Hi guys,
It's been quite a time since I decided to write something about Persian. First, I was supposed to begin a thread with a list of the English words with the Persian origins. I'll start that soon, and my Iranian friends here can add thw words they know to the list. And in this thread, I'd like to attract your attention to the proverbs that bear similar meanings with the use of similar words in Persian and English. Please feel free to add your proverbs. Even if you are not a Persian speaker, you can contribute to this thread by the proverbs that share the same similarities with any of these languages in question. You can also discuss the origin of these proverbs. Thanks.

Fist of all, I'd like to tell you a little bit about the Persian language itself, in case you are not so familiar with it.
Persian belongs to the Indo-Iranian category of the Indo-Euroupean languages family. (That's why you still can trace some similar words among these languages.) It is the official language of Iran, Afganistan and Tajikestan. The name of the dialect spoken in Iran is Farsi, and so the Persian name of "Persian" is! I mean that Persian is the English name of Farsi. So, in professional texts, Farsi refers to the dialect. I brought this up and put emphasis on it just because many refer to Farsi as the name of the language in English, even many Iranians.
You can find the trace of the languages in the neighbouring countries, including Russian, Turkish, Arabic, and may be a couple more. The borrowing from those languages is on the word level, and very few of them have remained in the language, except for Arabic that was the official language for som time after Arabs conquered Iran. However, some Iranians struggled for some time to keep alive their own language. If it wasn't for those efforts, we would speak another dialect of Arabic like the so-called Arab countries in the northern part of Africa and Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq. However, Iranians adopted the Arabic writing system along with thousand Arabic words, and many of them are a part of Persian now, since their meanings have changed from their origin. There wasn't any important impacts till the 1950's-1960's when there was a tendency to educate in France. The graduates who came back, brought back the French words used in many fields including science and art. Later on, people started to go to the British speaking countries- and the role of English started to grow as a medium language- and English words and phrases were borrowed.
I brought up this brief history just for the sake of the origins and relations discussions.
1 2 3 4 5
And now, back to the main topic of the thread. I do not know the real reason behind these similarities. Borrowing, of course, plays an important role. However, I think that there are another two worth mentioning. One is that they are related, have the same origin, and the people used to live in the same place, so they had lots of things in common, the same way of hunting, housing,..., traditions and customs, the same gods they used to worship; some of them still may be found in the form of proverbs and expressions. And the other one is that we are all human beings, with the same way of thinking and we face the same restrictions on how we think, communicate, live,...
You can introduce your own reason why this happens in any language, and you can share your own hypothesis about the proverbs and expressions you see in this thread with us. Thanks for your patience, please continue reading. Emotion: geeked
1. Better late than never.
2. Bad news travel fast.
3. My heart stood still.
4. To break one's heart.
5. It gets into one ear and out of the other.
Sorry guys, it's too late and I want to go to bed. I'll continue writing tomorrow. Your participation is really appreciated.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
6. Leading a dog's life.
(In Persian we say "(to have) a dog's life" , "to live/run like a dog", and we have an expression just to use in this situation that can be translated as "dog-run" that means to run like a dog from one place/work to another to be able to bring the bread. Oh my God, this was another similar expression!
7. To bring the bread.
(We usually refer to the male members of the family, particularly husbands or fathers, as "bread bringers"!)
Hi LL,

7. In BrE we would say
"To be the bread winner" i.e. the person who brings money into the house

Another similar expression is

Bring home the bacon.

I would say these are more idioms than proverbs, but the similarities are fascinating.
Nice and thanks for the comment. Yes, you're right, these are idioms, actually I didn't mean to stick to the proverbs or idioms. I wanted to bring up any groups of words acting as a whole to talk about the similarities. I had to choose another subject for the thread.
Sorry for that.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Since we are on food idioms, how about looking at all the food idioms / proverbs we can think of? Or we could go for animal idioms, whatever.

Here's one "What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" - although I suppose that's more of a proverb (?)

A wolf in sheep's clothing [bah]
Hi again,
Related to both food and animals, though the animal is different, but here you are:
To eat like a horse: to eat like a cow in Persian!
Which one eats more? I have no idea! Emotion: rolleyes
We also use : a golf in sheep's clothing", but I don't know if it's just a translation from English. I have to ask my husband, he is more familiar with me in this area of the language.
Sorry, more familiar than me! Typo!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more