphasis in our English sentence. We don’t use it in Persian since we assume ‘the first day’ is ‘the very first day’!! We don’t have the second ‘first day’ in Persian!!!
As you know, we use ‘to‘ after ‘want‘ in English. Sometimes, we add ‘ing‘ to the second verb in our English sentences.
He wanted to speak.
He avoided speak ing .
The second verb (here: To sell) should be changed a bit. Do you remember the Simple Present Tense? Yes or no? If no, please review the tenses once more!
Note: This happens in almost all cases.
Was it easy? Good!
So, the translation seems wrong here. The Persian text reads, “a few children”.
In Persian, adjectives mostly come after noun. Example:
‘Big house’ is ‘house big’ in Persian.
‘Red apple’ is ‘apple red’ in Persian.
And so on.
Note: very rarely, adjectives come before nouns. In this case, the context is mostly ‘literary’.
A few children
What did they (a few children) do?
What did they pronounce?
They pronounced ‘Daily News’.
As you see,
The children are ‘subject’.
‘Pronounced’ is the verb.
What did they pronounce?
So, ‘Daily News’ is the object.
However, there is another ‘clause’ in this sentence. What’s that?
Who were those children?
They were those who sold the newspaper.
So, the children who sold the newspaper pronounced.
What did they pronounce?
So, the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’.
So, the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’ to/for Yahyaa.
Where did it happen?
In the office (adverb of place).
So, the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’ for Yahyaa in the office.
In the newspaper office.
So, the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’ for Yahyaa in the newspaper office.
Who else pronounced for Yahyaa?
The person in charge of newspaper deliveries.
So, The person in charge of newspaper deliveries and the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’ for Yahyaa in the newspaper office.
How many times did they pronounce?
The final work is: The person in charge of newspaper deliveries and the children who sold the newspaper pronounced ‘Daily News’ several times for Yahyaa in the newspaper office.
Note: since this story is rather conversational, you could put ‘place’ in the beginning as well.
What did he do?
What did he learn?
The English translation reads, “ He also did this to learnt it well.”
‘Did’ comes from the verb ‘to do’. We don’t have this verb in our Persian sentence. So, ‘did this’ is unnecessary. The Persian sentence says, “He too learned it well”.
It seems understandable. Yet, there is a very small thing to think about here. The translator has apparently looked up the word /shekl/ in his dictionary. The Persian-English dictionary says: /shekl/ = form
I am sorry to say that most of the available bilingual dictionaries are good enough for fireplaces only! Make sure to study them in winter!!!
Take my advice and use monolingual dictionaries as much as possible (Oxford Advanced Learner’s and Longman are two good examples of this kind of dictionaries. I am afraid such dictionaries are not available in Persian or in other languages). Lots of equivalents in bilingual dictionaries (at least Persian<->English dictionaries) have been created to put the poor students in eternal confusion!! You have lots of equivalents for one word but you don’t know how to use them in a context. Eventually, you will translate, “Mr. President gave his address to the crowd” for “Mr. President addressed the crowed”!!!
Most of them are good joke books though!!
In this sentence ( That name seemed to him to have the form of dizi (a national dish) , a dish cannot have the form of a newspaper unless it is a French cheese!! (Just joking! I know François has done a wonderful job). You see how confusing a bilingual dictionary could be.
This sentence simply means, “To him, that name (Daily News) was like Dizi”.
Finally, the last sentence:
Correctly and without trouble, behind his head and also in front of him he said “‘Daily News’, ‘Daily News’, ‘Daily News'” and he came out of the newspaper office.
The translation says, “Correctly and without trouble”.
Now, I ask you a question:
What is the best word for ‘without trouble’ or ‘without difficulty’ in English?
What is not difficult should be easy! So, instead of saying ‘without trouble’, you could simply say, “easily’.
When you can say a word easily, you are fluent in that word. Although ‘correctly’ is absolutely correct, you could say ‘fluently and easily’ for “correctly and without trouble”.
Then, we see another piece of dictionary jokes!! Poor François!!
According to our bilingual dictionary:
François is right. This is all the dictionary says. But be logical. What does ‘ behind his head and also in front of him ‘ mean? Do you have any tongue behind your head?!! Personally, I am missing a tongue behind my head!!
Example: “I shouldn’t do that,” she thought (she whispered to herself).
So, the translation should be something like this:
A few times, he repeated ‘Daily News! Daily News! Daily News!’ easily and fluently to himself, and left the newspaper office.
You see how difficult and interesting translation is. I am sorry for speaking too much today. I just had to since this is an online course and everything should be explained to help you understand the concepts easier. I deeply hope this lesson was useful.
If the answer is ‘yes’, we will continue it next week!
Till then, have a great time and enjoy your life.
I love you all and wish you success.
See you next week.
Note on our weekly Quiz: Many of you have been complaining about this Quiz. Some don’t like it and the majority are looking for the source to make sure if their answers are correct. As a result, I will give you the source from this week although I don’t like to do so! I believe a good student should remember the previous lessons (a kind of unkind and cruel teacher!!).
(Source: Useful Drills 88)
1- Listen to the audio files first (preferably once). Repeat it for a couple of times. Write it down on a paper. Find their English equivalents. (Seen)
2- Find the Persian equivalent for the following words and make four sentences with each of them (in different tenses).
To go to work
3- Say these numbers in Persian:
30 – 36 – 63 – 306 – 603 – 360 – 630 (No source!)
4- Follow the examples, combine the letters, and make words using the given letters. You’ll have to change the big letters into the small ones whenever needed.
See you next week!