Persian sayings that make no sense in English

FarsiTransliterationLiteral TranslationMeaning
با نمکBa namaksaltycharming or interesting person
خر تو خرKhar too khardonkey inside a donkeydisarray or chaos
خر خود را راندنKhareh khod ra randanto ride one’s own donkeyto mind one’s own business
مرغ همسایه غازهMorghe hamsaye ghazehthe neighbor’s hen is a goosethe neighbor’s grass is greener
آب زیر کاهAbe zireh kahwater under strawa sneaky person
مثل نخود آشMesle nokhode aashlike the beans in soupto try to influence other people’s affairs where one is not involved or wanted
مغز خر خوردنMaghze khar khordanto have eaten a donkey’s brainto have lost one’s mind
دوستی خاله خرسهDoostiye khaleh khersehthe friendship of the Aunt Bearbeing a friend while acting like an enemy unintentionally and out of foolishness

Farsi words and phrases with no direct English translation


دمت گرم

خیلی چاکریم


سیزده بدر

خسته نباشید

از حضورتون مرخص میشم

چشمم روشن

قدمش خوب است

یه دستی زدن

به روی چشم

تعارف شابدلعظیمی

Persian words that are the same in English


Confusing Words

سیر means full or garlic
شیر means faucet, lion, or milk
ماه means moon or month
شانه means shoulder or comb
تیر means shot or bar or the month of June
مرد means man or died (same spelling different pronunciation)

Useful Persian Phrases

How are you?حال شما چطوره؟Hale shoma chetoreh?
Where are you from?شما کجائی هستید؟Shoma kojaee hastid?
Good morningصبح بخیرSobh bekheir
Good nightشب بخیرShab bekheir
What is your name? اسم شما چیه؟Esme shoma chieh?
Please لطفاLotfan
Thank you very much خیلی ممنونKheili mamnoon
You’re welcomeخواهش می‌کنمKhahesh mikonam
I don’t knowنمی دانم Nemidanam
Excuse me ببخشید Bebakhshid

Fun facts about Persian and Iran

-Persian is an Indo-European language.
-In Persian there is no grammatical gender.
-In Persian there are no definite articles.
-In Persian there are two ways of saying “you”. There is the informal you and the more formal you.
-In Persian short vowels are not generally written.
-Persepolis, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Khaju bridge, Azadi Tower, Menar Jonban, and Taq-e Bostan are popular tourist attractions in Iran.
-Traditional Iranian sweets include Sohan of Qom, Gaz of Isfahan, faloodeh of Shiraz, Ghotab of Kerman, and Lovuez of Tabriz.
-Every year Mecca, one of the most sacred sites in Islam, is washed with rosewater of Qamsar, Kashan.
-When an Urdu speaker acts as if he/she does not understand another Urdu speaker the expression is “Am I speaking Persian that you don’t understand?”