Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak! Enjoy this short description of the celebration that begins at sundown tonight!

Persian Word a Day

Ramadan ends later this week, and as it ends it is followed by the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, عيد الفِطر (ʿīd-i fiṭr, Eid-e Fetr). I talked a little about the celebration of Eid-e Fetr over at my Arabic blog. As a holiday that follows a month of fasting, it’s not surprising to note that it revolves around food, both eating it and giving it to the less fortunate as charity. Spending time with family is also a big part of the holiday.

Appropriate greetings for the festival are the same as in Arabic, عيد مُبارَك (ʿīd mubārak, Eid Mubarak), “Blessed Festival (Eid)” and عيد سَعيد (ʿīd saʿīd, Eid Saeed), “Happy Festival.”

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Please and thank you (and sorry), part I: Thank you and you’re welcome

Now here’s a topic that’s so basic, and useful, that I can’t believe I haven’t done it yet.

The informal Persian “thanks” should be very familiar to most of you: مرسی (marsī), or merci, en français. If you know Arabic, then the more formal-sounding “thank you” will also be familiar: مُتَشَکِّرَم (mutashakkiram), which takes the Arabic word متشکر, or “grateful/thankful,” and adds the short Persian ending for “I am,” so the whole thing is “I am grateful.” بِسیار مُتَشَکِّرَم (bisiyār mutashakkiram) means “thank you very much.” You may also say تَشَکُّر (tashakkur), another Arabic import that also means “thank you.” A more emphatic “thank you,” more “I’m really grateful,” or “I’m much obliged,” is خَیلی مَمنون (khaylī mamnūn), from yet another Arabic import (ممنون) that means “gratitude” or “obligation.”

“You’re welcome” is usually either خوش آمَدید (khūsh āmadīd, “khosh aamadeed”), which literally means “come well,” or خواهِش می کُنَم (khwāhish mī kunam, “khaa-hesh mee-konam”; that و is archaic in modern Persian and not pronounced, although it is pronounced in some other Iranian languages like Dari), which in a technical sense means “I beg” or “I request,” but has an idiomatic meaning here.