Why Persian Proverbs and Idioms?
Learning a language seems like an easy process at the beginning, and so does learning Farsi. Persian grammar is simple compared to many other languages: there is no gender in Farsi; the verb conjugation is fixed for all tenses; the only case marker that is remained in modern Persian is the accusative one. However, Persian is an old language of poetry full of metaphors, sayings, Farsi proverbs, and idioms. Learning them would help you speak fluent Persian.
This page is called “Persian Proverbs” but contains idioms, sayings, phrasal verbs, religious and cultural allusions, and what we call Tâ’rof, the politeness formulas. But why should a Persian learner acquire them? Isn’t it possible to speak Persian without using idioms and proverbs?
If your goal is to learn Persian to meet basic needs for daily communication, this page does not suit you. But if you are interested to learn about culture, Persian linguistic logic, the Iranian worldviews, and communicating your feelings and thoughts fully in Persian, you are in the right place; welcome to the “Persian Proverb” page.
How is “the Persian Proverb” Page Organized?
On this page, idioms and proverbs are categorized into ten parts based on the keywords of each phrase, such as the name of the animals, body parts, or foods. Each part has sub-parts. For instance, animals → cats/ dogs, food → beverages → water. In each article, two to four idioms or proverbs with the same keyword are introduced and explained in Persian and English. To give you the context in which the proverbs are usually used, we added conversations at the end of each part.
There are two different sections named “allusions” and “tâ’rof.” Allusions are short phrases that refer to historical events, names, religious stories, or myths to convey a special meaning. In this part, you will be amused by reading Persian stories, anecdotes, and historical events and how they are used in colloquial Persian and literature. In the other part, tâ’rof, we explain how to act and what to say on special occasions to show respect, seem polite, and understand what people usually mean when they do tâ’rof.
All the proverbs and conversations are transcribed based on FarsiMonde’s transcribing protocol. You can also listen to the conversations while reading them. We tried to find the closest English translation for the proverbs, but If you know better ones or the equivalents of the sayings in your languages, please write them for us in the comments.