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How To Say ‘Hello’ in Persian, and Other Persian Greetings!

How to Say Hello in Persian

So, you’re heading for Iran to travel or work. Awesome! You’re in for an amazing adventure! It’s a beautiful country, steeped in a rich culture that may be very unlike your own.

However, showing respect to the locals is a big deal in every country around the world. A respectful manner and attitude could open doors for you that would otherwise remain mystifyingly closed. Aside from just knowing ‘Thank you’ in Persian, greeting someone correctly in Persian could incline a local to treat you more favorably than otherwise! So, the clever thing to do would be to learn Persian greetings before you embark on your journey. Persian greetings are different from other languages and probably not what you’d expect. But if learning how to say ‘Hello!’ in Persian in easy and fun ways is important to you, you’ve come to the right place at PersianPod101.

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1. Must-Know Persian Greetings

Start straight away with this greeting lesson. It’s short, but it packs a punch!

This short, but powerful lesson teaches you the basic ways to greet someone correctly in Persian! At PersianPod101, you will be taught the correct pronunciation and intonation, as well as the correct times to greet in Persian. And you will have fun!

The focus of this lesson is greetings in Persian

Topic 1: How to greet when meeting

Sentence from the lesson:

‘سلام.’
Salām!
“Hello!”

The most commonly used informal greeting is:
سلام.
Salām!
Salām “hi,” or “hello.” We use it when we meet someone or enter a room with people in it. We can use it for a greeting almost anywhere.
After Salām, we almost always say “how are you?” when we meet or call someone. It might seem strange to say it every time, but this is a part of normal everyday conversation in Persian.
The informal way of saying “Hello, how are you?” is:
سلام, چطوری؟
Salām, chetori?
We use this almost every time we greet friends or close relatives.
The formal way becomes slightly longer by adding shoma, which means “you” –
سلام, حال شما چطوره؟
Salām, hāl-e shomā chetore?
Hāl means “health.”
Hāl-e shomā Chetore, literally means “How is your health?”
Now if you remember the last lesson, adding -et to a word made it informal.
Therefore, if you add -et to Hāl instead of -e shomā, you make the whole sentence informal:
Salām, hālet Chetore?
Notice that there are many ways of saying the same phrase in Persian, making it shorter or longer. But remembering the basic words will help you get through almost any conversation!
Literally, Salām means “Hello.” For “good morning” or good evening,” we use other phrases, but we always add Salām at the start of the greeting!
In the morning, we say:
سلام, صبح بخیر.
Salām, sobh bekheir!
Sobh is Persian for “morning,” and bekheir means “to be good.” So it really means “Wishing you a good morning.”
In Persian, we don’t say “good afternoon” or “good evening” very much. “Good morning” and “good night” are used more often.
During the day, the most common greeting is Salām.
But if you really want to, you can just replace “morning” with the Persian words for “afternoon,” “evening,” or “night.”
سلام, صبح بخیر.
Salām, sobh bekheir!
“Good Morning.”
سلام, ظهر بخیر.
Salām, zohr bekheir!
“Good Afternoon.”
سلام, عصر بخیر.
Salām, asr bekheir!
“Good Evening.”
شب بخیر.
Shab bekheir! means “Good Night.”
Sobh, zohr, and asr are used in greetings when we meet someone, but when leaving we don’t say them again.
Notice that we didn’t say Salām before Shab bekheir! meaning “Good Night.” That’s because we don’t say Shab bekheir “Good night” when we meet someone. It is only used when leaving.

Topic 2: How to use parting expressions

Sentence from the lesson:

‘خداحافظ.’
Khodāhāfez.
“Goodbye.”

In Persian, there is only one word for saying goodbye, but there is a small difference between the formal and informal versions:
Formal:
خداحافظ.
Khodāhāfez.
Informal:
خدافظ.
Khodāfez.
Khodāhāfez literally means “May God protect you,” but it is used to say “Goodbye.”

Language Tip

In formal situations, Persian people of the same gender commonly greet each other by shaking hands. However, if we meet someone we are very friendly with, we hug and kiss each other on both cheeks. Don’t be afraid to do this with your Persian friends, and don’t be shocked when someone from the same gender tries to hug you or kiss your cheeks—it’s perfectly normal!

Remember that this is only if both people are the same gender. In Persian countries like Iran, you cannot shake hands or hug and kiss a person from the other gender “in public.”

2. Common Ways to Say Hello in Persian

Persian Greetings

Standing at the airport in a foreign country for the first time can be a somewhat scary experience for anyone, especially if you need assistance. However, don’t worry – at PersianPod101 we teach you how to quickly get a local’s attention with friendly, correct Persian greetings! You are more likely to get helped this way.

Here is our Persian greetings list of all the general ways to address a person upon meeting. It is tailored for formal and informal situations.

1- Good morning.

صبح به خیر.
sobh be kheyr.

‘Good morning’ in Persian is acceptable any time between approximately 5:30am and 12:00pm, when the day is still young. And smile – it’s the universal ice-breaker!

2- Good evening

عصر به خیر.
asr be kheyr.

This greeting is one you would use casually when night begins to fall. Address your friends, close family or close acquaintances, and those who are not your superiors, with this phrase.

3- How are you?

حال شما چطور است؟
haal-e shomaa chetor ast?

Show your friendly interest in another person’s well-being by asking this question. This is the casual greeting form that you would use with your friends and family. For the sake of the friendship, it would be good to listen carefully to the answer! It shows caring and selflessness on your part.

4- How have you been?

چه خبر؟
che khabar?

This is a good question to ask someone you have not seen for a while. The inference is that some catching-up is needed!

5- What’s up?

چه اتفاقی افتاده است؟
che etefaaqi oftaade ast?

An universally informal and energetic way to greet your friends or equals! Literally, it means ‘What’s going on in your life?’, yet often no answer is expected. It’s just a greeting! Crazy, right?!

6- Long time no see.

کم پیدایید.
kam peydaa id.

This phrase means is another greeting comment that means “I have not seen you for a while!” Often, no response is expected, except to reciprocate.

7- Hey!

هی
hey

This is a friendly exclamation to greet your friends or equals with. Reserve its use more for people you see regularly!

Saying Hello

8- Good afternoon.

بعدازظهر بخیر.
ba’d az zohr be kheyr.

‘Good afternoon’ in Persian is an informal greeting and is used during the second part of the day. The appropriate period falls, in most cultures, from 12:00am till sunset.

9- How’s it going?

اوضاع چطور پیش میره؟
ozaa chetor pish mireh?

This greeting phrase basically means the same as ‘How are things progressing?’, ‘How are things going in your life?’ or even ‘What’s up?’ Depending on the friendship, a lengthy answer is not always expected.

10- It’s nice to see you again.

از ملاقات شما خوشوقتم.
az molaaqaat-e shomaa khoshvaqtam.

This friendly, welcoming phrase is best used after greeting someone you have not seen for a while. If you mean it, you will make the person feel special! This is a good thing to say to make someone feel welcome in Persian.

11- How’s everything?

اوضاع چطور است؟
ozaa chetor ast?

This is a variation of ‘How’s it going?’ Use casually with your equals or close acquaintances.

12- How’s your day?

روزت چطور است؟
roozat(roozet) chetor ast?

Ask this when you’re speaking to your Persian friend during the day. It’s a friendly phrase to start a conversation with.

13- Yo!

هی
hey

Yo! is English slang and a universal greeting popular among young men of most nationalities. Rather don’t answer the phone with this, unless you know your caller well!

14- Hello!

سلام
salaam

Suitable for use in most settings, situations and persons, this is an important Persian greeting to know. Be sure to master this word first at PersianPod101!

15- It’s nice to meet you.

از ملاقات شما خوشوقتم.
az molaaqaat-e shomaa khoshvaqtam.

When meeting someone for the first time, this is a polite and friendly way to welcome them. It means you are happy to make their acquaintance.

3. Why Should You Choose PersianPod101 To Learn How To Greet In Persian?

Online learning systems abound, and it’s not easy to know which one will suit your needs best. This means you have to be careful and select a system with a good reputation, and that has proven longevity. PersianPod101, which is part of InnovativeLearning.com, ticks all the boxes! With millions of lesson downloads and over a decade of teaching, we can say with confidence that this is one of the best language learning systems on the web. Why is it such an excellent system? Let us count the ways…

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1- Video Presentations with Native Speakers

Friendly native Persian speakers guide you step-by-step through the process of learning vocabulary, phrases and much more. They demonstrate correct pronunciation and emphasis of the words, so as to ensure that you speak like a native when you’re done! Watching the enthusiastic tutors makes not only for a pleasant and more personal experience – it also allows you to copy mouth and lip movements. It’s like learning from your own Persian friend in your own home!

2- Superb Flexibility with 24/7 Access to Learning Material – Anywhere and on Any Device connected to the Internet!

PC, Android, iPhone, iPad, laptop, even TV – whatever device you prefer! Go online with our FREE app to do your lessons, no matter where you are or which device you are using. All you need is a good internet connection to log on and learn to speak Persian at your own pace, in your own place!

3- Pronunciation Tool Ensures You Really Speak Persian!

In any language, correct pronunciation is often crucial. The nuances in language require this, or you could find yourself saying things you don’t mean. You will find our Pronunciation Tool invaluable to wrap your mouth around the correct way to greet in Persian!

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4- Our Content is Always New and Dynamic

Every week, new audio and video lessons are uploaded, so as to keep our promise that learning Persian with PersianPod101 is always fun and exciting! In addition, you will get access to bonus material and basic Persian phrases. These are a fantastic way to build your comprehension and speaking skills!

5- Need to Fast Track your Learning? We Have the Solution!

Most learning activities are more fun when you’re not doing them alone. For this reason we developed Premium PLUS, which gives you a personal tutor – 24/7! Also, this way you’re likely to learn to speak Persian much faster!

So, if our lively Persian blog is not enough for you, just upgrade to Premium PLUS to get your very own teacher. Personalised goals and lessons based on your needs, assessment of your progress, non-stop feedback and many other super features makes this a very attractive option.

Say ‘Hello’ to a wonderful, exciting way to learn another language, and learn how to say ‘Hello’ in Persian in no time! You will be very happy you did!