Use these Farsi phrases while drinking tea

Farsi Phrases to Help You Survive a Persian Party (Mehmooni)

posted in: How to Learn Farsi, Persian Culture | 0

If you’re reading this, then you likely received an invitation to an Iranian party, also called a mehmooni. While Persians in the West speak English quite well, it doesn’t hurt for you to some Farsi phrases. Your hosts and the other guests will surely love hearing you speak their native language.

Let’s go over a few areas where you can speak Farsi and impress your friends.

Note: We are writing these Farsi phrases in phonetic Persian to make it easier new readers.

What to know before go

Dress the part

Attending a Persian party is not as simple as going to a friend’s house. Expect to men in blazers or at least a shirt and tie. Women will likely wear nice dresses and ornate jewelry. 

Arrive a little late

Iranians are notorious for arriving late. Your host may tell you 2 PM but not expect guests until 3 or 4 PM. Double-check with your host to see when to arrive. 

Bring a gift

You may want to bring something small, like a dessert or bottle of wine – if they drink! Some other gifts might be something small like a dessert dish or candle set. Your host may refuse. You will need to insist they take your gift.

Introductions

Iranians will all formally greet one another at parties, excluding small, intimate affairs. All the guests will stand up and shake the new attendees’ hands.

Follow the lead of your host during this time. Some Persian families hold these traditions while others completely throw them out the window.

Khoshbakhtam — Nice to meet you.

This term literally means, “I am lucky.” You’ll see that many of these Farsi phrases do not follow their exact translation. It serves as a polite way of saying, “Nice to meet you.” Say it with a handshake and a smile when greeting one another.

Man ___ hastam — My name is ___.

Some other sites or books may say to use a different Persian saying, such as “Esme man (name) ast.” We think that is a clunky, unnatural Farsi phrase in this scenario.

Hal-e shoma chetor-e? — How are you?

While this term literally means, “How is your health?”, it is used as simple “How are you?” It is a formal and more pleasant than other greetings. Although it is a question, you should not expect an answer since most Iranians use it to greet one another.

Do not be surprised if people respond with “Merci” — thank you — when you ask how they are. This is also true if they ask you anything when first meeting. Simply say “Merci” and keep shaking hands.

You can ask these questions again once you sit and talk.

Conversation

Esme shoma chi-eh? — What is your name?

Persian names can be hard to pronounce but try your best. Your new acquaintance may give you their Americanized name. If so, don’t act surprised or push for their real name.

Kojah zendigi mikonid? — Where do you live?

It is not uncommon to ask about someone’s background or home city. Persians take pride in where they are from and where they live. In Iran, personality traits are also attributed to where you were born and raised.

For this reason, they might ask you the same question.

Kam farsi harf mizanam — I speak little Farsi.

If you use a few of these Farsi phrases, then your conversation partner may think you are fluent. Once he or she starts speaking outside of your comfort zone, say this phrase to politely steer the conversation back to English or simpler Persian.

Occasions

Tavalodet mobaarak — Happy Birthday!

Iranian birthday parties are quite fun! Be sure to learn the lyrics to the Persian birthday song before you arrive.

Saal-e no mobaarak — Happy New Year!

One of the best parts of Persian culture is having two occasions to celebrate the new year. While Persians traditionally celebrate Nowruz, Iranians in the West also happily celebrate the Gregorian New Year.

Movafagh baashi – Good luck

Maybe you are attending a graduation party or one of your Iranian friends is moving away. You can wish him or her luck in the future with this Farsi phrase.

Practice Farsi Phrases with Tea
Persian tea and nuts in Tehran, Iran. © Blondinrikard Fröberg

Dinner

No Persian get-together is complete without a delicious meal. Arrive hungry and try everything. Your host will have more than enough, so do not be shy! 

That said, you’ll want to know the following Farsi phrases before digging in.

Lotfan – Please

Your host will insist you eat and drink everything. A good host has to use taarof and make sure you’re comfortable. Say “Merci” when they offer you something and “Lotfan” if you request anything.

Dastet dard nakon – Thank you

This Persian saying literally means, “Don’t hurt your hand,” but serves as a polite thank you. Be sure to say this when someone hands your tea, fruit, food, or anything thing else. We recommend using Farsi phrases like this to show a higher level of gratitude.

Een ghazaa khailee khoshmaze ast — This food is very delicious.

You are sure to love Persian food. From the saffron rice to the various kabobs, your tastes buds will be in heaven. Share your appreciation with your host. Saying this Farsi phrase at the dinner table will surely impress everyone.  

Leaving the party

Persian goodbyes can be quite lengthy. You will say thank you a few times, shake hands with the remaining guests, and get walked to the door by your host.

Merci az davat-e-taan – Thank you for your invitation

Say this when preparing to leave but before saying goodbye. It shows your appreciation and signals to the host that you are leaving.

Khoda hafez – Formal goodbye

This means, “May God be your guardian,” but Persians use it a formal goodbye. Say this Farsi phrase to the different guests as you make your exit.

Beh zoodi mibinamet – I will see you soon

Hopefully you made new friends during the mehmooni. Get their contact info and tell them you’ll get together soon. You’re going to want friends who can continue practicing Farsi phrases with you!

Are you ready for your Persian gathering?

If you attend a traditional Iranian mehmooni, then you are in for a treat. Your hosts may expect you to dance, say some Persian phrases, drink many glasses of tea, and more!

Here is a somewhat exaggerated take on a typical Persian party.

Do you want to learn more Farsi phrases?

Take your Persian abilities to the next level by finding out How to Learn Farsi. Don’t settle for simple Farsi phrases and sayings. Use our helpful guides to find excellent ways to learn Farsi no matter your skill level.

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