I am your slave! I am your servant! I am the sand under your feet! Under your shadow! You are my owner! My control is in your hand! I am smaller/younger than you! I am at your service! You just make your lips wet! Upon my eyes! You are beating me with wood! Don’t beat me with wood! I am really embarrassed!! I swear to you!! The electricity jumped out of my head!! You can never find these in even boogieman’s book!!! God’s hand has no voice!!
Crazy Hassan? What’s wrong with this man today? He seems out of his mind! (Is this what you are thinking about me now?)
Don’t worry if you thought so and do not blame yourself for what you thought!! Let me explain.
This is our lesson today!
Such phrases (except crazy Hassan!!), are parts of Persian daily conversation!
I remember I had hardly completed one or two semesters at my university several years ago. One day, one of my friends and his cousin, who had a foreign friend, came to me. I don’t remember how his cousin had managed to find such a friend at that time.
After simple greetings and introducing, his cousin handed me a letter and asked me to translate it into English! When I read the letter, ‘the electricity jumped out of my head’!!! There were lots of such phrases that ‘you could never find in even boogieman’s book’!!!!
I went home and looked for my Persian – English daily phrasebook (!!), which one of my very own professors had written!
In some one hour or so, I was walking towards my friend’s house with the translation of the letter in my hand.
The translation was something like this:
Dear high Excellency doctor …., (I have forgotten the name of the doctor)
I have hope that your sacred existence and your highly valuable family are fine. If you want to know our health, I must say that we are fine under your holy shadow! My family is fine and they are kissing your hand!! Thank you for the gifts. You beat us with wood and I felt very embarrassed!! As I told you, I am always pure for you and you are the crown of our head! I am always at your service. How are your respected daughter and wife? I hope wherever they are, your shadow will be on them forever. I take God my witness that we always remember you and your flower daughter! You always have a place on our head! Next time, please tell me when you are coming and I will sacrifice a sheep or cow under your sacred feet! Please don’t worry about that job. Upon my eyes! You just make your lips wet and I will do it for your holy existence!!
Well, the letter was much longer and far more complicated than what you see above!! I hope the poor doctor understood it properly!!
All right, now let’s see what these very common Persian phrases mean!
As you know, each language has its very own structure and local color that can hardly be translated. Still now, I do not know how our beloved professor, who had got his university degree in States, had ended in such a comic phrasebook!! This commercial world!!!
Ok, let’s make it shorter! What I am going to do is to mention some English phrases and the possible Persian equivalents you could use in reply. Please do not try to translate such phrases! If you want to give it a try, you should find a foreign doctor, one Persian-English phrasebook, and one nice Hassan H. first!!!!
|Possible scenario:||Possible answer:||Possible Persian phrase:|
|How are you?||• Fine. Thanks.• We are (here)!! Thanks!• I am pure for you!• I am smaller than you!||• خوبم. ممنون
• هستیم! شکر
• مخلص شمام
mokhles e shomam
• کوچیک شمام
koochik e shomam
|In reply to work, job, or life-related questions. Ex: how is your work/job/life going?||• Going well.• Not bad.• So so.||• خوبه
• بدک نیس
Note: you could combine all of them in reply. Say one after another.
|Haven’t seen you for a while. (Where have you been?)||Under your shadow!||زیر سایه تون
zir e sayatoon
|What’s new? What’s news?||Your good health!||سلامتی شما
salamati ye shoma
|You just hint /ask and I will do it for you!||You just make your lips wet!||شما فقط لب ترکن
shoma faghat lab tar kon
|In reply to such questions: can I …. ? – may I ….?||Yes please.You are the owner of my choice!! (You rule!)||خواهش می کنم. صاب اختیارید
khahesh mikonam sab ekhtiarid
|In reply to such questions: could you do … (for me)?||Sure.Upon my eyes!||به روی چشم
beh ruye chesham
|When someone does something good for you, or says something good to you. Or, when they praise you.||Thank you.You are so kind.You are beating me with wood! You make me feel embarrassed.||• ممنونم
• شما لطف دارین
shoma lotf darin
• چوبکاری می کنین
• شرمنده می کنید
|When you are shocked by some words, news or some actions done (mostly unusual).||I was shocked. I did not expect it.Electricity jumped off my head!!||برق از سرم پرید
bargh az saram parid
|When you do not want to give something to somebody. Or, you do not want to do something for somebody.||Sorry, I can’t.I am afraid I can’t.I am embarrassed!||شرمنده ام
|When you want to say that such and such words, actions, or things are really unusual and rare.||Such a thing is hard to happen. Such words are hard to think of.This cannot be found in even boogieman’s book!||این حتی تو کتاب دیو هم گیر نمیاد
in hata tu ketabe div ham
|When somebody does something bad to somebody else and gets his/her punishment from other sources. Ex: your friend hits you in the head and runs away. While running, he / she falls down and hurts his/her leg.||God’s hand has no voice!!||دست خدا صدا ندارهDaste khoda seda|
|When something or somebody burns up your energy and you feel exhausted /deadly tired. Ex: this lesson made me deadly tired!||This job / this person made me deadly tired.This made me deadly tired!This took my father out!||این پدرمو درآورد
In pedaramo dar avord
All right, I deeply hope you understood me today!! I also hope you enjoyed the lesson! This lesson took my father out!!!!
See you all next time!