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Persian/Lesson 3

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فارسی (‹fârsi›, “Persian”)
Learn the Persian language
ContentsIntroduction
Persian Alphabet lessons: 1 ( ۱ )2 ( ۲ )3 ( ۳ )4 ( ۴ )
Elementary grammar: 5 ( ۵ )6 ( ۶ )7 ( ۷ )8 ( ۸ )9 ( ۹ )
10 ( ۱۰ )11 ( ۱۱ )12 ( ۱۲ )13 ( ۱۳ )14 ( ۱۴ )15 ( ۱۵ )
Intermediate: 16 ( ۱۶ )17 ( ۱۷ )18 ( ۱۸ )19 ( ۱۹ )20 ( ۲۰ )
21 ( ۲۱ )22 ( ۲۲ )23 ( ۲۳ )24 ( ۲۴ )25 ( ۲۵ )26 ( ۲۶ )
Advanced:
Appendix: AlphabetGlossaryHandwriting

Farsi

To continue, your computer must display Persian. The box below should show these Persian letters on the far right: Paa-individua.svgBaa-individua.svgAlif-individua.svg
ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن و ه ی

If they are different or in the wrong order, see Persian Computing.


In lessons 1 and 2, you learned some greetings, the first fourteen letters of the Persian Alphabet, and how to spell several words with those letters. You also learned syllable stress in Persian words.

In this lesson, you will learn more about casual and formal speech, the next nine Persian letters, and more about short vowels in Persian.

Contents

Dialogue: ‹sobh bexeyrEdit

Hassan drops by to see his good friend Mohamad:

Hassan : ‹sobh bexeyr, mamad!›
“Good morning, Mamad!”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Mohamad : ‹sobh bexeyr, hasani. hâlet cetor e?›
“Good morning, Hassani. How’s your health?”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Hassan : ‹bad nistam, mersi. va to?›
“Not bad, thanks. And you?”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Mohamad : ‹man xeyli xubam.›
“I'm very good.”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.

Explanation

Mohamad and Hassan are using a very casual style of speech because they are close friends. “Mamad” is a common nickname for people named Mohamad. “Hassani” is a common nickname for people named “Hassan”.

Vocabulary

  • hâlet›      /ˈhɒːlet/ — “your health” (informal)
  • ‹bad›      /bæd/ — “bad” similar meaning and pronunciation as the English word
  • nistam›      /ˈniːstæm/ — “(I) am not”
  • ‹va, o›      /væ/, /o/ — “and”
  • xeyli›    — “very”
Familiarity and formality

In any language, speakers use various levels of formality in various social settings. For example, an English speaker in a formal setting may use proper grammar, pronounce -ing clearly (i.e., so that "walking" does not sound like "walkin'"), may choose formal or technical words (e.g. sodium chloride rather than salt and child rather than kid), and refrain from saying ain't, but the same person could violate some or all of those rules in an informal setting.

In Persian, several speech patterns are used to raise or lower the level of formality. One general rule in the Persian formality system is that referring to an individual with a plural pronoun and/or plural verb indicates respect for that individual. In polite Persian conversations, it is therefore customary to use the plural pronoun شما ‹šomâ› to when speaking with a superior or someone whom one has just met, and to use the singular pronoun تو ‹to› only when talking to friends, family members, and the like.



ع ‹’eyn›, غ ‹qeyn›Edit

(read from right to left)
ع غ
‹’eyn› ‹qeyn›

The next two letters have the same form except only one has a dot over it. The bottom hook in these letters is a tail that only appears in isolated and final position.


ع ع‍ ‍ع‍ ‍ع ععع
  ‹’eyn› connecting forms

The Persian letter    ‹’eyn› represents the sound [ʔ], i.e. the glottal stop in the middle of “uh-oh” in English. Traditionally, as well as in UniPers it is transcribed as ‹’›. Its name sounds something like the English word “main”, but beginning with a glottal stop instead of an m. The top loop sits on the baseline. When it is the last (or only) letter in a word, its lower loop hangs below the baseline. When another letter follows it, it has a different form.


رعد ر ع‍ ‍د رعد
  ‹ra'd› ‹r› ‹’› ‹d›

As shown on the right, the letter ‹’eyn› combines with the letter that follows it, e.g. with د in the word رعد   ‹ra’d› (“thunder”).


غ غ‍ ‍غ‍ ‍غ غغغ
  ‹qeyn› connecting forms

The Persian letter غ   ‹qeyn› represents the sound [ɣ], that is, it is produced by placing the back part of the tongue against the soft palate and vibrating the vocal cords while pushing air from the lungs over the middle of the tongue.

The top loop sits on the baseline. When it is the last (or only) letter in a word, its lower loop hangs below the baseline. When another letter follows it, it has a different form.


باغ ب‍ ‍ا غ باغ
  ‹bâq› ‹b› ‹â› ‹q›

As shown on the right, the letter ‹qeyn› is used to spell باغ   ‹bâq› (“garden”).

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ع ‹'eyn› and غ ‹qeyn›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

ع ععع غ غغغ    
ع ععع غ غغغ    

         


ف ‹fe›, ق ‹qaf›Edit

ف ق
‹fe› ‹qaf›

The next two letters are shown on the right.


ف ف‍ ‍ف‍ ‍ف ففف
  ‹fe› connecting forms

The Persian letter ف   ‹fe› sits on the baseline. Its name sounds like a quick pronunciation of "Faye".


فردا ف‍ ‍ر د ا فردا
‹fardâ› ‹f› ‹r› ‹d› ‹â›

As shown on the right, the letter ف ‹fe› combines with the letter that follows it, e.g. as the first letter in the word فردا   ‹fardâ› (“tomorrow”).


ق ق‍ ‍ق‍ ‍ق ققق
  ‹qaf› connecting forms

The Persian letter ق   ‹qaf› is pronounced like غ ‹qeyn›, i.e. like [ɣ]. The small loop sits on the baseline and the tail, when present, hangs below the baseline. Like other Persian letters with tails, the tail is only written when no other letter follows.


آقا آ ق‍ ‍ا آقا
‹âqâ› ‹â› ‹q› ‹â›

As shown on the right, the letter ‹qaf› combines with the letter that follows, as in آقا   ‹âqâ› (“Mr., sir, gentleman”).

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ف ‹fe› and ق ‹qaf›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

ف ففف ق ققق    
ف ففف ق ققق    

         


ک ‹kaf› and گ ‹gaf›Edit

ک گ
‹kaf› ‹gaf›

The next two letters are shown on the right.


ک ک‍ ‍ک‍ ‍ک ککک
  ‹kaf› connecting forms

The Persian letter ک   ‹kaf› sits on the baseline. The slash on top ( / ) is written after the connected strokes of the word, along with the dots in any of the word’s dotted letters. Its name sounds a bit like the English word “cough”.


کتاب ک‍ ‍ت‍ ‍ا ب کتاب
  ‹ketâb ‹k› ‹t› ‹â› ‹b›

As shown on the right, the letter ک combines with the letter that follows it, e.g. as the first letter in the word کتاب   ‹ketâb› (“book”).


گ گ‍ ‍گ‍ ‍گ گگگ
  ‹gaf› connecting forms

The Persian letter گ   ‹gaf› sits on the baseline. The two slashes on top ( // ) are written after the connected strokes of the word, along with the dots in any of the word’s dotted letters.


بزرگ ب‍ ‍ز ر گ بزرگ
  ‹bozorg› ‹b› ‹z› ‹r› ‹g›

As shown on the right, the letter گ is used in the word بزرگ   ‹bozorg› (“big”).

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ک ‹kaf› and گ ‹gaf›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

ک ککک گ گگگ    
ک ککک گ گگگ    

        


ل ‹lâm›Edit

ل ل‍ ‍ل‍ ‍ل للل
‹lâm› connecting forms

The letter ل   ‹lâm› sits on the baseline and connects with the letter that follows it.


گل گ‍ ‍ل گل
‹gol› ‹g› ‹l›

ل is the last letter in گل   ‹gol› (“flower”).

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ل ‹lâm›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

   

ل للل      
ل للل      

    


م ‹mim›Edit

م م‍ ‍م‍ ‍م ممم
  ‹mim› connecting forms

The Persian letter م is pronounced as /m/.


اسم ا س‍ ‍م اسم
  ‹esm› ‹e› ‹s› ‹m›

The Persian word اسم   ‹esm› (“name”), shown on the right, is an example of an initial alef without a “hat” ( ا ) used to indicate that the word begins with a short vowel, in this case, with ‹e›.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing م ‹mim›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

   

م ممم      
م ممم      

    


ن ‹nun›Edit

ن ن‍ ‍ن‍ ‍ن ننن
  ‹nun› connecting forms

The name of this letter "nun" is pronounced rhyming with "noon" and not "nun". Note the difference between ن nun and be, in be the dot is below the curve and in nun it is above. The shape of nun is also narrower than the "be, pe, se, te" group of letters.


نان ن‍ ‍ا ن نان
‹nun› ‹n› ‹â› ‹n›

The Persian word نان   ‹nun› (“bread”) is shown on the right. Note that the written form uses ا ‹â› , indicating that the word should be pronounced as ‹nân›, but in standard Persian, ان ‹ân› is usually pronounced ‹un›, including the word آن   ‹un› (“that”).

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ن ‹nun›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

   

ن ننن      
ن ننن      

    

ExercisesEdit

  Recognizing letters:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
What are the names of and sounds represented by the following letters?
ف

The letter ‹fe›, which represents the sound ‹f›.

The letter ‹lâm›, which represents the sound ‹l›.

گ

The letter ‹gaf›, which represents the sound ‹g›.

ق

The letter ‹qaf›, which represents the sound ‹q›.

ع

The letter ‹'eyn›, which represents the sound ‹'›.

غ

The letter ‹qeyn›, which represents the sound ‹q›.

ک

The letter ‹kaf›, which represents the sound ‹k›.

  Reading words:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
Read these words by breaking them down into their component parts.
بازار

بازار   ‹bâzâr› (“bazaar, market”)

چادر

چادر   ‹câdor› (“chador, covering”)

بانک

بانک   ‹bânk› (“bank”)

چک

چک   ‹chek› (“Czech”)

ReviewEdit

In this lesson, you learned ..., the next seven letters of the Persian Alphabet, and how to spell several words with those letters from right to left. You also learned about syllable stress in Persian words.

Core vocabulary:
  • ‹sobh bexeyr›      /sobh beˈxejɾ/ — “Good morning”
  • hâlet›      /ˈhɒːlet/ — “your health” (informal)
  • ‹bad›      /bæd/ — “bad” similar meaning and pronunciation as the English word
  • xeyli›    — “very”
Letters:
  • ع   ‹’eyn›
  • غ   ‹qeyn›
  • ف   ‹fe›
  • ق   ‹qaf›
  • ک   ‹kaf›
  • گ   ‹gaf›
  •    ‹lâm›
  • م   ‹mim›
  • ن   ‹nun›
Bonus words:
  • رعد   ‹ra’d› — “thunder”
  • باغ   ‹bâq› — “garden”
  • فردا   ‹fardâ› — “tomorrow”
  • آقا   ‹âqâ› — “sir, Mr., gentleman”
  • کتاب   ‹ketâb› — “book”
  • بزرگ   ‹bozorg› — “big”
All vocabulary Lessons 1 - 3   edit
English gloss Notes ‹fârsi› فارسی

Letter: [ɒː], [æ], [e], [o]   Lesson 1 ‹alef ا
Noun: gentleman, sir, Mr.   Lesson 2 âqâ› آقا
Letter: [b]   Lesson 1 ‹be› ب
Adjective: bad   Lesson 3 ‹bad› بد
Letter: [p]   Lesson 1 ‹pe› پ
Letter: [t]   Lesson 1 ‹te› ت
Pronoun: you (singular, informal)   Lesson 1 ‹tow› تو
Letter: [s]   Lesson 1 ‹se› ث
Letter: [dʒ]   Lesson 1 ‹jim› ج
Letter: [tʃ]   Lesson 1 ‹ce› چ
Adjective: how   Lesson 2 ‹cetor چطور
Phrase: How are you? (informal)   Lesson 1 ‹cetori?› چطوری؟
Letter: [h]   Lesson 1 ‹he› ح
Noun: health   Lesson 2 ‹hâl› حال
Noun: your health (informal)   Lesson 3 ‹hâlet› حالت
Letter: [x]   Lesson 1 ‹xe› خ
Phrase: May God keep you. (Goodbye.)   Lesson 2 ‹xofez.› خداحافظ.
Phrase: I’m fine.   Lesson 1 ‹(man) xubam.› (من) خوبم.
very   Lesson 3 xeyli› خیلی
Letter: [d]   Lesson 2 ‹dâ› د
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ذ
Letter: [ɾ]   Lesson 2 ‹re› ر
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹ze› ز
Letter: [ʒ]   Lesson 2 ‹že› ژ
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sin› س
Phrase: Peace (hello)!   Lesson 1 ‹salâm!› سلام!
Letter: [ʃ]   Lesson 2 ‹šin› ش
Pronoun: you (plural or polite singular)   Lesson 2 ‹šomâ› شما
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sâd› ص
Interjection: Good morning   Lesson 3 ‹sobh bexeyr صبح بخیر
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâd› ض
Letter: [t]   Lesson 2 ‹tâ› ط
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ظ
Letter: [ʔ]   Lesson 3 ‹’eyn› ع
Letter: [ɣ], [ɢ]   Lesson 3 ‹qeyn› غ
Letter: [f]   Lesson 3 ‹fe› ف
Letter: [ɢ], [ɣ], [q]   Lesson 3 ‹qaf› ق
Letter: [k]   Lesson 3 ‹kaf› ک
Letter: [g]   Lesson 3 ‹gaf› گ
Letter: [l]   Lesson 3 ‹lâm› ل
Letter: [m]   Lesson 3 ‹mim› م
Interjection: thanks   Lesson 1 mersi› مرسی
Pronoun: I, me   Lesson 1 ‹man› من
Letter: [n]   Lesson 3 ‹nun› ن
Verb: (I) am not   Lesson 3 nistam› نیستم
Conjunction: and   Lesson 3 ‹va, vo, o› و

Next: Lesson 4 ( ۴ ), The alphabet (continued)