Dialogue - Persian


Vocabulary (Review)

خوب khoob good
من man I, me
چطوری chetori how
تو to you (singular)
سلام salaam hello
فردا fardaa tomorrow
دیدن didan to see, to watch, to look, to visit
خداحافظ khodaahaafez. goodbye

Lesson Notes


Lesson Focus

The Focus of this Lesson is Greetings.
من خوبم. تو خوبی؟
man khoobam. to khoobi?
"I'm fine, how about you?"

In Persian, there are different ways of saying "How are you?" In informal speech, for example, when you are talking to your friends, چطوری؟ (chetori?) is used as "How are you?" and حالت چطوره؟ (haalet chetore?) means "How are you feeling?" خوبی؟ (khoobi?) is also used when you simply want to say "Are you fine?" These are all in singular forms.

Informal and Formal, Singular and Plural


In order to make these questions sound formal, the plural forms are used instead. In the plural forms, the i sounds at the end of the words become id. چطوری؟ (chetori?) will become چطورید؟, (chetorid?) and خوبی؟ (khoobi?) will be خوبید؟ (khoobid?). But the most formal way of all is حالتان چطور است؟ (haaletaan chetor ast?) , meaning, "How are you feeling?," which is the plural of حالت چطوره؟ (haalet chetore?).

For example:


سلام آقا، حالتان چطور است؟
سَلام آقا، حالِتان چِطُور است؟
salaam aaghaa, haaletaan chetor ast?
"Hello sir, how are you feeling?"

من خوبم، شما چطورید؟
مَن خوبَم، شُما چِطُورید؟
man khooban, shomaa chetorid?
"I'm fine, how about you (plural)?"


Examples from this dialogue:

چطوری؟ خوبی؟
چِطُوری؟ خوبی؟
chetori? khoobi?
"How are you? Are you fine?"

من خوبم. تو خوبی؟
مَن خوبَم. تُو خوبی؟
man khoobam, to khoobe?
"I'm fine, how about you? (are you fine too?)"

Sample Sentences


سلام، حالت خوبه؟
سَلام، حالِت خوبِه؟
salaam, haalet khoobe?
"Hello, are you feeling good?"

حال شما چطور است؟
حال ِ شُما چِطُور است؟
haal-e shomaa chetor ast?
"How are you (plural) feeling?"

Language Expansion

In response to the above questions, we usually answer by saying, "I'm fine" (من خوبم - man khoobam.). This is used for both formal and informal situations, and it's often followed by a short thanks: mamnoon / motshakker / mersi.


Key Vocabulary & Phrases

Salam is a salutation meaning "hello" in Persian that can be used at any time of the day, anywhere and by anyone. It's usually the first thing people say to each other when they meet, over the phone, or even in letters and messages.

خدا حافظ
Khodahafez means "goodbye" or "farewell." It consists of two parts: Khoda, meaning "God," and hafez, which means "protector." This literally means, "May God protect you" when we say "goodbye" to someone.

دیدن (می بینمت)
Mibinamet means "see you" in Persian. It's not used that often, but sometimes people say it when saying goodbye to show that they are going to meet again soon. It is a form of the verb didan, meaning "to see," which is the present or future tense; in Persian (mi), the subject pronoun "I," or (am) in Persian, and the object "you," or (Et) in Persian, in itself.

Cultural Insights

Greetings in Persian

The word salam ("Hello") comes from salamati, which means "health" in Persian. There is also a well-known saying that goes, Salam Salamati Miare, meaning, "Salam brings health." Grandmothers often tell this to their grandchildren.

In a popular poem by Hafez that's heard a lot on radio and TV, he wrote, Salami cho booye khoshe Ashenayi, which means, "A hello is like the good scent of an acquaintance." It shows how salam is the symbol of friendship. In other words, salam in Iran is the beginning and the most important part of a conversation since it starts everything!

Lesson Transcript

Mohammad: Hello everyone, My name is Mohammad.
Brandon: Hi, I'm Brandon. Welcome to PersianPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 1 - Saying Hello in Persian at Any Time of the Day.
Mohammad: We're going to be your hosts all through this "Persian Absolute Beginner Series". And we’ll start with some lessons about introducing yourself.
Brandon: In this lesson, you'll learn how to say the key greetings in Persian. That's right, you'll get to know the basic greetings, from a conversation that takes place between two friends, Bahar and Shirin, who are talking on the phone.
Mohammad: During the conversation they'll greet each other, and since they're friends, they'll use informal Persian language.
Brandon: So, let's listen to the conversation carefully, and hear the phrases they use. Are you ready?
Mohammad: Ready. Let's go!
Brandon: So Mohammad! The word "Salam" is one of the most important parts of a conversation in Persian, right?
Mohammad: That's right. Salam is how you start a conversation, when you meet someone.
Brandon: So, would you tell us, where does the word originate from?
Mohammad: It's somewhat related to the word "Salamati," which means "health" in Persian.
Brandon: That's interesting, so it originally means "health".
Mohammad: Yes, there's even a well-known phrase, where we say "Salam salamati miare," meaning "Salam brings health".
Brandon: Interesting! And I remember hearing another famous line about "Salam" and "acquaintance", and something about a "nice scent". How did it go again?
Mohammad: It's a popular poem from Hafez that says, "Salami cho booye khoshe ashenayi", meaning "A "Hello" is like the good scent of acquaintance or friendship".
Brandon: I see. So it really is an important part of the Persian language.
Brandon: Now let's take a closer look at the usage of some of the key words and phrases used in this lesson. Our first word is...
Mohammad: Again, "Salam"!
Brandon: As we said earlier, this is a salutation meaning "Hello" in Persian. When and how can we use it, Mohammad?
Mohammad: It can be used at any time of the day, and by anyone, even by complete strangers who are meeting for the first time, or by best friends.
Brandon: And judging by our conversation, it's used everywhere, like for example over the phone.
Mohammad: Of course. Also in letters, messages, or when we talk to someone directly, we use "Salam".
Brandon: Great. Now let's move on to our second phrase, which is...
Mohammad: "Khodahafez".
Brandon: It means "Goodbye" or "Farewell", right?
Mohammad: That's right. It actually consists of two parts, "Khoda" and "Hafez", which mean "God" and "Protector", respectively
Brandon: So whenever you say "Goodbye" to someone, you're actually wishing the "Protection of God" for that person?
Mohammad: Exactly!
Brandon: That's nice! Let's repeat it again for our listeners.
Mohammad: "Khodahafez" (pause) "Khodahafez".
Brandon: Alright. Our last phrase is...
Mohammad: " می بینمت " (Mibinamet).
Brandon: It means "See you".
Mohammad: Right. " می بینمت " is a form of the verb "Didan," meaning "to see", which contains the present or future tense; in Persian (Mi), the subject pronoun "I," or (Am) in Persian, and the object "You," or (Et) in Persian, in itself.
Brandon: Wow! That's a complete sentence in just one word! Is it used often?
Mohammad: Not really. But again, it depends on the person and the situation.
Brandon: Let's say it one more time. Listeners, listen and repeat.
Mohammad: "Mibinamet" (pause) "Mibinamet".
Brandon: Okay. Now let’s move on to the grammar.
Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say "How are you?" in formal and informal ways.
Mohammad: There are so many different ways. The one we used in our conversation as informal speech was "Chetori?"
Brandon: This literally means "How are you?", but it's in singular form and it’s only used for speaking with friends or close people like family members. What is the formal form of this?
Mohammad: That would be "Chetorid?," To make a verb plural, change the last "i" to an "id".
Brandon: Oh, so in order to make anything formal, you use its plural form?
Mohammad: Yes, that's the general rule.
Brandon: And what are the other informal ways of asking "How are you?"
Mohammad: " حالت چطوره؟ " meaning "How are you feeling?", and " خوبی؟ " which simply means "Are you fine?"
Brandon: Once again "How are you feeling?" is...
Mohammad: " حالت چطوره؟ " (haalet chetore?).
Brandon: And its formal form?
Mohammad: " حالتان چطور است؟ " (haaletaan chetor ast?). It's plural even if used for only one person, and I would say, it's the most formal way of all.
Brandon: Okay. So, let's say I'm your boss! How would you ask me how I'm feeling?
Mohammad: " سلام آقا حالتان چطور است؟ " (salaam aaghaa, haaletaan chetor ast?).
Brandon: And if I'm your friend?
Mohammad: I would say: " چطوری؟ خوبی؟ " (chetori? khoobi?). Just like in the conversation.
Brandon: The formal form of which will be " چطورید؟ خوبید؟ " (chetorid? khoobid?), right?
Mohammad: That's right.
Brandon: Now, how do I have to respond to all of these? For example, how do I say "I'm fine"?
Mohammad: " من خوبم " (man khoobam), is the same as "I'm fine."
Brandon: Is this formal or informal?
Mohammad: It can be used for both situations. And it's usually followed by a short thanks, like "Mamnoon".
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Brandon: Okay, that was an exciting beginning! And that’s all for this lesson. To reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson, please check the lesson notes. And if you have any comments or questions, leave us a post on this lesson at PersianPod101.com.
Mohammad: We’re happy to help!
Brandon: We'll continue with introductions in the next lesson, so stay tuned!
Mohammad: See you soon. Khodahafez.
Brandon: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.