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Lesson Transcript

Brandon: Hello listeners, I'm Brandon: .
Mohammad: And I'm Mohammad: . "Salam!"
Brandon: Welcome back to PersianPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 5 - "Can You Take My Persian Order?" In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask if something is okay, and answer it in the right way.
Mohammad: And to do that, we’ll listen to a conversation that takes place in a restaurant.
Brandon: It’s between a waiter and a customer.
Mohammad: That's why they'll be using formal Persian.
Brandon: Mohammad: , what kind of restaurant would you recommend our listeners visit on their trip to Iran?
Mohammad: Well, besides the Western style restaurants, the most popular places are the traditional restaurants called " رستوران سنتی " (restooraan-e sonnati).
Brandon: Traditional? Do you mean they have traditional Iranian food and decorations?
Mohammad: Yes, and also music. In most of these restaurants, traditional live music is performed in styles, and with the instruments, of different cities of Iran.
Brandon: That sounds good! You can experience Persian culture at these restaurants.
Mohammad: And that's why they're very popular with tourists and visitors from other countries.
Brandon: What about the local people?
Mohammad: Of course, they also like to go to traditional restaurants once in a while, and have fun with their friends or family members.
Brandon: Listeners, add that to your ‘to-do list’ for Iran!
Brandon: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Mohammad: In this lesson, you'll learn phrases that you'll probably hear if you go to a restaurant in Iran.
Brandon: That's right. The first phrase we'll learn is also the first thing you may be asked by a waiter.
Mohammad: "What would you like to eat?" which is " چی میل دارید؟ " (chi meyl daarid?).
Brandon: "chi - meyl - daarid?"?
Mohammad: Exactly. "chi" means "What", and "meyl daashtan" is a verb expressing the combination of "to like to eat".
Brandon: You may also hear the words for "Food" or "Drink" before this phrase, making it...
Mohammad: " غذا چی میل دارید؟ " (ghazaa chi meyl daarid?), or " نوشیدنی چی میل دارید؟ " (nooshidani chi meyl daarid?)
Brandon: Alright. Our next phrase is...
Mohammad: " خدمت شما " (khedmat-e shomaa).
Brandon: Literally, it means "At your service", but depending on the situation, it usually means "Here you are".
Mohammad: This is used to give something to someone politely. For example, when paying money, or in restaurants, in order to serve the customer's order.
Brandon: When does it have the exact meaning of "At your service?"
Mohammad: If you add the preposition " در " (dar), meaning "At," before the phrase, it'll become "At your service".
Brandon: For example, can you say "I'm at your service"?
Mohammad: That's " در خدمت شما هستم " (dar khedmat-e shomaa hastam.), which means "I'm ready to do anything for you".
Brandon: And our last phrase is...
Mohammad: " چند لحظه " (chand lahze), literally meaning "A few seconds".
Brandon: In conversations, this is used as the phrase "One moment please".
Mohammad: Yes. And it's used to politely ask someone to wait a little bit.
Brandon: So, is it only used by waiters in restaurants?
Mohammad: No, actually anyone can use it.
Brandon: For example?
Mohammad: If a friend says " بیا " (biaa) meaning "Come here", you can also answer by saying "chand lahze".
Brandon: Well, that doesn't seem very hard. Right, listeners? Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask or request politely.
Mohammad: The best way to order something and still be polite, is to ask if you're able to, or it's possible to do or have something.
Brandon: And the phrase you use for that purpose is...
Mohammad: "Mitunam?" or "Mitavanam?" which mean "Can I?" or "Is it okay if I?" Mitunam" is the colloquial form of "Mitavanam", and is used when talking.
Brandon: So, "Mitunam?" means "Can I?" And is it placed in the beginning of the sentence like English? Or is it at the end, like all the verbs in Persian?
Mohammad: No. It's an exception where the sentence begins with "Can I?", just like English. Only the next verb is still at the end.
Brandon: Can we try it with an example? Once again, how would you say, "Can I see the menu?"
Mohammad: "می تونم لیست غذا رو ببینم؟ " (mitoonam list-e ghazaa ro bebinam?). Like we said, in Persian "Can I" or "Mitunam" starts the sentence. But the verb "to see" or "Bebinam" in this case, is at the end, unlike English.
Brandon: So the verb group is divided into two parts, and the object is in between. How about another example?
Mohammad: For example, "Can I take this pencil?" will be " می تونم این مداد رو بر دارم؟ " (mitoonam in medaad ro bardaaram?).
Brandon: Following the rule, "Bardaram" in the end means "to take" right?
Mohammad: Exactly. "Bardaram" is the first person tense of "to take", and "Mitunam" is "Can I" in the beginning.
Brandon: Great! Is there any other way for asking or requesting something in Persian?
Mohammad: There is! You can use the imperative form instead, starting with "Please".
Brandon: And what is the word for "Please" in Persian?
Mohammad: " لطفاً " (Lotfan) or " خواهش می کنم " (khaahesh mikonam).
Brandon: Oh, yes! I remember that from one of the previous lessons. It also meant "You're Welcome", right? So what’s the difference between the "Please" form and the "Can I" form of this?
Mohammad: In "Please" form, you don't need to use the asking verbs or an asking tone.
Brandon: Then what will the previous example of "Can I take this pencil?" become in "Please" form?
Mohammad: "Please give this pencil to me", which is " لطفاً این مداد را به من بدهید " (lotfan in medaad raa be man bedahid.).
Brandon: Okay. And at the end, there was another word that we've already learned before, which is...
Mohammad: "Bebakhshid". It meant "Excuse me", and we can put it before "Please" or "Can I" to make them even more polite.
Mohammad: Listeners, do you know the powerful secret behind rapid progress?
Brandon: Using the entire system.
Mohammad: Lesson notes are an important part of this system.
Brandon: They include a transcript and translation of the conversation...
Mohammad: ...key lesson vocabulary...
Brandon: and detailed grammar explanations.
Mohammad: Lesson notes accompany every audio or video lesson.
Brandon: Use them on the site or mobile device or print them out.
Mohammad: Using the lesson notes with audio and video media, will rapidly increase your learning speed.
Brandon: Go to PersianPod101.com, and download the lesson notes for this lesson right now.


Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Listeners, I hope you're not too tired! These are phrases that can help you on your trip to Iran.
Mohammad: That’s right. Don’t forget to check the lesson notes, and leave us a comment.
Brandon: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Mohammad: "Khodahafez".