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
EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)
HiSalāmسلام
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 youmotešakkeram (močakkeram)متشکرم
You’re welcome. (In response to “thank you”)xāheš mikonam.خواهش می‌کنم
See you later!Ba’adan mibinametun..بعدأ می‌بینمتون
Goodbye!xodā hāfezخداحافظ
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 bashidموفق باشید
Congratulations!Tabrik migamتبریک می گم
Bless you (when sneezing)ā:fiyat bāsheعافیت باشد
You are very kind (nice).šomā xeyli mehrabu:n (xu:b) hastidشما خیلی مهربان (خوب) هستید
We had a very good time.be mā xoš gozaštبه ما خوش گذشت

Basic Persian Conversation and Common Phrases

EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)
Persianfārsi: (pārsi:)فارسی (پارسی)
Excuse me …! (to ask for something)Bebaxšidببخشید
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؟
Yesbale (āre)بله (آره)
Nonaنه
I Don’t Understand!Motevajjeh nemišamمتوجه نمیشم
I Don’t Know!Nemidu:namنمیدانم
Can You Say It Again?Miše tekrār konid?میشه تکرار کنید ؟
I need to practice my Persian moreMan bāyad fārsi ro bištar tamrin konamمن باید فارسی رو بیشتر تمرین کنم
I don’t know Persian (well).man fārsi (xu:b) balad nistamمن فارسی خوب بلد نیستم
I need a translator (guide, tour guide).man be yek motarjem (rāhnamā, rāhnamā ye tu:r) niyāz dāramمن به یک مترجم (راهنما، راهنمای تور) نیاز دارم
I love you!Dustet dāram!دوستت دارم
What?či:?چی؟
Where?Kojā?کجا؟
why?čerāچرا؟
What is this?in čiye?این چیست؟
What’s That Called In Persian?in Be Fārsi či miše?به فارسی چی میشه؟
MoneyPu:lپول
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 …. mixāmمن 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 āzādiمی 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 upajale konid (zu:d bāšid)عجله کنید (زود باشید)

Asking for Help in Persian

EnglishPronunciationPersian
Help me! (Help!)Komakam konid! (komak!)!کمکم کن
I need helpMan komak niyāz dāramمن کمک نیاز دارم
Can I help you?Mitunam komaketun konam?میتوانم کمکتان کنم؟
I’m lostMan gom šodamمن 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 amمن پاسپورتم (پولم، کیف پولم، چمدانم) را گم کرده ام
I call the policebe poli:s xabar midamبه پلیس خبر می دهم
911 (the police phone number)110 (dial 110 in your phone or cell phone in Iran)110
Emergencyu:rjānce (dial 115)اورژانس(١١٥)
I feel sickMan mariz hastamمن مریض هستم
I need a doctorMan be doktor niyāz dāramمن 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

EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)
Goodxu:bخوبBadbadبد
Betterbehtarبهترworsebadtarبدتر
WarmgarmگرمColdsardسرد
Beautifulzi:bā (ğašang)زیبا (قشنگ)Uglyzeštزشت
Shortku:tāhکوتاهLongbolandبلند
Big – LargebozorgبزرگLittle – Smallku:čakکوچک
morebištarبیشترLesskamtarکمتر
Thin – SlimlāğarلاغرFatčāğچاغ
ExpensivegerānگرانCheaparzānارزان
Very – Muchxeyli – ziyādخیلی – زیادA few (Little)kamکم
DeliciousxošmazeخوشمزهBad tastebadmazeبدمزه
Suitablemonā:sebمناسبnot Suitablenā:monā:sebنامناسب
Fasttond (sari’)تند (سریع)Slowkond (ā:ru:m)کند (آرام)
Early (soon)zu:dزودLatedi:rدیر

Colors in Persian

[Useful for Shopping and buying souvenir]
EnglishPronunciationPersian
Blacksiyā:h (meški)سیاه (مشکی)
Whitesefi:dسفید
Blueā:bi:آبی
Orangenā:renji:نارنجی
Redğermezقرمز
Yellowzardزرد
Brownğah-ve-ii:قهوه ای
Greensabzسبز
Grayxākestari:خاکستری
Purplearğavāni:ارغوانی
violetbanafšبنفش

Numbers in Persian

0123456789
٠١٢٣۴ or ٤۵ or ٥۶ or ٦٧٨٩
sefryekdosečahār (čā:r)panjšešhafthaštnoh
صفریکدوسهچهارپنجششهفتهشتنه
10111213141516171819
١٠١١١٢١٣١۴١۵١۶١٧١٨١٩
dahyā:z-dahdavā:z-dahsi:z-dahchahār-dahpānz-dahšānz-dahhev-dahhej-dahnu:z-dah
دهیازدهدوازدهسیزدهچهاردهپانزدهشانزدههفدههجدهنوزده
2030405060708090100
٢٠٣٠۴٠۵٠۶٠٧٠٨٠٩٠١٠٠
bi:stsi:čehel (čel)panjāhšasthaftādhaštādnavadsad
بیستسیچهلپنجاهشصتهفتادهشتادنودصد
212233445567101102115123
٢١٢٢٣٣۴۴٥٥٦٧١٠١١٠٢١١٥١٢٣
bi:sto yekbi:sto dosiyo sečelo čā:r (čehelo čā:r)panjā:ho panjšasto haftsado yeksado dosado pā:nzdahsado bi:sto se
بیست و یکبیست و دوسی و سهچهل و چهارپنجاه و پنجشصت و هفتصد و یکصد و دوصد و پانزدهصد وبیست و سه
200300400500600700800900
٢٠٠٣٠٠۴٠٠۵٠٠۶٠٠٧٠٠٨٠٠٩٠٠
divi:stsi:sadcā:rsadpānsad (punsad)šeš-sadhafsadhaš-sadnohsad
دویستسیصدچهارصدپانصدششصدهفتصدهشتصدنهصد
10001385199920003000400010,000100,0001,000,0002,000,000
١٠٠٠١٣٨٥١٩٩٩٢٠٠٠٣٠٠٠٤٠٠٠١٠،٠٠٠١٠٠،٠٠٠١،٠٠٠،٠٠٠٢،٠٠٠،٠٠٠
hezārhezāro sisado haštādo panjhezāro nohsado navado nohdo hezārse hezārčāhār hezār (čā:r hezār)dah hezārsad hezāryek melyu:ndo melyu:n
هزارهزار و سیصد و هشتاد وپنجهزار و نهصد و نود ونهدوهزارسه هزارچهارهزارده هزارصد هزاریک میلیوندومیلیون

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)

EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)EnglishPronunciationPersian (فارسی)
TodayemRu:zامروزMonthmāhماه
YesterdaydiRu:zديروزYearsālسال
TomorrowfardāفرداWeekhafteهفته
DayRu:zروزSaturdayšanbe (šambe)شنبه
NightšabشبSundayyek-šambeیکشنبه
MorningsobhصبحMondaydo-šambeدوشنبه
Evening‘asrعصرTuesdayse-šambeسه شنبه
NoonzohrظهرWednesdayčahār-šambe (čār-šambe)چهارشنبه
Afternoonba’d az zohrبعد از ظهرThursdaypanj-šambeپنج شنبه
Hoursā’atساعتFridayjom’eجمعه
Minutedaği:ğeدقيقهNowhālāحالا
SecondsāniyeثانيهLaterba’danبعداً

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.