Persian language is a very old language. Persian is the official language spoken in Iran. Its first roots turns back to at least 4000 years ago. Persian is an important branch of Indo-European languages family. Thus there are many words in Persian that are in common with European languages or they have the same roots. the below table is just a short list of too many in common words.

Pronunciation Guide : she/ši: ; catch/kač ; khaki/xāki ; ghoul/ğu:l ; pay/pey ; fall/fāl

European Languages
(es=Spanish, it=Italian, en=English, de=German, fr=French, ru=Russian)
Persian
(phonetic transliteration)
padre(es,it), father(en) pedar
papa, babbo(it) bābā
madre(es,it), mother(en), mutter(de) mādar
brother(en), bruder(de) barādar
daughter(en), tochter(de) doxtar
name(en), nombre(es), nome(it), nom(fr) nām
nuovo(it), nuevo(es), neu(de), new(en) nōw
sugar(en), azucar(es), saxar(ru), zucker(de) šekar
pied(it,fr), pie(es)[foot]
da(es,it), de(fr) [give] deh
stand(en), stehen(de), stare(it) estādan (istādan)
is(en), ist(de), est(fr), esta(es,it) hast
door(en), tür(de), deveri(ru) dar
tu(es,it), you, du(de), ti(ru), te(fr)
star(en), estrella(es), stern(de) setāre
over(en), über(de) abar
attack(en), attacco(it) tak

Its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.
The Persian language influenced the formation of many modern languages in West Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. In the late Middle Ages, new Islamic literary languages were created on the Persian model: Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai and Urdu, which are regarded as “structural daughter languages” of Persian.
Persian during this time served as lingua franca of Greater Persia and of much of the Indian subcontinent. It was also the official and cultural language of many Islamic dynasties including Ottomans (in turkey) and also Mughals (in Iran and India).
The educated and noble class of the Ottoman Empire all spoke Persian despite they were Turkish, such as sultan Selim I. For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent and even in some parts of China. Persian was the only non-European language known and used by Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan and in his journeys through China.

Manichean (an old Iranian religion) Scriptures practiced in China

Manichean (an old Iranian religion) Scriptures practiced in China


Sogdian_Iranian text written and used in China

Sogdian_Iranian text written and used in China


Persian inscription in Istanbul

A fountain outside of the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. The inscription is a Persian poem. There are a lot of arcs and facades in Istanbul ornamented with Persian poems or quotes.


If you want to travel to Iran, you may need to know some Persian greetings and some key expressions. Iranians are very warm, friendly and hospitable people and they are eager to help and communicate with foreigners. Usually young generation know English well, but old ones may don’t understand English. In that case some Persian key expressions can become handy. After all, you can impress Iranians in the taxi, hotel, restaurant, shops and stores with some greetings in Persian. It can help you to have a better relationship with them and attract more attention.
In the following, we tried to select some useful Persian common phrases and greetings that can be used in different situations.

Persian common phrases and words

Persian greetings and meeting people

she/ši: ; catch/kač ; khaki/xāki
ghoul/ğu:l ; pay/pey ; fall/fāl
English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی)
Hi Salām سلام
Good morning! Sobh bexeyr ! !صبح بخیر
Good evening! Asr bexeyr ! !عصر بخیر
Good night! šab bexeyr ! !شب بخیر
Welcome! (to greet someone) xoš āmadid! !خوش آمدید
How are you? Hāle šomā četorē? (xubi:d?) حال شما چطور است؟ (خوبید؟)
I’m doing well. Man xubam. .من خوبم
Thank you (very much) (xeyli:) mamnun! !ممنون (خیلی)
Thank you motešakkeram (močakkeram) متشکرم
You’re welcome. (In response to “thank you”) xāheš mikonam .خواهش می‌کنم
See you later! Ba’adan mibinametun. .بعدأ می‌بینمتون
Goodbye! xodā hāfez خداحافظ
What’s your name? Esme šomā čiye? (Esmetun chiye?) اسم شما چیست ؟
My name is [Sarah]. Esme man [Sārā] ast .اسم من [سارا] است
Nice to meet you! Az didār e šomā xoš-baxtam. (or simply say “khošbakhtam!”) .از ملاقات شما خوشبختم
Where are you from? šomā ahl e kojā hastid? (az koja mi aiid?) شما اهل کجا هستید؟
I’m from (the U.S/ Europe) Man ahl e (āmricā/oru:pā) hastam. .من اهل (آمریکا / اروپا) هستم
How old are you? čand sālete? چند سالته؟
I’m (twenty, thirty,…) years old. Man (bi:st/si: ,…) sālame. .من (بیست/سی) سالمه
Good luck! Movaffağ bashid موفق باشید
Congratulations! Tabrik migam تبریک می گم
Bless you (when sneezing) ā:fiyat bāshe عافیت باشد
You are very kind (nice). šomā xeyli mehrabu:n (xu:b) hastid شما خیلی مهربان (خوب) هستید
We had a very good time. be mā xoš gozašt به ما خوش گذشت

Basic Persian Conversation and Common Phrases

English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی)
Persian fārsi: (pārsi:) فارسی (پارسی)
Excuse me …! (to ask for something) Bebaxšid ببخشید
No Problem! “Moškeli: nist” or “Eškāli: nadāre” مشکلی نیست
Please ! lotfan ! لطفاً
Water please ! āb lotfan ! آب، لطفاً
Can you speak English? mitunid engilisi harf bezanid? می توانید انگلیسی حرف بزنید؟
Yes bale (āre) بله (آره)
No na نه
I Don’t Understand! Motevajjeh nemišam متوجه نمیشم
I Don’t Know! Nemidu:nam نمیدانم
Can You Say It Again? Miše tekrār konid? میشه تکرار کنید ؟
I need to practice my Persian more Man bāyad fārsi ro bištar tamrin konam من باید فارسی رو بیشتر تمرین کنم
I don’t know Persian (well). man fārsi (xu:b) balad nistam من فارسی خوب بلد نیستم
I need a translator (guide, tour guide). man be yek motarjem (rāhnamā, rāhnamā ye tu:r) niyāz dāram من به یک مترجم (راهنما، راهنمای تور) نیاز دارم
I love you! Dustet dāram! دوستت دارم
What? či:? چی؟
Where? Kojā? کجا؟
why? čerā چرا؟
What is this? in čiye? این چیست؟
What’s That Called In Persian? in Be Fārsi či miše? به فارسی چی میشه؟
Money Pu:l پول
What Does “Pu:l” Mean In English? “Money”. “Pu:l” be engilisi či miše? “Money” پول به انگلیسی چه می شود؟ “Money”
Where can I find a good restaurant (hotel,shopping center, bazaar)? kojā mitunam ye resturān (hotel, markaz e kharid, bā:zār) e xu:b peydā konam? کجا می توانم یک رستوران (هتل، مرکز خرید، بازار) خوب پیدا کنم؟
Where is WC (restroom)? dastšui: (tuvālet) kojāst? دستشویی (توالت) کجاست؟
What did you say? (What?) či goftid? (či: ?) چه گفتید؟ (چی؟)
I want a …. man ye …. mixām من یک … می خواهم
I want to go to the airport (Pars hotel). mixām beram foru:dgāh (hotel pārs) می خواهم بروم فرودگاه (هتل پارس)
I want to go to Azadi street. mixām beram xiyābu:n e āzādi می خواهم بروم خیابان زند
How much is this? in čande? این چنده؟
How much should I pay (in taxi or hotel or restaurant)? čand bāyad pardāxt konam? چند باید پرداخت کنم؟
Where is the Canada embassy? sefārat e cānādā kojāst? سفارت کانادا کجاست؟
Hurry up ajale konid (zu:d bāšid) عجله کنید (زود باشید)

Asking for Help in Persian

English Pronunciation Persian
Help me! (Help!) Komakam konid! (komak!) !کمکم کن
I need help Man komak niyāz dāram من کمک نیاز دارم
Can I help you? Mitunam komaketun konam? میتوانم کمکتان کنم؟
I’m lost Man gom šodam من گم شده ام
Can you help me? mitunid komakam konid? میتوانید کمکم کنید؟
I’ve lost my passport (my money, my wallet, my baggage) man pāsportam (pu:lam, kif e pu:lam, čamedunam) ro gom karde am من پاسپورتم (پولم، کیف پولم، چمدانم) را گم کرده ام
I call the police be poli:s xabar midam به پلیس خبر می دهم
911 (the police phone number) 110 (dial 110 in your phone or cell phone in Iran) 110
Emergency u:rjānce (dial 115) اورژانس(١١٥)
I feel sick Man mariz hastam من مریض هستم
I need a doctor Man be doktor niyāz dāram من به دکتر نیاز دارم
What time is it? Sā’at čande? ساعت چند است؟
Persian calligraphy art

Artistic Persian calligraphy (from Rajabpour_artmisgallry)

Persian Literature and Art of Calligraphy

Persian Literature and Art of Calligraphy

Persian Calligraphy and literature

Persian Calligraphy and literature

Persian calligraphy artmisgallry Rajabpour

Persian calligraphy combined with art (from Rajabpour_artmisgallry)


Persian Common Adjectives

English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی) English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی)
Good xu:b خوب Bad bad بد
Better behtar بهتر worse badtar بدتر
Warm garm گرم Cold sard سرد
Beautiful zi:bā (ğašang) زیبا (قشنگ) Ugly zešt زشت
Short ku:tāh کوتاه Long boland بلند
Big – Large bozorg بزرگ Little – Small ku:čak کوچک
more bištar بیشتر Less kamtar کمتر
Thin – Slim lāğar لاغر Fat čāğ چاغ
Expensive gerān گران Cheap arzān ارزان
Very – Much xeyli – ziyād خیلی – زیاد A few (Little) kam کم
Delicious xošmaze خوشمزه Bad taste badmaze بدمزه
Suitable monā:seb مناسب not Suitable nā:monā:seb نامناسب
Fast tond (sari’) تند (سریع) Slow kond (ā:ru:m) کند (آرام)
Early (soon) zu:d زود Late di:r دیر

Colors in Persian

[Useful for Shopping and buying souvenir]
English Pronunciation Persian
Black siyā:h (meški) سیاه (مشکی)
White sefi:d سفید
Blue ā:bi: آبی
Orange nā:renji: نارنجی
Red ğermez قرمز
Yellow zard زرد
Brown ğah-ve-ii: قهوه ای
Green sabz سبز
Gray xākestari: خاکستری
Purple arğavāni: ارغوانی
violet banafš بنفش

Numbers in Persian

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ۴ or ٤ ۵ or ٥ ۶ or ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩
sefr yek do se čahār (čā:r) panj šeš haft hašt noh
صفر یک دو سه چهار پنج شش هفت هشت نه
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
١٠ ١١ ١٢ ١٣ ١۴ ١۵ ١۶ ١٧ ١٨ ١٩
dah yā:z-dah davā:z-dah si:z-dah chahār-dah pānz-dah šānz-dah hev-dah hej-dah nu:z-dah
ده یازده دوازده سیزده چهارده پانزده شانزده هفده هجده نوزده
20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
٢٠ ٣٠ ۴٠ ۵٠ ۶٠ ٧٠ ٨٠ ٩٠ ١٠٠
bi:st si: čehel (čel) panjāh šast haftād haštād navad sad
بیست سی چهل پنجاه شصت هفتاد هشتاد نود صد
21 22 33 44 55 67 101 102 115 123
٢١ ٢٢ ٣٣ ۴۴ ٥٥ ٦٧ ١٠١ ١٠٢ ١١٥ ١٢٣
bi:sto yek bi:sto do siyo se čelo čā:r (čehelo čā:r) panjā:ho panj šasto haft sado yek sado do sado pā:nzdah sado bi:sto se
بیست و یک بیست و دو سی و سه چهل و چهار پنجاه و پنج شصت و هفت صد و یک صد و دو صد و پانزده صد وبیست و سه
200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
٢٠٠ ٣٠٠ ۴٠٠ ۵٠٠ ۶٠٠ ٧٠٠ ٨٠٠ ٩٠٠
divi:st si:sad cā:rsad pānsad (punsad) šeš-sad hafsad haš-sad nohsad
دویست سیصد چهارصد پانصد ششصد هفتصد هشتصد نهصد
1000 1385 1999 2000 3000 4000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 2,000,000
١٠٠٠ ١٣٨٥ ١٩٩٩ ٢٠٠٠ ٣٠٠٠ ٤٠٠٠ ١٠،٠٠٠ ١٠٠،٠٠٠ ١،٠٠٠،٠٠٠ ٢،٠٠٠،٠٠٠
hezār hezāro sisado haštādo panj hezāro nohsado navado noh do hezār se hezār čāhār hezār (čā:r hezār) dah hezār sad hezār yek melyu:n do melyu:n
هزار هزار و سیصد و هشتاد وپنج هزار و نهصد و نود ونه دوهزار سه هزار چهارهزار ده هزار صد هزار یک میلیون دومیلیون

If you are in a taxi or restaurant or shopping center and your are not experienced enough in Persian numbers just ask the seller to show you the numbers and prices in your cell phone. This is a very effective way to use numbers easily.
note: In Iran prices are in either Rial or Tuman (Toman) format. Each Tuman is 10 Rials. But people often use Toman in their conversations despite in the notes and bills the unit is Rial. thus you should ask for the unit of prices specially when you see a price tag.

Time in Persian (Time, Hours and Week days in Persian)

English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی) English Pronunciation Persian (فارسی)
Today emRu:z امروز Month māh ماه
Yesterday diRu:z ديروز Year sāl سال
Tomorrow fardā فردا Week hafte هفته
Day Ru:z روز Saturday šanbe (šambe) شنبه
Night šab شب Sunday yek-šambe یکشنبه
Morning sobh صبح Monday do-šambe دوشنبه
Evening ‘asr عصر Tuesday se-šambe سه شنبه
Noon zohr ظهر Wednesday čahār-šambe (čār-šambe) چهارشنبه
Afternoon ba’d az zohr بعد از ظهر Thursday panj-šambe پنج شنبه
Hour sā’at ساعت Friday jom’e جمعه
Minute daği:ğe دقيقه Now hālā حالا
Second sāniye ثانيه Later ba’dan بعداً

In Iran, the week starts with Saturday and ends with Friday. So Fridays are weekend and off_day in Iran and in most of Muslim countries.
We hope you enjoy speaking Persian and have a better communication by greeting in Persian with just a little practice.