Have you came across a situation that made you laugh, however, your American friends did not have any clue what the hell you were laughing about? Have you heard the story of an Iranian couple, who were relatively new to this country, and invited a few of their American friends to their house? The American friends were curious why this family had no children. So, they asked the couple inquiringly why they didn’t have any children after so many years of marriage. The poor husband replied reluctantly, as he was pointing to his wife, do you know “her oven is blind” meaning that she was, in fact, barren. Likewise, an Iranian going to a grocery store and asked if they sell “head of lion” (sar shir). Or, the story of an old lady who was coming to the US to see his son, they confiscated a bottle of “abghooreh” she had in her carryon bag at the airport, when they asked her to explain what was in the bottle, she said it was the “water of grape that is not arrived yet”
You probably have made funny translational mistakes, especially when you were relatively new to this country, simply because your English was as poor as the President Bush’s current approval rating. As a new student who came to this country in early 70s, I remember showing up for a party carrying a ladder with me because I was told that the food was on the house! When I was called for a job interview for the first time, I anxiously showed up at the store, went to the service desk and told the attending lady; I have a date (appointment) with your manager. You should see the sarcastic look on her face laughing at my expense. My second job interview wasn’t any less funny. After being interviewed by Mr. human- resource manager for about twenty minutes, I was rejected outright. As I was leaving his office, he told me amusingly, by the way Mr. Varjavand, I should tell you that my name is Mr. Moran. He was understandably upset because during the interview I kept calling him Mr. Moron, Mr. Moron.
Translational mishaps are like a two way streets. When I was in Iran not too long ago, I saw a doctor who was specialized in “children and other diseases”. While riding a public transportation bus, I was instructed that “in case of emergency, do not picnic (panic) break your widow (window). Similarly, as I was leaving a mosque, I was informed that if I cannot find my “shows” (shoes) please see the show keeper (shoe keeper).
Any way, what follows is a number of some Farsi expressions that are not necessarily funny unless they are translated into English. You may have heard some of them before. This list, which is by no means exhaustive, is your punishment for warding off the good writers from this site. To tell you the truth, I was so bored during the last spring break and tired of persistent watching of the weather channel. Staying idle is so unbearable for energetic individuals like me. I thought doing this may not be that tragic, but it is less tragic that going to Florida and jumping into empty pool. That is what a couple of my drunken students did last year. Thanks to over consumption of Tequila. I hope you have fun reading them. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I am not that desperate or bored, just hyperactive! They are not in any particular order;
Please excuse the poor selection of words in some cases. Let me know if you can help with choice of more proper words.
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