What Is Persian?
Persian is a language spoken in Iran and parts of Afghanistan. It’s also referred to as Farsi in Iran, which is also Persian’s endonym. There are three versions of Persian, Eastern, Iranian and Tajiki.
This variation of Persian is spoken in Afghanistan. It’s also referred to as Dari Persian or Afghan Persian.
Iranian Persian is spoken in Iran, Iraq and Persian Gulf. This is the variation of Persian that is also referred to as Farsi.
Tajiki is a version of Persian spoken in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, a country bordered by Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
English to Persian: Basic Tips
Translating English to Persian isn’t as cut and dry as it is to translate English to German. Persian is an Arabic language and makes use of the Arabic alphabet, so you’ll need to learn a whole new set of symbols if you plan on writing or reading Persian!
If you’re simply sounding out words and phrases, you’ll want to learn the most common.
It’s also helpful to use a language translation app, like the free MyLanguage app. If you don’t want to
type in each word, we also offer a paid version that allows you to simply speak the English word to
receive the Persian audio translation.
Common Persian Words and Phrases
Below is a list of the five most common Persian words, ‘hi,’ ‘goodbye,’ ‘good morning,’ ‘thank you’ and
‘Hi’ is possibly one of the most well-known Persian phrases outside of Iran and Afghanistan. The English to Persian translation for ‘hi’ is ‘salam.’ It’s written as سلام in the Arabic alphabet.
Want to translate ‘goodbye’ from English to Persian? Say, “Khodahafez.” This word is written as, ‘خداحافظ.’
Another common phrase when translated from English to Persian is ‘sobh bekheyr’ or ‘good morning.’
This phrase has gotten some traffic in the English-speaking community thanks to its use in many movies in TV shows. Using the Arabic alphabet, ‘sobh bekheyr’ looks like: صبح بخیر.
Another word you might recognize in Persian is ‘mamnoon’ or ‘thank you.’ Many Middle Eastern restaurants use this word, and some are even named ‘Mamnoon.’ This word looks like ‘ ممنون خیلی’ in the Arabic alphabet.
If you want to get someone’s attention or pass another person, use the English to Persian translation of ‘excuse me,’ which is ‘bebakhshid.’ Should you happen to need to write this word, it looks like, ‘ببخشید.’
Famous Persian Writers
If you want to read a little Persian, you might want to start with some of the most famous Persian writers — the mystic poets Hafiz and Rumi. Since this language is often considered one of the most beautiful languages in the world, it’s no wonder so many famous poets wrote in this language. If you want to practice translating English to Persian, you could always try to write a poem yourself in Persian.
Rumi is the most famous mystic Persian poet. His poems have been translated into dozens of other languages (including English). What’s enticing about the mystic poets (especially Rumi) is that his poems are also considered sage advice — in addition to being enlightening.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you,” is one of his most famous quotes. In Persian, they
say, “پرتو مرهم بر آنجا تافتست.”
Another famous mystic who wrote in Persian is Hafez or Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī or خواجه شمسالدین محمد حافظ شیرازی.
He grew up in Shiraz, a city in Iran and is another poet who wrote lyrical poems that offered sage advice to readers. Even though German writer Goethe wasn’t Iranian, he was heavily influenced by Hafez.
One of Hafez’s most famous quotes is, “I have learned that every heart will get What it prays for Most.” Want to know the English to Persian translation? Try it out in our free MyLanguage translation app.
You can also purchase a complete book of his ghazals (poems), “The Complete Book of Ghazals of Hafez,” if you want to practice your Farsi to English translations.