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Archive for the 'Persian Phrases' Category

Your Guide to Understanding Persian Verbs


Verbs are considered the most important part of speech when learning any new language. They describe every single mental and physical activity we do, from the moment we wake up in the morning to falling asleep at night. Even sleeping is full of verbs: you sleep, you breathe, you relax, you dream, you toss and turn, you snore… okay, maybe you snore! 

The word ‘verb’ comes from the Latin for ‘word’ – your first indication that it’s pretty important. In elementary terms: these are the ‘doing’ words and they exist in every language. Verbs are essential in communication and no sentence can exist without one. When learning to speak Persian, the verbs you know will be your building blocks to make sentences. Whether you’re commenting on the weather, asking a question or indicating your desires, you’ll be using verbs.

With enough verbs in your repertoire, you can get people to understand your needs and intentions at a basic level – even when you’re battling to form a full and clear sentence. So, how many Persian verbs do you know? There is no doubt that you’ll have to also learn a few grammar rules, but if you want to understand the language faster, begin by simply memorizing a bunch of verbs that are commonly used in everyday life. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Persian Table of Contents
  1. Talking about actions in daily life
  2. Don’t travel without knowing these top 10 verbs.
  3. Negative verbs in Persian
  4. Conclusion

1. Talking about actions in daily life

As much as we are so different from one another and have our unique habits and ways of doing things, there are certain frequently-performed activities and rituals common to us all. It makes sense, then, to learn the words for these things first. Once you have a firm grasp of Persian verb forms and usage for situations you’ll be in often, you can move onto more specialized action vocabulary. For example, as a beginner, you don’t need to know the Persian word for ‘sail’ if you’re terrified of the sea – you won’t use it unless it comes up in conversation.  Focus on the essentials first.

Of all the verb forms, action verbs are the first kind taught to kids in school and there’s a reason for that: they are the easiest to understand in the context of grammar, as they clearly describe specific activities that have visual connections. If I talk about dancing, you’ll picture someone dancing. If you mention texting someone, I’ll see a mental image of a cell phone. 

We’ve put together a very useful Persian verbs list using action words you’ll come across daily. Here are 20 common words and phrases describing everyday activities. 

1- Go out: بیرون رفتن (biroon raftan)

Whenever I travel with my sister, there’s always the discussion about whether or not we both wish to go out in the evening. Sometimes we want the same thing; other times, one of us is too tired from the day’s adventures. If you’re keen to explore the city at night, this is a Persian verb you should learn! 

2- Eat: خوردن (Khordan)

We all have to eat and this verb is sure to come in handy on a daily basis in Iran.  Whether you love going out to eat or enjoy cooking at home, the Persian verb for ‘eat’ is an essential one. Even if your Persian skills are really basic and you can’t ask a full question, people will know what you mean when you use this word. 

3- Rest: استراحت کردن (Esteraahat kardan)

After a long day of exploring or surviving the office, we all like to put our feet up and rest. Here’s a verb in Persian that you can use when you want to be left alone to unwind.  If you’re up for it, why not use the opportunity to improve your language skills? Perhaps the most leisurely way to learn Persian while having a rest, is simply to watch a local movie. Or, you could tune into our Roku channel on your TV and get some cultural tips. 

4- Cook: آشپزی کردن (aashpazi kardan)

Once you’re over the novelty of exploring the night markets for Iranian street foods, you’ll probably try your hand at cooking from time to time. This is a great verb to use if you want to invite friends over for dinner. The only question is: will you attempt to cook an authentic Iranian recipe, or will you give your comrades a taste of something from home? I vote for the latter!

Top Verbs

5- Use a computer: استفاده از کامپیوتر (estefaadeh az kaampiooter)

Whether you’re taking a vacation or on a work contract in Iran, chances are you will be using a computer at some point – it’s just the way we roll in modern times! Here is a phrase that will come in handy if you’re looking for a plug point at a coffee shop, or asking around for an internet cafe. 

6- Return: برگشتن (Bargashtan)

To return is to go back to a place you came from and we do that all the time, don’t we? We return to work, return home and return to our favourite meeting places. You can also return to an activity, such as a game of Monopoly that goes on for a week.  Not to mention returning purchases – something I do regularly. After all, when you buy clothing from outdoor markets around the world, it’s not always possible to try them on, and it’s the luck of the draw to get a great fit. 

7- Do housework: انجام کارهای خانه (anjaam-e kaar-haa-ye khaaneh)

Housework isn’t exactly the most exciting part of anyone’s day, is it? Some of us take the edge off the pain with music and a comforting cup of tea; others sweep the chores under the rug and hope they’ll go away. Of course, there’s always the option of paying somebody else to do it! If you need to ask around for some domestic help in Iran, this will be a useful phrase to practice saying. 

8- Brush one’s teeth: (مسواک زدن) mesvaak zadan

You should also know how to use everyday action verbs in Persian and this is a handy example, as brushing your teeth is an habitual action you perform daily – no matter where in the world you are. In certain rural areas, you might find yourself doubting that the news of toothbrushes has arrived yet, but history tells me you can safely use a twig! 

Turquoise Toothbrush and Toothpaste

9- Wash one’s face: شستن صورت (shostane soorat)

Just like brushing one’s teeth, it is necessary to wash one’s face every day to prevent break-outs and keep the skin fresh and glowing. In Iran, why not try some of the local brands of face wash? Even better still would be to ask your new Iranian friends about traditional skin-cleansing rituals. Some of the most beautiful complexions in the world are a result of using completely natural, homegrown products. 

10- Bathe: حمام کردن (hammaam kardan)

In English, we use two similar words to describe the ritual of immersing oneself in water for the purpose of cleansing: ‘bath’ and ‘bathe’. While often used interchangeably, the words have slightly different meanings. To ‘bath’ is about personal hygiene and means to wash the body while submerged in a tub; to ‘bathe’ means submergence in any body of water and can also be for religious ritual or therapeutic purposes. 

11- Check email: چک کردن ایمیل (chek kardan-e imeyl)

This is a useful verb phrase you will use when you need to find an internet cafe, or if you want to ask an establishment for their wifi password. These days, it’s really easy to check your email with a smartphone. 

Working people habitually check email at the start of the day; travelers check email whenever they can, to hear from family and friends. Digital nomads, like me, do a bit of both. We need to check email frequently, relying on numerous online platforms, as well as supportive words from home, to ensure the adventure can continue!

Woman Sending an Email

12- Wake up: بیدار شدن (bidaar shodan)

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? I go straight to the kitchen and perform the sacred coffee ritual. It’s my favourite time of day and always puts me in the right mood for the soon-to-come busyness. 

13- Sleep: خوابیدن (khaabidan)

I love sleeping. Don’t you? Sleep is essential for the well-being of the body and mind. If you’re an insomniac, like I am, you may find that travel makes it even worse. There’s a theory that when we try to sleep in a new environment, our brains act in a primal way, staying semi-alert to watch for danger. Pretty annoying, if you ask me! On the other hand, once you’ve settled into a relaxing vacation, stress also takes its leave and you’re usually able to fall into happy dreams with ease. 

14- Shower: دوش گرفتن (doosh gereftan)

After a long day of work or adventure in Iran, you’ll probably be thinking of food, a refreshing drink and a relaxing hot shower.  In certain warm countries – especially out of the touristy areas – you may find that your shower has no geyser and you can’t get hot water. I have friends who love this and friends who hate it. I’ve always found that if I’m on an adventure in the tropics, I don’t mind cold showers and they can be quite heavenly! On the other hand, if I’m teaching at a school, it’s a pretty miserable feeling to come home to a cold shower every night. One should always enquire ahead! 

Man Showering

15- Work: کار کردن (kaar kardan)

This is one of those common Persian action verbs that you’ll have in your head all the time if you’re taking a job in Iran, so it might be helpful to practice using it in its different forms. If you want to work on your practical use of Persian, knowing how to put your verbs to work, so to speak, is a priority! 

16- Get up: از جا بلند شدن (az jaa boland shodan)

After a good night’s sleep, we all have to eventually get up and get going. Getting up leads to good things like coffee and breakfast, so it’s not all bad. I’d venture so far as to say that even if you’re typically a sleepyhead who battles in the mornings, you’ll be an early bird in those first weeks waking up in Iran. It’s always easier to get up knowing you have a whole new country to explore!

17- Shop: خرید کردن (Kharid kardan)

Who doesn’t like this word? It’s a Persian verb you’re sure to use every week; from buying your groceries and exploring the local fashion stores,  to buying souvenirs before you finally head home, you’ll need to shop in Iran. 

18- Have a dream / dream: دیدن یک خواب (didan-e yek khaab)/خواب دیدن (khaab didan)

How many times have you heard someone say they don’t dream when they’re sleeping? I’ve heard this countless times in my life and I find the thought of dreamless sleep kind of sad. Truth is, though, that everybody dreams – even those who claim not to. It can feel like you’ve had a dreamless night, but in reality, 95% of dreams are simply lost from memory within seconds of awakening. This is because the changes in the brain that occur during sleep do not support the information processing and storage needed for memory formation to take place.

Woman Dreaming

19- Read a newspaper: خواندن یک روزنامه (khaandan-e yek rooznaameh)

Do you like to keep up with the local news when traveling? Reading a newspaper is a really great way to do that, because it also gives you invaluable language practice from an authentic piece of Persian writing. Newspaper articles are my favourite texts to use for teaching reading classes, because they’re both topically interesting and filled with the type of language people hear every day in business and recreation. So, next time you want to ‘read the paper’ in Iran, make sure it’s a Persian one!

20- Shopping: خريد (kharid)

Retail therapy is not just a thing in your own country. If you’ve never before gone shopping in Iran, you’re in for a treat! Use this verb when planning a day for visiting the best stores in the city, the more authentic and affordable spots where the locals shop, or the colorful open-air markets. My travel tip: if you want to really blend in and lose the ‘tourist’ stamp, ask a Iranian friend to take you shopping wherever they go for their own gear. You’ll definitely need to do this if you’re planning to stay in Iran for a long time – especially to find suitable work clothes.

Busy Shopping Mall

2. Don’t travel without knowing these top 10 verbs.

Essential Verbs

From the moment you buy a plane ticket, to the end of your journey, there are certain activities you are guaranteed to do plenty of while traveling. It makes sense, then, to learn the verbs that will inevitably become part of the sentences you’ll have to string together when you’re on-the-go in Iran.  

When the big day comes and you’re standing in the inevitable long and slow-moving line to board your plane, what do you typically think of? Perhaps you find yourself thinking of the on-board meals and wondering if you should buy some duty-free wine and chocolate – even though you’d rather avoid paying more money before you even reach Iran!  If you’re sharing your journey on Instagram, you might take a ‘Me, the nomad’ picture and think about how much nicer it is to land than it is to take off. 

If you’re like me, when the minutes lengthen and all your rational thoughts have been used up, you may find yourself studying the exterior of the plane for telltale signs of sabotage. If you’re not afraid of flying, though, your mind may already be on your destination: have you arranged a ride from the airport to your hotel? Perhaps you like to think about that first day in a new country: taking a tour, sightseeing… all the good things!

My advice for beating the queueing blues: put those earpods in and zone out with a relaxing Persian audio lesson on your smartphone or Nook.

3. Negative verbs in Persian

Negative Verbs

No matter who you are, sometimes you’re going to feel unhappy – you’re human. Knowing how to express your feelings is important and when you’re in a foreign country, you might need to do so in the local language. 

The first negative feeling I typically get when traveling is that I miss my family. This sadness can linger a while and if I’m tired from long-haul flights, I can get irritated by inconvenient things such as not being able to find my luggage. I’m sure you know the feeling!

While you don’t want to be rude to the first people you encounter in Iran, it’s perfectly reasonable to complain at the help desk. If the attendant doesn’t speak English, don’t be afraid to attempt your query in Persian. Getting prompt help depends on your ability to communicate effectively; you want to bring attention to the apparent mistake made, while avoiding insult. Don’t overthink it, though – they won’t reject you just because you aren’t fluent! As you probably know by now, Iranian folk will appreciate your attempt to speak their language and this can only work in your favour.  

4. Conclusion

Well, today we’ve covered quite a few new everyday verbs in Persian – particularly action verbs that you’ll use while traveling. I hope you’ve found them useful and that you feel inspired to learn even more. If you’ve already opened your free lifetime account, you’re well on your way to success. In fact, you’ll be practicing Persian verbs right from the start, with the Word of the Day arriving in your inbox daily. Pretty neat, huh? 

If you’d like to to enhance your learning experience and jump ahead with Persian, have a browse through these other cool products and freebies we offer:

  • For fun and unique audio lessons that will help you grasp the culture, try a lesson from our free eBooks – also available for kids. Great for long bus and train rides!
  • Also for when you’re on the go and don’t want to carry too many extras, we have various phone apps to suit your needs. There are apps for iPhone and iPad as well as for Android
  • As the world’s largest language education mobile app developer, we can also offer you free apps, such as Genko Flashcards. Flashcards are one of the most effective learning tools, because they involve all of your senses and this is a proven fast method for remembering vocabulary. You look at a picture of the word, hear it pronounced, and see it written all at the same time. Winner! 

With these tools and so much more, you’re going to thrive here with us at PersianPod101. Our commitment to helping you learn means we also encourage our PersianPod101 learners to communicate with each other, and you can chat with people in our online language learning community. It’s a fun way to work out problems, share knowledge and get some ‘talking’ practice before you even get to Iran. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up to PersianPod101 here and learn something cool right away!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Persian

Persian Time: “What Time is it?” in Persian & More


If you’re learning the Persian language or want to travel to a Persian-speaking country for a while, you must learn how to tell time in Persian and how to ask others for the time. For this, you need to know the key vocabulary and the important rules about hours, minutes, and days. In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the time in Persian grammar so you can talk just like a native Persian speaker!

Are you ready? Let’s start!
For talking about the time in Farsi, first of all, you need to learn the numbers. After that, you need to learn and practice the basics, such as Persian vocabulary keywords related to time. In the table below, you’ll learn just a few of them:

Timeزمان (zamaan)
Morningصبح (sobh)
Nightشب (shab)
Hourساعت (saa’at)
Minuteدقیقه (daqiqe)
Secondثانیه (saanie)
Dayروز (rooz)
Noonظهر (zohr)
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Persian Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time in Persian
  2. What Time is the Event/Meeting/Appointment?
  3. How to Say the Hour in Persian
  4. How to Say the Minutes in Persian
  5. Hours Divided into Minutes
  6. General Time Reference of the Day in Persian
  7. Time Adverbs
  8. Time Proverbs and Sayings in Persian
  9. How PersianPod101 Can Help You Master Persian

1. How to Ask for the Time in Persian

Women at Bus Stop

If you want to ask for the time in Persian, you only need to remember this formula:

  • ببخشید، ساعت چند است؟ (bebakhshid, saa’at chand ast?), which means “Excuse me, what time is it?” in Persian.

To say this sentence in its colloquial form, you only need to change است (ast), which means “is” in English, to ه (e):

ببخشید، ساعت چنده؟ (bebakhshid, saa’at chande?)

To answer this question and tell the time in Persian, you have to learn this formula:

  • (Cardinal number) + ساعت (saa’at, which means “hour”) + و ([va – formal / o – informal] which means “and”) + (number of minutes) + دقیقه (daqiqe, which means “minutes”) + و  (va / o) + (number of seconds) + ثانیه (saanie, which means “second.”) 

For example, imagine you’re in Iran and you want to ask a stranger what time it is in Persian. The answer is “It’s two ten.” This conversation would look like:

A: ببخشید، ساعت چنده؟

A: bebakhshid, saa’at chande?

A: Excuse me, what time is it?

B: ساعت دو و ده دقیقه است.

B: saa’at do o dah daqiqe ast.

B: It’s two ten.

The word ساعت (saa’at) means “time” / “hour” / “clock” / “watch.” 

دو (do) means “two,” و (o) means “and” (it could be read as [va] in formal speech), ده (dah) means “ten,” دقیقه (daqiqe) means “minute,” and  است (ast) means “is.”

2. What Time is the Event/Meeting/Appointment?

Man Running Late

There’s another form you can use when you want to ask for the time of a specific event, such as a meeting. For example, if you want to check the time of an event you’ve been invited to with your friend, you would ask “What time is the (Event/Meeting/Appointment/etc.)?” in Persian. 

This is an example of a formula you can use:

ساعت + چند + است؟ + (Event/Meeting/Appointment/etc.)

For example:

A: مهمانی} ساعت چند است؟}

A: {mehmaani} saa’ate chand ast?

A: What time is the {party}?

B: مهمانی} ساعت پنج است}

B: {mehmaani} saa’ate panj ast.

B: The party is at six.

So you only need to remember the order of this sentence: { ساعت + چند + است؟ + (The Event) }, and replace the word in parentheses with the event, meeting, or appointment you want to ask about.

 3. How to Say the Hour in Persian


The twelve-hour format is typically used for telling the time in Farsi. The twenty-four-hour format is used in formal situations, such as TV programs, the news, etc. The word for the hour / o’clock in Persian is ساعت (saa’at). To say “[number] hour/o’clock,” you only need to memorize this formula:

  • ساعت + [number] 

For example: Two o’clock is  ساعت دو (saa’ate do) and seven o’clock is ساعت هفت (saa’ate haft).By memorizing the table below, you’ll learn how to say the time in Persian from one o’clock/hour until twelve o’clock/hour in Persian, using both the twelve- and twenty-four-hour formats.

12-hour set24-hour set
1 o’clock: ساعت یک (saa’ate yek)ساعت سیزده (saa’ate sizdah)
2 o’clock: ساعت دو (saa’ate do)ساعت چهارده (saa’ate chaahaardah)
3 o’clock: ساعت سه (saa’ate se)ساعت پانزده (saa’ate paanzdah)
4 o’clock: ساعت چهار (saa’ate chaahaar)ساعت شانزده (saa’ate shaanzdah)
5 o’clock: ساعت پنج (saa’ate panj)ساعت هفده (saa’ate hefdah)
6 o’clock: ساعت شش (saa’ate shesh)ساعت هجده (saa’ate hejdah)
7 o’clock: ساعت هفت (saa’ate haft)ساعت نوزده (saa’ate noozdah)
8 o’clock: ساعت هشت (saa’ate hasht)ساعت بیست (saa’ate bist)
9 o’clock: ساعت نه (saa’ate noh)ساعت بیست و یک (saa’ate bist o yek)
10 o’clock: ساعت ده (saa’ate dah)ساعت بیست و دو (saa’ate bist o do)
11 o’clock: ساعت یازده (saa’ate yazdah)ساعت بیست و سه (saa’ate bist o se)
12 o’clock: ساعت دوازده (saa’ate davazdah)ساعت بیست و چهار (saa’ate bist o chaahaar)


  • It’s 2 o’clock. ساعت دو است (saa’at do ast.)
  • It’s 7 o’clock. ساعت هفت است (saa’at haft ast.)
  • It’s 16 o’clock. ساعت شانزده است (saa’at shaanzdah ast.)
  • It’s 18 o’clock. ساعت هجده است (saa’at hejdah ast.)

4. How to Say the Minutes in Persian

Fifteen Minutes

The word for “minute” in the Persian language is دقیقه (daqiqe). To say the minutes in Persian, you simply need to remember this formula:

  • دقیقه + Number

For example, “one minute” will be:  یک دقیقه (yek daqiqe).

“Ten minutes” will be: ده دقیقه (dah daqiqe).

Now imagine someone asks you what time it is, and the time is 3:45. In Persian, this would be: 

سه و چهل و پنج دقیقه (se o chehel o panj daqiqe).

Let’s see more examples:

  • 2:10 : دو و ده دقیقه (do o dah daqiqe)
  • 8:50 : هشت و پنجاه دقیقه (hasht o panjaah daqiqe)
  • 3:25 : سه و بیست و پنج دقیقه (se o bist o panj daqiqe)

So after learning how to say the minutes in Persian, it’s time to learn how you can use this in sentences.

For example, imagine you’re at the bus station and someone asks you:

A: ببخشید، ساعت چند است؟

A: bebakhshid, saa’at chand as

A: Excuse me, what time is it?    

If the time is 9:15, you can use the following formula:

  • است. + دقیقه + number + و + number + ساعت

So it would be: ساعت نه  و پانزده دقیقه است (saa’at noh o paanzdah daqiqe ast).

Here are more examples:

  • It is 6:45.  ساعت شش و چهل و پنج دقیقه است (saa’at shesh o chehel o panj daqiqe ast.)
  • It is 7:25 o’clock. ساعت هفت و بیست و پنج دقیقه است (saa’at haft o bist o panj daqiqe ast.)
  • It is 1:36 o’clock.  ساعت یک و سی و شش دقیقه است (saa’at yek o si o shesh daqiqe ast.)

5. Hours Divided into Minutes

Improve Listening

After learning how to say the hours and minutes in the Persian language, let’s talk about dividing hours into minutes.

First of all, let’s learn the words for “half” and “quarter” in Farsi:

  • Half — informal: نیم (nim), formal: سی دقیقه (si daqiqe)
  • Quarter — informal: ربع (rob), formal: پانزده دقیقه (paanzdah daqiqe)

For example, if you want to say: “It is half past ten,” you can use this formula:

  • Formal: ساعت ده و سی دقیقه است (saa’at dah o si daqiqe ast.)
  • Informal: ساعت ده و نیم است (saa’at dah o nim ast.)

Or, to say “It’s a quarter to seven”:

  • ساعت یک ربع به هفت است. (saa’at yek rob be haft ast)
  • ساعت پانزده دقیقه به هفت است. (saa’at paanzdah daqiqe be haft ast)

6. General Time Reference of the Day in Persian

Men Shaking Hands in Afternoon

Now let’s learn the words related to general time of day. We can use them to say what part of the day it is, with or without the exact time. Note that many of these are common greeting phrases in Persian.

Sunrise طلوع خورشید (toloo’e khorshid)
Early morningصبح زود (sobhe zood)
Morning صبح (sobh)
Noonظهر (zohr)
Afternoonبعد از ظهر (ba’d az zohr)
Eveningعصر (asr)
Sunsetغروب خورشید (ghoroobe khorshid)
Nightشب (shab)
Midnightنیمه شب (nimeh shab)
Todayامروز (emrooz)
Tomorrowفردا (fardaa)

For example, if you want to say “tomorrow morning” in Persian, it would be like:

صبح فردا (sobhe fardaa)

To say “I will call you at night”:

من شب به شما زنگ خواهم زد (man shab be shomaa zang khaaham zad.)

7. Time Adverbs

After learning the basics about how to tell time in Persian, let’s talk about the time adverbs. Here are some examples:

Right now — همین الان (hamin al’aan)

Currently — در حال حاضر (dar haale haazer)

Meanwhile/at the same time — در همین حال (dar hamin haal)

Before — قبل (ghabl)

After — بعد (ba’d)

Soon — بزودی (bezoodi)

Almost — تقریبا (taghriban)

For a long time — برای مدت طولانی (baraaye moddate toolaani)

Anytime — هر زمان (har zamaan)

As soon as possible — در اسرع وقت (dar asra’e vaqt)

For example, if you want to say “Come right now,” in Persian, it would be:

.همین الان بیا (hamin al’aan biaa.)

Here are more examples:

  • I will see you soon. من شما را بزودی خواهم دید (man shomaa raa be zoodi khaaham did.)
  • I’ll try to come as soon as possible.  من سعی میکنم که در اسرع وقت بیایم (man sa’y mikonam ke dar asra’e vaght biaayam.)

8. Time Proverbs and Sayings in Persian

Now that you’ve learned about telling the time in Persian, as a conclusion let’s learn together a few time proverbs in Persian.

Time is money. وقت طلاست (vaqt talaast.)

Time flies. زمان میگذرد  (zamaan migozarad.)

Time heals all wounds. زمان همه زخم ها را بهبود می بخشد (zamaan hameye zakhm haa raa behbood mibakhshad.)

9. How PersianPod101 Can Help You Master Persian

Basic Questions

Congratulations on making it through this article on telling time in Persian! We hope you enjoyed learning about this essential topic with us. 

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Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Persian


Do you know your left from your right in Persian? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Iran, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Persian magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Persian? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Iran is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at PersianPod101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

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  1. Talking about position and direction in Persian
  2. Getting directions in Persian
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Persian

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Persian? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Iranian friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Persian is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Persian positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – تاپ (taap)

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Iran is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – ته (tah)

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Persian, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Iran.

3- Up – بالا (baalaa)

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – پایین (paain)

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – وسط (vasat)

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – مرکز (markaz)

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – جلو (jolo)

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Persian directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – پشت (posht)

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Persian ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – کنار (kenaar)

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Persian.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – شرق (sharq)

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – غرب (qarb)

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – شمال (shomaal)

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – جنوب (jonoob)

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – بیرون (biroon)

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – درون (daroon)

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Iranian-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – روبرو (rooberoo)

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – مجاور (mojaaver)

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Persian that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Iranian food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – به طرفِ (be tarafe)

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Iran to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – طرف، سمت، جهت (taraf, samt, jahat)

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – در کنارِ، نزدیک به (dar kenaare, nazdik be)

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – گوشه (gooshe)

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – بافاصله (baa faaseleh)

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Persian word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Persian. Even better, get a Iranian person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – دور (door)

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – نزدیک (nazdik)

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – کنارِ، نزدیک بهِ (kenaare, nazdik be)

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – مجاور، پیرامون (mojaaver, piraamoon)

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – تمام جهات (tamaame jahaat)

Another useful descriptive Persian term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – نزدیک به (nazdik be)

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – رویِ، بالایِ (rooye, baalaaye)

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – زیر (zir)

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Persian, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Persian

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Iran won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Persian. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Persian as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Iran with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Persian. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Persian, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Iran. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Persian phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Persian WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Persian?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Persian, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Persian to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Persian music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Persian for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join PersianPod101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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Learn the Best Compliments in Persian for Any Occasion


What would you say to lift the spirits of a special person you know? No doubt, you have dozens of kind words that come to mind in English, but do you know many compliments in Persian?

A compliment can be described as a polite expression of praise, admiration, encouragement or congratulations. It’s sometimes used in absolute sincerity and sometimes to flatter, but either way, human beings love to receive compliments!

Table of Contents

  1. The Importance of Compliments
  2. Compliments you always want to hear
  3. Conclusion

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1. The Importance of Compliments

Giving and receiving compliments is so important in society, that you can be considered rude if you’re a person who never acknowledges anyone. We all need to hear words of affirmation to feel good about ourselves or our achievements, whether big or small. Life is full of daily challenges that can feel overwhelming sometimes – both in terms of the things we have to accomplish and the way we look at the world.

Call it vanity, but it’s a basic human need to hear kindness and appreciation from other people. In the same way, we need to be giving out some of that kindness and helping others to feel good about themselves. Remember the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”? Well, that applies to compliments in a big way. The cool thing is that when you’re generous with your words, you more than likely will invite the same back from people.

So, where did this wonderful idea originate? The word ‘compliment’ has its origins in the mid-17th century; back then it meant ‘fulfilment of the requirements of courtesy’. There was a time when it was normal to compliment others upon meeting for the first time. In some cultures, that’s still the norm. If only we could have more of that today!

If you think about how much it means to receive a genuine compliment from someone whose opinion matters to you, it’s easy to reverse that and realize they probably feel the same way. There is no way around this: it’s vital to pay compliments to each and every person who is a part of your life, and to do so regularly and with sincerity.

2. Compliments you always want to hear

Smiling cat toys

The nuances in the type of personal compliments you’ve been hearing all your life are so deeply present with you by now, that you have a very specific emotional response to each of them. It will be a little different for each of us, since we’ve had different input from the people around us since childhood – especially from family and close friends – but we’re individually used to certain words and as a result, we can detect when they’re spoken with sincerity. How we perceive and receive compliments from specific people has a lot to do with how much we value them, too.

Put yourself in a foreign country and suddenly you’re having to think about the words you’re hearing, doing mental and emotional arithmetic to determine the speaker’s intent. It’s tricky business! When you’ve only been learning Persian for a little while, you’ll get the gist, but some of the speaker’s truth might be lost on you.

Can you see where I’m going with this? When it comes to compliments in Persian, do yourself a great favor and use them often. Learn the real meaning and impact of what you’re saying, and you’ll be able to start feeling those squishy emotional responses in no time. You’ll also be able to pay genuine compliments in Persian that will win people over and earn you a valued place in their hearts.

A compliment in Iranian culture is as important as one in any other culture – perhaps even more so. Part of fitting into your new community means having a likeable and approachable nature, so bring on the compliments and start winning people over!

PersianPod101 has fifteen great compliments to teach you for various situations. Enjoy!

Five hands giving a thumbs up against a cloudy blue sky

1- You’re handsome. – تو خوش قیافه ای! (to khosh-ghiyaafei)

Do you know how to compliment a guy in Persian? This is one of the best Persian compliments you can pay a man if you want to make him feel attractive. What man doesn’t like to hear that he’s handsome? The younger generation may see it as quite an old-fashioned word, yet men of all ages respond well to “You’re handsome”.

There are many other ways to tell a guy that he’s good-looking, of course, but these particular words carry a timelessness that is only ever good. It doesn’t have any subtle meanings or flirtatious implications, so it’s pretty safe to say to a man who you have no romantic intentions with. Of course, it certainly can also be said romantically! As with most things, it’s all in the way you do it.

Girl kissing her laughing beau on the cheek

2- Great job! – عالی بود! (aali bood!)

When you’ve worked really hard at something, you want your efforts to be appreciated. There isn’t one of us who doesn’t feel that way. You might know you’ve done a great job, but you need to know that other people have noticed and are appreciative of your effort. Otherwise, why bother giving it your all? Part of our basic makeup as humans is the need to be pleasing to others.

How much more so in a work environment, where your performance could determine the trajectory of your career? We seek validation from our bosses mainly because this is vital information that tells us whether we’re heading for success or failure.

Smiling woman giving a thumbs-up

3- Your resume is impressive. – رزومه تون گیرا است. (rezooma-toon giraa ast.)

It’s pretty much a given that attending a job interview is going to be nerve-wracking and the first thing you want to be sure of is that your resume looks good to the interviewer. Hearing the above words will give you hope and help you to relax before the questions start. In other words, these are important Persian praise words to know if you’re job-hunting. Next time you’re being interviewed by a Iranian boss, listen for these words, as they’re a positive sign.

In my experience working abroad, I found that the most important requirement interviewers had was just that they like me. By the time you get to the interview, you’ve already been screened, so what’s next in the deciding factor? It’s simple: chemistry. The energy between two people is a huge factor in how well you’ll work together, and that magic happens in the first ten minutes. First impressions go a long way!

Man and woman in an interview

4- Your inside is even more beautiful than your outside. – باطن شما ازظاهرتون هم زیباتره. (baaten-e shomaa az zaaheretoon ham zibaa-tareh.)

Isn’t this just a wonderful compliment to hear? It sure is, and that makes it equally wonderful to give. If you meet someone who has a heart of gold, use these words!

Most women love to be complimented on their external beauty, but being seen as attractive can feel like a burden if it’s the only thing people notice. When paying compliments in Persian to a woman, try to think of her personality and what her perception of your words will be. Women want different things from different people, and someone who cares about you will care a lot about how you see her on the inside. Looks are fleeting; the people we trust to stick around forever are those who’ve seen beneath the surface and still want in.

It seems to be true that the more self-aware and ‘conscious’ a person is, the more they’re going to appreciate being valued for their place and importance in this world, above their looks. Men or women – we’re the same in this way. It doesn’t mean you should stop telling people that they’re physically beautiful, just that you should balance it with thoughtful observations about the person’s character. Psychologically, we crave this balance and without it, insecurity gets a foot in the door.

Men are no different. Compliments directed to a man’s inner core are highly prized by guys. For his self-esteem, he needs to know he is valued for who he is deep down.

Pair of people enjoying themselves at a party

5- You make me want to be a better person. – تو باعث می شی که من بخوام آدم بهتری باشم. (to baa’es mishi keh man bekhaaham aadam-e behtari baasham.)

Do you know someone who inspires you so much, that their mere existence makes you want to move those metaphorical mountains and become the absolute best version of yourself?

This phrase is a lovely thing to say to someone who you care about on a personal level. It’s the kind of compliment reserved for the few special individuals who mean so much to us, that our greatest desire is to have them see us ‘becoming’ – not for anyone’s profit, but just for the sake of love and personal growth.

You might feel this way about a romantic partner, a very close friend or a family member. If you feel this way, don’t hold it in! That person needs to hear it. You will make them feel good and help them to know that the love they put into nurturing your heart is noticed. Chances are, they feel the same way about you.

When you look for the good in others, you start to see the good in yourself. It takes a bit of thought to come up with a string of kind words that convey maximum positive truth about the other person; in those moments, you’re being unselfish and considering their needs before your own. I genuinely believe that paying someone a heartfelt compliment is an act of self-love. After all, giving is more important than receiving. When you give out compliments that are true, you do the world a service and create beauty in your circle. What’s more, you invite reciprocated words of affirmation – whether from the same person, or someone else. When you give, it will inevitably come back to you.

Pair of women hugging and laughing

6- That jacket looks nice on you. – این ژاکت بهت می آید. (in zhakat behet mi-aayad.)

Men secretly love to be complimented on their clothes. Yup – it makes a man feel good to hear these words, especially since a favorite jacket is something he’ll wear often in cooler weather or to work. If the fabric brings out his eyes, tell him!

Learning some practical and more specific Persian compliments like this one is a great idea, because it shows that you’ve actually thought about what you’re saying. Noticing details about a person’s outfit and commenting on them comes across well to the hearer and sounds more sincere than “You look good.” Think about the last time someone noticed your outfit, and you’ll know just what I mean. It makes you feel more confident as you go about your day.

Man showing off a jacket in front of a camera

7- I know that it was a tough project, but your performance exceeded my expectations. – می دونم که پروژه سختی بود، ولی عملکرد شما فراتر از حد انتظارات من بود. (midoonam keh porozhey-e sakhti bood, vali amalkard-e shomaa faraatar az had-de entezaaraat-e man bood.)

In the work environment, it’s vital to know some Persian praise words that encourage, uplift and express real appreciation. In this sense, compliments can be a form of leadership; a good leader helps his or her team to grow by building them up and pushing them on.

If you hear these Persian words, you can rest assured that your boss is very pleased with your work. If you’re a teacher at a Iranian high school, this is also a great phrase to encourage learners with when they’ve worked hard on a project.

8- You’re smart! – تو باهوشی! (to ba-hooshi)

Smart, clever, brainy – these are all synonyms for intelligence and one of the best compliments you can give. Everybody likes being thought of as smart, so here’s a compliment that can be used in both casual and formal settings. We say this to boost the self-esteem of kids, to praise our friends when they have good ideas and to express awe of a colleague in the workplace.

Being ‘smart’ can mean you make good choices in general, that you have a particular area you excel in, or even that you have an above-average IQ.

Everybody likes the idea of having a high IQ, but it’s not as simple to determine what that even means as we once thought. When I was studying to work in Asia, there was a lot of buzz about Multiple Intelligences Theory as a more accurate determination of intelligence than traditional IQ testing. The theory was developed by Doctor Howard Gardner and the critical reception was complex, to say the least.

Gardner argues that there is a wide range of cognitive abilities, but that there are only very weak correlations among them. For example, a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has difficulty with this task; the child who seems better at art might actually understand multiplication at a fundamentally deeper level. Humans have different learning styles; if one appears to have difficulty grasping a certain concept, the first step is to change the teaching approach.

We’re all smart in our own way, so remind your reflection of that each morning!

Young man holding a solved rubik's cube

9- You are an awesome friend. – تو یک دوست فوق العاده ای! (to yek doost-e fogh-ol-aadei)

On a more personal note – how good does it make you feel to hear that your friend appreciates you? I’d say it’s right up there with the best kinds of ‘thank you’. Knowing this, it makes sense to learn this phrase in Persian and use it next time your Iranian friend has done something selfless and amazing for you. Let them know with this compliment in Persian and make their day.

The lovely thing about using these words is that they encourage even more acts of kindness and support from friends. When you put effort and energy into a friendship and aren’t afraid to share sentiments of love, such as this phrase, chances are the friendship will go the distance. If your sojourn in Iran is more than a few weeks, you’re going to need a good friend or two, so hold on to this friendly phrase!

Two dogs running together, holding one stick

10- You have a great sense of humor. – خیلی شوخ طبع هستین! (kheily shookh tab hastin!)

Did you know that chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans engage in social laughter? It’s true! Laughter is an important form of social play that connects us and helps to relieve tension. It’s nice being around someone who makes us laugh or who finds us amusing.

I have a weird sense of humor that many people don’t get, but those who do seem to end up cry-laughing a lot in my presence and somehow that makes them my favorite humans. I’ve learned who I can and can’t be funny with. Have you had a similar experience?

Being able to tell someone that you like their sense of humor is important in your social circle. In fact, take these words along with you on a date. If he or she cracks you up, they will definitely appreciate hearing you say so in Persian.

11- Your smile is beautiful. – لبخندت زیبا است. (labkhandet zibaa ast.)

When paying aesthetic compliments in Persian, especially to a woman you don’t know very well, try to avoid talking about her body and say something like “Your smile is beautiful”, instead. It’s a guaranteed winner! It can be tricky complimenting women in this modern world, where ladies don’t always feel safe, but that’s no reason to stop expressing admiration altogether. Choose your words wisely and you’ll be well on your way to making their day!

Let’s not exclude men from this compliment, though – it’s an excellent choice for a guy you like and feel safe with. In fact, the beauty of this compliment is that you can say it to pretty much anyone, of any age, and it will likely be well-received. Next time you want to make a homeless person smile – this is the better word choice!


12- I love your cooking. – من عاشق دست پختتم. (man aashegh-e dast pokht-etam.)

If there’s one form of praise we can’t leave out, it’s how to give kudos for someone’s culinary skills. Persian compliments for food are a must if you want to be invited back for another home-cooked dinner at the home of the local masterchef. As much as the street food is to die for, nothing beats the experience of an authentic home-cooked meal in Iran. Be sure to read up on basic dining etiquette before you go, and don’t forget to download the Persian WordPower app to your phone so you can confidently ask the cook for tips.

Man in a kitchen, tossing food in a wok

13. You have good taste. – سلیقه خوبی داری. (salighe-ye khoobi daari.)

My sister is one of those people who’d rather be complimented on her taste than on her personality, brains or looks. Do you know someone like that? It’s usually the girl or guy in your group who’s always well-dressed and probably has a full-on feng shui vibe in their home. If you meet someone in Iran who loves their labels, only wears real leather and whose hair is always on-fleek, here’s a compliment they will appreciate.

To have good taste means knowing what is excellent and of good quality, with an eye for detecting subtle differences that make something genuine or not. People with good taste can discern what others find appealing, and tend to impress with their aesthetic choices. This friend will be the one you’ll go to when you aren’t sure what jacket to buy for your interview, or what gift to choose for your hosts.

So, is good taste about social conventions, or the genuine value of an item? Well, since it can refer to taste in music, art, design and fine wines as well as style choices, I think it’s an interesting combination of both. What do you think?

Well-dressed woman drinking red wine in a restaurant

14- You look gorgeous. – فوق العاده زیبایی! (fogholadeh zibaai!)

“Gorgeous” makes me think of powder blue lakes, newborn babies, wild horses and Terrence Hill in the 80’s. Synonymous with ‘stunning’, it’s a word that means something beyond beautiful and as such, it’s one of the ultimate words of admiration. The dictionary suggests reserving this word for the kind of looks that take your breath away; in other words, save it for someone special – like a date you adore and definitely want to see again.

Does that mean you can only tell a captivating date that they look gorgeous? Of course not. You can say “You look gorgeous” to a friend dressed up to meet their beau, a child tolerating a bunny suit for the school play, or to anyone special who needs a confidence boost. As long as you’re being sincere, this is a wonderful phrase to express admiration.

Woman in a billowing red dress

15- You have a way with words. – خوب بلدی حرف بزنی. (khoob baladi harf bezani.)

There’s always that one person in the group who’s great at articulating deep thoughts, writing intriguing social media posts or comforting others when they’re feeling low. Your companion with this skill is likely very empathetic and although the words seem to come easy for them, they might find it difficult to be vulnerable.

When your friend or lover has let their guard down and shown you that soft place, don’t be afraid to tell them that it’s good, because they need to hear it. “You have a way with words” is a meaningful phrase that lets them know they’ve made a positive impact and their words are wanted. Your kind compliment will ensure that their eloquent words keep coming.

Positive feelings

3. Conclusion

Next time you’re traveling or working in Iran, keep an ear open for the compliments you’ve learned, as they might be aimed at you! If you’re taking time to listen to native speakers on our YouTube channels or with Audio Books, it will also help a lot with the accent. Familiarizing yourself with the sound of compliments in the Iranian culture is important for your journey and will make your overall experience more meaningful.

Being acknowledged by others helps us to feel accepted and secure, and these are two things we all want to feel when venturing into unfamiliar territory. Remember that although compliments have more impact in your own language, it’s only because you’ve spent a lifetime hearing them and have become accustomed to the fullness of their meaning. You can get there with Persian, too – it just takes a little time.

Don’t forget the golden rule: give more than you receive! Paying compliments to the people you meet will not only give you excellent language practice, but the reward will be new friendships and positive vibes.

Here are a few more ways you can practice daily:

  • Chat online with the guys and gals in our learning community. Nothing beats real-time information on how people are currently speaking. It’s a good way to hear some Persian colloquialisms.
  • Take time out to read. Reading is an excellent way to develop photographic memory of how the phrases look in Persian. We have both iBooks and Kindle books to choose from.
  • There are also some fantastic free podcasts you can listen to on iTunes. They promise to get you speaking after the very first lesson.

One last thought I want to leave you with: don’t forget to receive a compliment with grace. You deserve to hear good words, so get used to smiling and just feeling the kindness with gratitude.

Well, time for me to go! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning these useful compliments with us at PersianPod101 today. Now, go out and find some cool people who need to hear them!

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Get Angry in Persian with Phrases for Any Situation!


Anger is a natural response to pain of some sort; when you’re angry, you’re angry with a cause and want someone to pay! It’s so much harder when you’re traveling, because your routines are off-kilter, there’s culture shock to deal with and the smallest problems can seem overwhelming. How do you handle someone who’s just pushed your last button?

At home, we often have a go-to person who is good at calming us down, but emotions are tricky to deal with in a foreign country. Sometimes people may treat you unfairly, but you’re completely baffled as to why. You have to remember that people in Iran think differently to how you do and it’s not impossible to inadvertently cause offense. Don’t stress about it too much, because you’ll adapt! Once you feel at home in Iran and people get to know you, it will be easy to flow with the local rhythm and handle tensions well.

This brings us to two obvious reasons why you should learn some angry phrases in Persian: first, so you can understand when you’ve upset a Iranian person, and second, to have the vocabulary to tell a person off when they absolutely have it coming. Not only will you be far more likely to solve the problem if you know some appropriate angry Persian phrases, but you’ll probably earn some respect, too! At PersianPod101 we’re ready to help you articulate those feelings.

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Table of Contents

  1. Persian phrases to use when you’re angry
  2. Feeling negative in Persian
  3. Conclusion

1. Persian phrases to use when you’re angry


Okay, so you’ve had a very frustrating day at your new teaching job in Iran and all you want to do is chill on your bed with ice-cream and a Nook Book, but you come home to find your landlord in your apartment, apparently doing an inspection of your personal possessions. How do you handle it? Do you have an angry Persian translation for “What the heck are you doing?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about confronting someone in their own country, it’s to press the pause button on my reactions and think first! Is my first thought worth expressing? Sometimes, you need to think like a chess player: if I make this move, what will happen next?

It’s always better to think ‘win-win’ in Iran. A good tactic is to keep a mental note of your personal speed limit before engaging. After all, you want a positive outcome!

So, do you know how to say “I am angry” in Persian? You will – PersianPod101 is about to teach you how to get mad! Here are fifteen great angry phrases in Persian.

1- It’s none of your business. – به تو هیچ ربطی ندارد (beh to hich rabti nadaarad).

As a foreigner in Iran, you’ll be a topic of interest. While most folks understand boundaries, there’s always that one individual who doesn’t!

Sometimes you feel that a person is getting way too involved in your affairs, and this expression is a commonly-used one for letting them know that. If said calmly and firmly, while looking them in the eye, it should do the trick and even earn you some respect.

Angry Blonde Girl Holding Up Her Hands to Warn Someone Away

2- I’m upset. – من ناراحتم (man naaraahatam).

I find this phrase useful for times when I need to express annoyance to someone I can’t afford to lose my temper with. A boss, for instance. As long as you say it without yelling, this can be a polite way of letting someone know that you are feeling bad and that you want those feelings validated. No matter what has happened, the result is that you are troubled and need some time to get over it. Depending on how you say it, “I’m upset” can also be a subtle invitation for the other party to address the problem.

3- You’re not listening to me. – تو به من گوش نمیدی (to beh man goosh nemidi).

Isn’t this the most frustrating thing? You’re in a situation where you’re telling someone why you’re mad at them, but they just won’t look at the story from your point of view. Rather than resort to bad language, try to convince them to take a breather and hear you out. This expression is a great way to ask someone to stop talking and to listen to you properly.

Asian Couple Fighting Head-to-Head, Woman Blocking Her Ears

4- Watch your mouth. – حرف دهنتو بفهم (harf-e dahaneto befahm).

Where have you heard this before? Let your mind go back to all the times you were cheeky and disrespectful in your youth… that’s right – it was your parents! If you’re on the receiving end, this angry phrase means that you said something you shouldn’t have. It has an authoritative, challenging tone and it implies that there could be consequences if you don’t stop.

So, when can you use it? Well, be careful with this one; it may very well get you in trouble if not used with caution. It can also be seen as very rude if used on anyone you don’t actually have authority over!

5- That’s enough. – بسه دیگه (baseh digeh).

Depending on your tone of voice when you say this, you could be calmly telling someone to stop doing what they’re doing, or you could be sternly ordering them to stop. In Persian, as in English, tone is key when it comes to making yourself understood. Just don’t be saying this to anyone, as it carries an authoritative tone and would be seen as rude if said to an older person.

Angry School Mistress Shaking a Ruler As If Reprimanding

6- Stop it. – نکن دیگه (nakon digeh).

One of the more common imperatives in any language, this is a basic way to warn somebody that you don’t like what they’re doing and want them to stop. You can use it in most situations where a person is getting under your skin. Often, “Stop it” precedes some of the weightier phrases one resorts to if the offender doesn’t stop and anger escalates. For this reason, I always add a “Please” and hope for the best!

7- Cut it out. – دست بردار (dast bardaar).

I think parents and teachers everywhere, throughout time, have heard variations of this expression of annoyance for as long as we’ve had tweens and teens on Earth! It’s a go-to command, thrown about frequently between siblings and peers, to stop being irritating. You’d generally use this on people you consider your relative equals – even though in the moment, you probably consider them low enough to stomp on!

8- What the heck are you doing? – چه غلطی داری می کنی؟ (cheh ghalati daari mikoni)

Here’s an interjection for those instances when you can scarcely believe what you’re seeing. It denotes incredulity ranging from mild disbelief to total disgust or dismay. You would typically use this when you want an action to stop immediately, because it’s wrong – at least, in your perception of things.

It may be worth remembering that the English word “heck” doesn’t have a direct translation in Persian – or in other languages, for that matter; most translations are more accurately saying “What the hell.” We say “heck” in English as a euphemism, but that word is thought to come from “hex” – an ancient word for “spell” – so I don’t know which is better!

9- Who do you think you are? – فکر می کنی کی هستی؟ (fekr mikoni ki hasti)

I avoid this expression as it makes me nervous! It’s quite confrontational. I’m reminded of the time a clerk in a busy cellular network service store was being rude to me and a rich-looking man came to my rescue, aiming this phrase at the clerk loudly and repeatedly. At first, I was relieved to have someone on my side, but I quickly grew embarrassed at the scene he was causing.

Using this phrase has a tendency to make you sound like you feel superior, so take it easy. The irony, of course, is that someone who provokes this response is taking a position of authority or privilege that they aren’t entitled to! Now you look like two bears having a stand-off.

They call this an ‘ad hominem’ argument, meaning the focus has shifted from attacking the problem, to attacking the person. So, is it a good phrase to use? That’s up to you. If you’re in the moment and someone’s attitude needs adjusting – go for it!

Man and Woman Arguing, with White Alphabet Letters Coming from the Man’s Mouth and White Question Marks Above the Woman

10- What?! – !چی؟ (chi)

An expression of disbelief, this is frequently said mid-argument, in a heated tone, and it means you cannot believe what you’re hearing. In other words, it conveys the message that the other person is talking nonsense or lying.

11- I don’t want to talk to you. – من نمیخوام باهات حرف بزنم (man nemikhaam baat harf bezanam).

This is a great bit of vocab for a traveler – especially for a woman traveling solo. Whether you’re being harassed while trying to read your Kindle on the train, or hit on by a drunk man in a bar, chances are that sooner or later, you will encounter a character you don’t wish to speak to.

The most straightforward way to make the message clear is to simply tell them, “I don’t want to talk to you”. If you feel threatened, be calm and use your body language: stand straight, look them in the eye and say the words firmly. Then move away deliberately. Hopefully, they will leave you alone. I’d go so far as to say learn this phrase off-by-heart and practice your pronunciation until you can say it like a strong modern Iranian woman!

Highly Annoyed Redhead Girl Holding Up Her Hands As If to Say “Stop!”

12- Are you kidding me? – شوخی میکنی؟ (shookhi mikoni)

To be ‘kidding’ means to joke with someone in a childlike way and it’s used both in fun and in anger. Like some other expressions, it needs context for the mood to be clear, but it pretty much conveys annoyed disbelief. You can use it when a person says or does something unpleasantly surprising, or that seems unlikely to be serious or true. It’s a rhetorical question, of course; try to familiarize yourself with how it sounds in Persian, so next time it’s aimed at you, you don’t hunt your inner Persian lexicon for an answer!

Dark-haired Girl Giving a Very Dirty Look, with One Hand on Her Hip and Holding a Gift Box with Apparent Disgust

13- This is so frustrating. – این خیلی خسته کننده است (ein kheili khasteh konandeh ast).

Another way of showing someone you have an intense battle going on inside, is to just tell them you’re terribly frustrated and feeling desperate to find a solution. Use this expression! It can be a useful tool to bring the other person into your headspace and maybe even evoke some degree of empathy from them. More polite than many others, it’s a sentence that seems to say, “I beg you to work with me so we can resolve this!”

Asian Man Yelling, Bent Forward, with His Hands Held Up Next to His Head

14- Shut up. – خفه شو (khafeh sho).

The use of the phrase “shut up” to signify “hold one’s tongue” dates back to the sixteenth century and was even used by Shakespeare as an insult – with various creative twists! It’s been evolving ever since and there are variations in just about every language – proving that no matter where you come from, angry emotions are universal!

One example of old usage is a poem Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1892, where a seasoned military veteran says to the troops: “Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay.”

Well, when I was twelve and full of spirit, I was taught that nice girls don’t say this. “Shut up” is an imperative that’s considered impolite; it’s one of those expressions people resort to when they either can’t think of better words to use, or simply can’t bear to listen to any more nonsense. Either way, it’s at the lower end of the smart argument scale. Like all angry phrases, though, it does have its uses!

15- So what? – که چی؟ (keh chi)

When you don’t believe the other person’s defense argument legitimizes or justifies their actions, you might say these words. Basically, you’re telling them they need to come up with better logic!

Another time you could use this one, is when you simply don’t care for someone’s criticism of you. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, or they’re being unfair and you need to defend your position. “So what?” tells them you feel somewhat indignant and don’t believe you’re in the wrong.

2. Feeling negative in Persian

Negative Feelings

What was the most recent negative emotion you felt? Were you nervous about an exam? Exhausted and homesick from lack of sleep? Maybe you felt frightened and confused about the impact COVID-19 would have on your travel plans. If you’re human, you have days when you just want the whole world to leave you alone – and that’s okay!

When you’re feeling blue, there’s only so much body language can do. Rather than keeping people guessing why you’re in a bad mood, just tell them! Your Iranian friends and colleagues will be much more likely to give you your space (or a hug) if they know what’s wrong. Not only that, but it’s nice to give new friends the opportunity to be supportive. Bring on the bonding!

The fastest way to learn to describe negative feelings in Iran, is to get into the habit of identifying your own mood daily in Persian. Here’s an easy way: in your travel journal, simply write down the Persian word for how you feel each morning. You can get all the words directly from us at PersianPod101. Remember, also, that we have a huge online community if you need a friend to talk to. We’ve got you!

3. Conclusion

Now that you know how to express your bad feelings in Persian, why not check out some other cool things on our site? You can sign up for the amazing free lifetime account – it’s a great place to start learning!

And really – make the most of your alone time. After all, it’s been proven that learning a new language not only benefits cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory, but it also slows down the brain’s aging. So, on those days when you just need to be away from people, we have some brain-boosting suggestions that will lift your spirits:

  • Have you heard of Roku? A Roku player is a device that lets you easily enjoy streaming, which means accessing entertainment via the internet on your TV. We have over 30 languages you can learn with Innovative Language TV. Lie back and enjoy!
  • If you like your Apple devices, we have over 690 iPhone and iPad apps in over 40 languages – did you know that? The Visual Dictionary Pro, for example, is super fun and makes learning vocab easy. For Android lovers, we have over 100 apps on the Android market, too.
  • You can also just kick back on the couch and close your eyes, letting your headphones do the work with our audiobooks – great for learning the culture while you master the language. Similarly, if you’re more of a reader, we have some fantastic iBooks that are super interesting and fun for practicing your daily conversation skills.

Whatever your learning style (or your mood), you’ll find something that appeals to you at PersianPod101. Come join us!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Persian


What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Iran for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Persian? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Persian, here at PersianPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – روز تولد (rooz-e tavallod)

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Iranian friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Persian, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Persian is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

تولدت مبارک (tavallodat mobaarak)

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Persian! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – خرید کردن (Kharid kardan)

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Persian etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – بازنشسته شدن (baazneshaste shodan)

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Iran, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – فارغ التحصیلی (faareqottahsili)

When attending a graduation ceremony in Iran, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Persian you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – ترفیع (tarfi’)

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – سالگرد ازدواج (saalgard-e ezdevaaj)

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Persian.

7- Funeral – مراسم تشییع جنازه (maraasem-e tashyi’-e jenaaze)

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Iran, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – سفر (safar)

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Persian immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – فارغ التحصیل شدن (faareqottahsil shodan)

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Iran afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – عروسی (aroosi)

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – نقل مکان کردن (naql-e makaan kardan)

I love Iran, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – متولد (motavalled)

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Persian?

13- Get a job – کارپیدا کردن (kaar peydaa kardan)

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Iran – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Persian introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Persian?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – مردن (mordan)

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – خانه (Khaane)

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Iran for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – شغل (shoql)

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – تولد (tavallod)

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Iran?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – نامزدی (naamzadi)

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Iran is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Persian?

19- Marry – ازدواج کردن (ezdevaaj kardan)

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Persian?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Iran, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Persian phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, PersianPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at PersianPod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Persian with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Persian dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about PersianPod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Persian teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Persian word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Persian level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in PersianPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Persian.

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Talk About the Weather in Persian Like a Native


Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Iranian acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

PersianPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Iran
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. PersianPod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Iran

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Iranian weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – باران در خیابان می بارد (baaraan dar khiaabaan mibaarad).

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Iranian experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – برف همه چیز را پوشانده است (barf hame chiz raa pooshaande ast).

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – ابر کرکی ابر کرکی (abr-e korki)

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – آب روی شیشه یخ زد (aab rooye shishe yakh zad)

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – این باران سنگین ممکن است به جاری شدن سیل ناگهانی تبدیل شود (in baaraan-e sangin momken ast be jaari shodan-e seyl-e naagahaani tabdil shavad).

If you’re visiting Iran in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Persian weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – سیل (seyl)

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – طوفان صدمه زده است (toofaan sadame zade ast).

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – قبل از رفتن به قایقرانی گزارش هواشناسی را چک کنید (qabl az raftan be qaayeqraani be gozaaresh-e ahavaashenaasi raa check konid).

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – آب و هوای امروز آفتابی همراه با ابرهای پراکنده است (aab o havaaye emrooz aaftaabi hamraah baa abrhaa-ye paraakande ast).

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Iran! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – یک روز بارانی (yek rooz-e baaraani)

Remember when you said you’d save the Persian podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – منظره رنگین کمان (manzareye rangin kamaan)

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Iran. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – نور رعد و برق می تواند زیبا باشد ولی بسیار خطرناک است (noor-e ra’d o barq mitavaanad zibaa baashad vali besyaar khatarnaak ast).

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- Today’s temperature is 30 degrees Celsius – دمای هوا امروز ۳۰ درجه سانتیگراد است (damaaye havaa emrooz 30 darajeye saantigeraad ast).

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Persian term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- His body temperature was far above the usual 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit – دمای بدن او بسیار بالاتر از نرمال ۹۸/۶ درجه فارنهایت است (damaaye badan-e oo besiaar baalaatar az normaal-e 98.6 faarenhaayt ast).

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Persian in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Today the sky is clear – امروز آسمان صاف است (emrooz aasemaan saaf ast).

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – نم نم باران نم نم باران (namnam-e baaraan)

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Iran. You could go to the mall and watch a Iranian film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature – دما (damaa)

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – مرطوب (martoob)

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – هوا با رطوبت کم، حالت خشکی دارد (havaa baa rotoobat-e kam, haalat-e khoshki daarad).

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Iranian friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – باد واقعا قوی است (baad vaaqean qavi ast).

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s very windy outside – بیرون باد می آید (biroon baad mi aayad).

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – جاده های مرطوب زمانی که درجه حرارت کمتر از دمای انجماد می شود ممکن است یخ بزنند (jaaddehaaye martoob zamaani ke darajeye haraarat kamtar az damaaye enjemaad mishavad momken ast yakh bezanand).

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – هوا امروز بسیار گرفته است (havaa emrooz besyaar gerefte ast).

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – مه (meh)

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – تند باد تند باد (tondbaad)

Your new Iranian friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Iran.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – گردباد بزرگ (gerbdaad-e bozorg)

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – هوا امروز ابری است (havaa emrooz abri ast)

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Iran will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Persian to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – کمتر از دمای انجماد (kamtar az damaaye enjemaad)

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Iranian winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – سرمایش باد نشان می دهد که بیرون واقعا چقدر احساس سرما می کنید (sarmaayesh-e baad neshaan midahad ke biroon vaaqean cheqadr ehsaas-e sarmaa mikondid).

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Iranian friends will know that, though, so learn this Persian phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – آب هنگامی که دما به زیر صفر درجه سانتیگراد می رسد یخ می زند (aab hengaami ke damaa be zir-e sefr daraje saantigeraad miresad yakh mizanad).

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – در انتظار صاف شدن (dar entezaar-e saaf shodan)

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Persian Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – از هوای خیلی گرم بپرهیزید (az havaaye kheili garm beparhizid).

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – مه صبحگاهی (meh-e sobhgaahi)

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – باریدن باران (baaridan-e baaraan)

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – عصر هوا ابری و سرد می شود (asr havaa abri va sard mishavad)

When I hear this on the Persian weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – طوفان و رعد و برق شدید (toofaan va ra’d o barq shadid)

Keep an eye on the Iranian weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – روی پنجره یخ بسته است (rooye panjere yakh baste ast).

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – سنگ های بزرگ تگرگ (sanghaaye bozorg-e tagarg)

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – تندر در حال چرخیدن (tondar dar haal-e charkhidan)

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – بوران‌ (booran)

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Persian!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Iranian friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Persian spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Iran there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Persian songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Iranian summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Iranian landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Iran.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Persian autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. PersianPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Iran, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Iranian street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Persian weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? PersianPod101 is here to help!

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The Persian Calendar: Talking About Dates in Persian


Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through PersianPod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Persian, as well as the months in Persian to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Persian?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can PersianPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

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1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Persian?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Persian. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “جمعه” (“jome,” Friday) with “شنبه” (“shanbe,” Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “جولای” (“joolaay,” July), but you booked a flight for “ژوئن” (“zhooan,” June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Persian calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Iran, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. این آخر هفته چه کار می کنید؟

in aakhar-e hafte che-kaar mikonid?
“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Iranian or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. این آخر هفته سفر می‎کنم.

in aakhar-e hafte safar mikonam.
“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Iran, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. برنامه دارم در خانه بمانم.

barnaame daaram dar khaane bemaanam.
“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. این هفته مشغول هستم.

in hafte mashghool hastam.
“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. فردا آزاد هستم.

fardaa aazaad hastam.
“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. آیا می‎توانیم این را دوباره برنامه‎ریزی کنیم؟

aayaa mitavaanim in raa dobaare barnaame-rizi konim?
“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. من در پایان ماه وقت کافی خواهم داشت.

man dar paayaan-e maah vaqt-e kaafi khaaham daasht.
“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. بهترین زمانی که برای شما مناسب باشد چه وقتی است؟

behtarin zamaani ke baraaye shomaa monaaseb baashad che vaqti ast?
“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority – good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. آیا این تاریخ برای شما مناسب است؟

aayaa in taarikh baraaye shomaa monaaseb ast?
“Is this date OK with you?”

But – if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. آیا در آن روز در دسترس هستید؟

aayaa dar aan rooz dar dastras hastid?
“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. آیا می‎توانیم این کار را در اسرع وقت انجام دهیم؟

aayaa mitavaanim in kaar raa dar asra’e vaqt anjaam dahim?
“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. من هر روز عصر در دسترس هستم.

man har rooz asr dar dastras hastam.
“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. لازم است این را پیشاپیش به خوبی برنامه‎ریزی کنم.

laazem ast in raa pishaapish be khoobi barnaame-rizi konam.
“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. لازم است یک تاریخ دیگر پیدا کنیم.

laazem ast yek taarikh-e digar peydaa konim.
“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. نمی‎توانم این کار را در آن روز انجام دهم.

nemitavaanam in kaar raa dar aan rooz anjaam daham.
“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Iran or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can PersianPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?


Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Persian. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

PersianPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Persian speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Persian online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Iranian host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Persian easily yet correctly, PersianPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Persian need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

Learn How to Talk About Your Family in Persian


Did you know that only some reptiles and birds don’t parent their offspring? Except for crocodiles, all reptiles (and one family of bird species called megapodes) hatch from eggs and grow up alone, without any family.

The rest of us need family if we are to survive and thrive – humans and animals alike!

At PersianPod101, we know how important family is. Therefore, we take care to teach you all the important vocabulary and phrases pertaining to family.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Is It Important to Know Persian Vocabulary about Family?
  2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first
  3. How PersianPod101 Can Help You Learn Persian Family Terms

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Persian

1. Why Is It Important to Know Persian Vocabulary about Family?

Lioness with Cub

Well, if you’re serious about studying any new language, then learning about the most important social unit in Iranian culture would be a crucial part of your education.

What is family, though? Strictly speaking, it’s a group of people who live together and are supposed to take care of one another. Some of them are genetically linked.

Family isn’t just about who we’re related to by blood, of course. It’s also one of the main influences in shaping every child’s life.

Family is Important for Children’s Healthy Development

Phrases Parents Say

Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. Children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs from the day they were born.

Primary caregivers, which usually comprise parents and family, form a child’s first relationships. They are a child’s first teachers and are role models that show kids how to act and experience the world around them.

By nurturing and teaching children during their early years, families play an important role in making sure children are ready to learn when they enter school.

Families Can Take All Shapes and Sizes

However, the way families are put together is by no means standard.

Mom and Daughter

Single-parent and same-gender households have become a new norm the past few decades, and there’s no shame in this. When there is love, connection and proper care, a child can thrive anywhere.

Everyone also knows that sometimes friends can become like family and remain with us for life, because it’s all about human connection.

After all, we share many commonalities simply because we’re human, and we are programmed to connect with one another and belong to a group. This is very important for our well-being and survival.

It’s All About Feeling Connected

As John Northman, a psychologist from Buffalo, NY, told WebMD – feeling connected to others contributes to mental as well as physical health.

He pointed out that when people feel connected, they feel better physically, and they’re also less likely to feel depressed.

Couples Chatting

Or, if they do feel depressed, they’d be in a better position to get out of it when they feel they are connecting with others. This is because they would be psychologically supported too, Northman said.

There has even been some links drawn between addiction and feeling disconnected from others. According to an article in Psychology Today, research indicates that addiction is not solely a substance disorder, but also affected by people feeling insecurely attached to others.

It showed that securely attached individuals tend to feel comfortable in and enjoy life, while insecurely attached people typically struggle to fit in and connect.

2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first

So, it’s clear that for most of us, family is our entry point into connection and belonging. This is true of every culture, so in every country, family takes prominence.

For this reason, PersianPod101 offers culturally-relevant lessons that will equip you well to understand families in Iran.

Here are some of the most important Persian vocabulary and quotes about family and parenting!

A) Persian Family Vocabulary

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary. Without this collection of words, you’ll have a hard time describing any member of your family at all.

Family Terms
خانواده (Khaanevaade)
Great grandfather
پدر پدربزرگ (pedar-e pedar bozorg)
مادر (Maadar)
مادر مادربزرگ (maadar-e maadar bozorg)
پدر (Pedar)
پدر بزرگ (pedar bozorg)
همسر (hamsar)
نوه (naveh)
شوهر (Shohar)
نوه دختری (naveye dokhtari)
والد (vaaled)
نوه پسری (naveye pesari)
بچه (bache)
عمه‌ ، خاله‌ (ameh, sister of father; khaaleh, sister of mother)
دختر (dokhtar)
عمو، دايي (amoo, brother of father; daai, brother of mother)
خواهر (Khaahar)
دختر برادر يا خواهر (dokhtar-e baraadar yaa khaahar)
برادر (baraadar)
پسر خواهر یا برادر (pesar-e khaahar yaa baraadar)
Younger sister
خواهر کوچکتر (khaahare koochektar)
Younger brother
برادر کوچکتر (baraadar-e koochektar)
Older brother
برادر بزرگتر (baraadar-e bozorgtar)
Great grandmother
مادر مادربزرگ (maadar-e maadar bozorg)
پسر دایی/خاله‌ ,دختر دایی/خاله‌ ,دختر عمو/عمه ,پسر عمو/عمه
(pesar-daai/khaaleh, son of mother’s sibling;
dokhtar-daai/khaaleh, daughter of mother’s sibling;
dokhtar-amoo/ameh, son of father’s sibling;
pesar-amoo/ameh, daughter of father’s sibling)
مادر زن یا مادر شوهر (maadar zan yaa maadar showhar)
پدر زن یا پدر شوهر (pedar zan yaa pedar showhar)
خواهر زن یا خواهر شوهر (khaahar zan yaa khaahar showhar)
برادر زن یا برادر شوهر (baraadar zan yaa baraadar showhar)
والد (vaaled)

Family of Three

B) Quotes About Family

Persian Family Quotes

One of the ways to improve your Persian language skills is by memorizing quotes from books, or poems.

Either source some from Persian literature, or make use of ours!

شما خانواده خود را انتخاب نمی‌کنید. آنها هدیه خداوند به شما هستند، همانطور که شما به آنها.

shomaa khaanevaadeye khod raa entekhaab nemikonid. aanhaa hediyeye khodaavand be shomaa hastand, hamaantor ke shomaa be aanhaa.
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu

خانواده یک چیز مهم نیست. همه چیز است.

khaanevaade yek chiz-e mohem nist. hame chiz ast.
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox

خانواده یعنی اينکه کسی از دیگری عقب نماند و کسی فراموش نشود.

khaanevaade ya’ni inke kasi az digari aqab namaanad va kasi faraamoosh nashavad.
“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” – David Ogden Stiers

خانواده من قدرت من و ضعف من است.

khaanevaadeye man qodrat-e man va za’f-e man ast.
“My family is my strength and my weakness.” – Aishwarya Rai

خانواده یکی از شاهکارهای طبیعت است.

khaanevaade yeki az shaahkaarhaaye tabi’at ast.
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” – George Santayana

هنگامی که مشکلی پیش می‌آید، خانواده شماست که از شما حمایت می‌کند.

hengaami ke moshkeli pish mi aayad, khaanevaadeye shomaast ke az shomaa hemaayat mikonad.
“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” – Guy Lafleur

خانواده اولین سلول ضروری جامعه بشری است.

khaanevaade avalin selool-e zarooriye jaame’e ast.
“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” – Pope John XXIII

تفريح واحدی برای همه اعضای خانواده وجود ندارد.

tafrih-e vaahedi baraaye hameye a’zaaye khaanevaade vojood nadaarad.
“There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” – Jerry Seinfeld

شما باید از شرف خود دفاع کنید. و از خانواده خود.

shomaa baayad az sharaf-e khod defaa’ konid. va az khaanevaadeye khod.
“You have to defend your honor. And your family.” – Suzanne Vega

همه خانواده‌های شاد مثل هم هستند،هر خانواده ناراحتی به شیوه خودش ناراحت است.

hameye khaanevaadehaaye shaad mesl-e ham hastand, har khaanevaadeye naaraahati be shiveye khodash naaraahat ast.
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy

C) Test Your Knowledge!

Do you feel you have learned a lot in this blog? Let’s quickly test that!

In the table below, match the Persian vocabulary on the left with the definition of the relative in the right column.

Relative Name Definition
1. خانواده a. My male child
2. مادر b. My older male sibling
3. پدر c. My female sibling
4. همسر d. My child’s child
5. شوهر e. My child’s female child
6. والد f. My female parent
7. بچه g. My grandparent’s mother
8. دختر h. Mother to one of my parents
9. پسر i. Relatives
10. خواهر j. My female child
11. برادر k. My younger male sibling
12. خواهر کوچکتر l. Male spouse
13. برادر کوچکتر m. The father of one of my parents
14. برادر بزرگتر n. My child’s male child
15. مادر مادربزرگ o. My children’s father or mother
16. پدر پدربزرگ p. The sister of one of my parents
17. مادربزرگ q. The brother of one of my parents
18. پدر بزرگ r. My male parent
19. نوه s. My sibling’s female child
20. نوه دختری t. My sibling’s male child
21. نوه پسری u. My male sibling
22. خاله‌ v. My parents’ sibling’s child
23. عمو w. Female spouse
24. دختر برادر يا خواهر x. The grandfather of one of my parents
25. پسر خواهر یا برادر y. The person I am a parent to
26. دختر دایی z. My younger female sibling

How did it go? Don’t worry if you had trouble with it – you’ll get there! With a bit of practice, and our help at PersianPod101, you’ll soon have these family terms under the belt.

Family Shopping

3. How PersianPod101 Can Help You Learn Persian Family Terms

We hope that we helped you expand your family in Persian vocabulary!

PersianPod101, with its innovative online learning system, stands out among online learning platforms to help you master Persian easily.

Our lessons are tailored not only to increase your language skills, but to also inform you of Iranian culture, including the Iranian family structure.

When you sign up, you will get instant access to tools like:

1 – An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
2 – A new Persian word to learn every day
3 – Quick access to the Persian Key Phrase List
4 – A free Persian online dictionary
5 – The excellent 100 Core Persian Word List
6 – An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

Further speed up your learning with the help of a personal tutor, who will first assess your current Persian language abilities to personalize your training and tailor it to your needs.

Hard work always pays off, and to help you in this, PersianPod101 will be there every step of the way toward your Persian mastery!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Persian

Answers: 1.i. 2.f. 3.r. 4.w. 5.l. 6.o. 7.y. 8.j. 9.a. 10.c. 11.u. 12.z. 13.k. 14.b. 15.g 16.x. 17.h. 18.m. 19.d. 20.e. 21.n. 22.p. 23.q. 24.s. 25.t. 26.v.

PersianPod101’s Essential Persian Travel Phrase Guide


Traveling to foreign countries is nearly always an exciting, enriching, and beneficial experience. Yet, some things can be real downers, such as boredom on a lengthy flight to Iran. Really, binge-watching onboard movies can only be interesting for so long! And jet lag – another huge downer. Did you know that jet lag is more severe when you travel from the West to the East?

Well, we won’t know how to beat that, but there are fortunately plenty of remedies around to investigate.

To beat flight boredom, though, we may have the answer for you at PersianPod101! Why don’t you take the time to study Persian travel phrases? We make this super easy and fun, with great downloadables, like our PDF Cheat Sheets. Quickly memorize these, and impress your Iranian friends or travel guide with your flawless Persian!

Table of Contents

  1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases
  2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words
  3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases
  4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country
  5. PersianPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!


1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases

Impressing Iranian people or your travel partners will be the least of the benefits you reap from learning these helpful phrases. These are greater ones:

1) Eliminate Travel Frustration: First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Persian phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Injured Woman In An Ambulance

2) Emergency Readiness: In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Persian. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right?

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

3) Sight-Seeing Readiness: Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Iran will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Persian.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider – from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Let’s get cracking!

2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words

Preparing to Travel

Seasoned explorers of multiple countries will tell you that certain words and phrases are absolute must-knows in anyone’s travel vocabulary. Learning from them, we collated some of the most essential ones here for you.

If you know these travel phrases and words by heart in Persian, you will be much better equipped for your visit than most of your movie-binging travel mates.

1) متشکرم / motshakeram (Thank you)

As a tourist, you will be relying on the kindness of strangers to get by. Repay them with a small acknowledgment of their friendly generosity – know how to say “thank you” in Persian.

2) شما انگلیسی صحبت می کنین؟ / shomaa engilisi sohbat mikonin? (Do you speak English?)

While it may be a bit of a cop-out, sometimes you just can’t figure out how to communicate. Maybe you’re blanking on one specific word you need, maybe they’re speaking with a heavy accent, or maybe it’s just really late and you really want to get to the hotel. In that case, try asking if they speak English, and hopefully you can make things a little bit simpler for yourself.

Don’t abuse this phrase, though! If you just try to get by without learning any of the local language, not only will you not learn anything – you’ll be out of luck if they can’t speak English!

Man Greeting Someone

3) از فرودگاه به شهر اتوبوس هست؟ / az fooroodgaah be shahr ootooboos hast? (Is there a bus from the airport to the city?)

Public transit is usually cheaper, if slower, than taking a taxi or rideshare. Use this phrase to see if you can get where you’re going when you’re strapped for cash, or just when you’d like to take the scenic route into town!

4) این اتوبوسی است که به فرودگاه می رود؟ / In ootooboosi ast keh beh fooroodgaah miravad? (Is this the right bus for the airport?)

Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who can get themselves moving early (or maybe you just have a late flight), maybe you want to take the bus to the airport rather than taking a cab. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you’re actually heading the right way! You wouldn’t want to end up at a lookout point half an hour away, watching your flight take off in the distance, would you?

5) ببخشید، کرایه چقدره؟ / bebakhshid, keraayeh cheghadreh? (Excuse me, what’s the fare?)

If you are paying for a cab, you’ll want to know how much. Most legal taxis will have meters, but when dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with, it can be worth asking just to double check that you’re paying the right amount – especially if the currency has cents.

6) من یک رزرو دارم / man yek rezerv daaram (I have a reservation)

This one you can expect to use at least a few times throughout your trip, unless you’re the kind of person who travels by the seat of their pants and just goes to whatever hotel, motel, or hostel has rooms available.

7) امشب جای خالی دارید؟ / emshab jaay-e khaali darid? (Do you have any vacancies tonight?)

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely be using this phrase instead. Quite possibly a lot, depending on how lucky you are!

Couple with a Map

8 ) ایستگاه قطار کجاست؟ / istgaah-e ghataar kojast? (Where is the train station?)

If you’re in a country with an expansive commuter rail system (or maybe just a fan of other types of locomotives), you may want to know where the closest station is. Just don’t go looking for pennies on the rails!

9) من به بادوم زمینی حساسیت دارم / man beh baadoom zamini has-saasiyat daaram (I am allergic to peanuts)

Replace “peanuts” with whatever the word for your allergen may be. If your allergy is serious, you probably already know the importance of stating this very clearly in Persian.

If the condition is life-threatening, be sure to have a letter or prescription from a medical professional in Persian on your person at all times. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet specially made in Persian if your stay will be longer than a month or so.

Person Declining Meat

10) غذای گیاهی دارین؟ / ghazaay-e giyaahi daarin? (Do you have any vegetarian dishes?)

If you dislike eating certain things, or you have certain dietary restrictions, it would be best if you knew how to convey this clearly in Persian.

Remember, though, that saying “I’m vegan” or “I’m diabetic” may not be enough to get you what you want. The rules for veganism and vegetarianism are not standard everywhere in the world. Also, your patron might not understand what “diabetic” means. If you have a medical condition, it would be best to research some in-depth vocabulary beforehand.

11) ممکنه یه نقشه به من بدین؟ / momkeneh yeh naghsheh beh man bedin? (Could I get a map?)

Planning on exploring your destination? Hopelessly lost? Maybe just an amateur cartographer? No matter the reason, this phrase is sure to come in handy. That said, you’re more likely to get use out of it at some sort of tourist or travel center than you are asking a random passerby on the street.

12) قیمت این چقدر است؟ / gheymat-e in che ghadr ast? (How much is this?)

Even if you’re not a big shopper, you’re probably going to need this phrase at some point. Knowing how to count in Persian will, of course, help a lot with purchases too.

13) کارت اعتباری قبول می کنین؟ / kaart-e e’tebaari ghabool mikonin? (Do you take credit card?)

This is another travel phrase that will smooth your monetary transactions considerably.

Man Giving Credit Card to a Clerk

3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases

Travel Verbs

Unlike the previous phrases, these are not really essential so much as they are useful. Yet, knowing these will still smooth over some bumps on your journey, more than just knowing the crucial phrases would.

1) وای فای رایگانه؟ / vaay faay raaygaaneh? (Is the Wi-Fi free?)

If you’re abroad, your normal cellular plans probably won’t have any service, and you’ll be totally reliant on publically available Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. Just ask a server, clerk, or attendant, and they’ll be happy to let you know. Just make sure you’re paying attention when they tell you the password!

2) میشه لطفا ازم یه عکس بگیرین؟ / misheh lotfan azam yeh aks begirin? (Could you take a picture of me please?)

What would a trip be with no photos to commemorate the event? Just be sure to ask this of someone who actually looks like they’d be willing to, unless you’re willing to risk being given the cold shoulder or worse. If you’re at a tourist attraction, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to take one for you, so long as you take one of them as well!

3) پیشنهادی دارید؟ / pishnehaadi darid? (Do you have any recommendations?)

Eating alone in a restaurant? Or going out with new Iranian friends or business colleagues? Let them help you decide what to have.

4) اگر ممکنه یه صندلی غیرسیگاری میخوام / agar momken-e yeh sandali-ye gheir-e sigaari mikhaam (I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please)

Though smoking has gone out of fashion in some places, it’s still popular in others. In the event you’re at a restaurant where smoking is allowed on premises, you can always ask this question to the staff and be seated elsewhere.

5) آب، لطفا / aab, lotfan (Water, please)

If you’ve emptied your glass, or are cutting yourself off after a few drinks, you can always ask for some water. It can be especially useful if the restaurant is busy to the point you need to call out to someone to get service.

6) میشه صورتحسابو بیارین؟ / misheh soorat-hesaab-o biyaarin? (Could I have the check?)

To finish off the restaurant related phrases, if you’re eating with friends or really want to impress your colleagues, taking the bill can be a nice treat for them. Of course, this phrase could come in handy as well if you’re eating alone and you’re just impatient to leave.

7) برای سوغاتی چی پیشنهاد می کنین؟ / baraay-e soghaati chi pishnehaad mikonin? (What do you recommend for a souvenir?)

Now that your trip is over, what better way to cap it all off than a memento, or maybe a gift for friends and family at home? It’ll be nicer to have something recommended by the locals than a cheap bauble from the airport store, so go ahead and ask someone you’ve met what they think.

4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country

Survival Phrases

When traveling, it’s possible to keep communication smooth when you don’t share a language.

Do so by keeping these five tips in mind. They are aimed to help you communicate with those who cannot speak English very well, and also to keep your traveling experience pleasant!

1. Keep your English simple and easy to understand.
If the person you are talking to speaks very little English, use basic verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and keep sentences short.

However, don’t patronize them by talking in pidgin or like you would address a child. Keep your speech simple but natural, and use the correct grammar.

For instance, don’t say: “You come when?”. If you say: “When will you come?”, you will very likely be understood, and may even help someone who wants to improve their English.

2. Ask someone to write information down.
Apply Rule 1 first at your hotel, where the staff is very likely to be able to speak some English. Get them to write down, in their native language, things like: “I would like to go to the airport, please,” “Please take me to the beach,” or “Where is the closest bathroom?”

These written questions are something you can then give to taxi drivers or any other people who are willing and able to help you. This simple step could make your life a lot easier when you travel to a foreign country!

3. Avoid asking leading questions!
If you want the correct information from a non-native English speaker, that is.

When you need directions, for instance, don’t ask: “To get to the bus stop, do I need to turn left here?” If the person didn’t really understand you, you will probably just get a smile and a “Yes,” which could possibly make you miss your bus.

Rather, you should ask: “Where is the bus stop?” If they understand you, you will get the correct directions.

4. Pick the right person to ask for help.
Time to look at people and think a bit about their appearance! A younger person who looks like they might be a student is more likely to have English skills than the friendly but ancient lady smiling at you from a fruit stall.

If you don’t see anyone like that, head into town to the nearest bank, hospital, pharmacy, or hotel. The staff at those places usually speak a bit of English.

5. Know when to quit.
If you stuck to the above rules, but the person you are talking to only stares at you blankly, say thank you and leave. Hanging around hoping someone will suddenly understand and respond is just wasting your time, and may irritate them as well. Go find someone else.

5. PersianPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

So, reader, have you found this article helpful?

Do you feel comfortable enough to use some essential travel phrases in Persian? We’d also love to hear if you think we left out important travel phrases. Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments!

PersianPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Persian reading and speaking easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

– An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
– A new Persian word to learn every day
– Quick access to the Persian Key Phrase List
– A free Persian online dictionary
– The excellent 100 Core Persian Word List
– An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

You will also have access to topic-specific recordings like our Before You Travel: Survival Phrases lesson.

Learn even more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, after taking an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training.

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and diction. Your very own friendly, Persian-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime – an excellent option for business persons!

Using a guided learning system that was developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to hone your Persian speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your Iranian friends or colleagues will be when you display your excellent conversational skills! With PersianPod101, getting there will be easy and fun.