Languages (other than Persian and English)

After covering how to say “I don’t speak Persian” and “Do you speak English?” it occurred to me that some people might prefer it if they could encounter someone who spoke something other than English. What can I say? I’m an American; it takes me a while to remember that not everybody is a native English speaker. So here’s a list of languages and their Persian translations. Language names in Persian are (with a few exceptions) constructed grammatically as adjectives, because they are all technically meant to modify the noun زَبان (zabān), or “language,” even though that word is generally omitted (at least in speech). This is no different from how we treat languages in English, if you think about it.

  • French = فرانسه (frānsah, “fraan-seh”) or فرانسَوی (frānsavī)
  • German = آلمانی (ālmānī)
  • Spanish = اسپانیائی (ispānyāʾī, “es-baan-yaa-ee”)
  • Portuguese = پُرتُغالی (purtughālī, “por-to-qaal-ee”)
  • Italian = ایتانیائی (ītālyāʾī)
  • Russian = روسی (rūsī)
  • Chinese (Mandarin) = چینی (chīnī)
  • Japanese = ژاپُنی (zhāpunī)
  • Hindi = هِندی (hindī)
  • Urdu = اُردو (urdū)
  • Hebrew = عبری (ʿibrī)
  • Arabic = عَرَبی (ʿarabī)
  • Turkish = تُرکی (turkī)

See the same list in Turkish here and Arabic here. I can throw more languages up in comments if anybody needs them.


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