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.
European Languages (es=Spanish, it=Italian, en=English, de=German, fr=French, ru=Russian)
Persian (phonetic transliteration)
madre(es,it), mother(en), mutter(de)
name(en), nombre(es), nome(it), nom(fr)
nuovo(it), nuevo(es), neu(de), new(en)
sugar(en), azucar(es), saxar(ru), zucker(de)
da(es,it), de(fr) [give]
stand(en), stehen(de), stare(it)
is(en), ist(de), est(fr), esta(es,it)
door(en), tür(de), deveri(ru)
tu(es,it), you, du(de), ti(ru), te(fr)
star(en), estrella(es), stern(de)
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
Sogdian_Iranian text written and used in China
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.
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)
ba’d az zohr
بعد از ظهر
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.