For our last series of “thank yous”,we’re highlighting 5 culturally meaningful ways to express gratitude in Persian!
1. Sepās-gozāram (سپاسگزارم)
Mostly for formal settings, and with roots dating back to ancient Persia, the term “Sepās-gozāram” (سپاسگزارم), meaning “I am grateful” can also be used in a more casual way with, “Sepās” (سپاس).
Want to impress? Feel free to add “kheyli” (very) before “sepās-gozāram” to emphasize your gratitude.
2. Mersi (مرسی) or Merci
Looking for a more colloquial term? Go for the French loan word, “Merci” – but roll the r to pronounce as “mer-see”. It leans more on the informal side but remains common across Farsi-speaking communities. In return, expect to hear “khahesh mikonam” (you’re welcome).
3. Daste shomā dard nakone (دست شما درد نکند )
This phrase, which literally means “may your hand not hurt”, is frequently used when someone gives you a gift* or even in situations related to food or physical assistance.
“Shoma” is a formal pronoun for “you”, similar to the French “vous”. Make this phrase informal with this slight tweak: “Dastet dard nakone”.
*Try this out if you happen to give/receive our Persian Gift of Conversation to/from a loved one this holiday season 😉
4. Kheili lotf dārid (خیلی لطف دارید)
Remember that “kheyli” = very? This phrase literally translates to “You have much kindness” or “That’s very kind of you”. This can be used when receiving compliments, gifts, or even declining favors thoughtfully and with kindness.
5. Ghorbāne shomā (قربان شما )
Literally meaning “your sacrifice”, this is an example of a Persian taarof, or an Iranian sign of etiquette and politeness. When someone compliments you, instead of saying “thank you” to accept the compliment (culturally, it is more common to display modesty and deny the compliment), you would reply “ghorbāne shomā” simply displaying humility. The literal meaning is that you would sacrifice yourself for the person… as a sign of affection that is 😉
P.S. For a more informal use, ditch the formal “shoma” and use “Ghorboone to” or “Ghorboonet”.
Similar to Arabic, these translations can come across as quite dramatic but also reflect the beauty of the Persian language (and its poetry)!
Lastly, remember “mamnoun” or “ممنون” from our Arabic blog? Persians use it too! If you’re hooked on the links between Arabic and Persian, check this out: both of the Persian words “تشکر” (tashakkur) and “متشکرم” (motashakkeram) come from the Arabic root “sh-k-r”, meaning “to thank” – exactly like shukran!
Now that you’re basically an expert, put your skills into action!
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