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lesson

Playfulness and Innuendo

A slice of Iranian humour

I love Iranian humour. It is cheeky and wonderfully playful. Though packed with cultural references and innuendoes there is no hope of ‘getting it’ without a patient and loving teacher to clue you in…


With the onslaught of Covid – 19, Iran much like the much of world, has produced some great comedic material. An attempt at lifting spirits, as well as making light some of our more bizarre behaviours in these past months…


Learning about another culture’s humour has to be one of the most rewarding ways to learn what makes other people tick. To understand more about how someone else copes and reacts to the environment around them. Humour is ingrained in us, a reaction to our upbringing, society, history, values…


We don’t always ‘get’ another’s humour (even within our own social groups). Taking time to understand it can be an interesting and informative experience.


Sharing one’s sense of humour is a bonding experience. It is also an oddly vulnerable position to be in, wondering if the person before you will understand your meaning. More so… will they actually laugh? Across cross-cultural barriers even appreciating this can lead to intimacy or sense of shared humanity that may not have been there before…


So for the next couple of lessons, let’s take a look at a couple of the most recent videos sent my way… if we have to be stuck within four walls, we may as well appreciate comedic value and cleverness in all the forms available to us…

More humorous videos – complete with translations and explanations – from all countries and all languages would be super welcome!
Stay Safe!

Year of the mouse

I’ll put the Farsi transcription below the video for you to follow along, with the translation and explanation following..

با سلام و درود و خداقوت به بازماندگان 98، ورود شما را به مرحله 99 با دو جون اضافه.. تبریک میگوییم با ورود به سال موش آثرا آن نیز در تمام جهان هویدا شده .

.ای مرگ هویدا… عوضش کن


علم گشته

بدتر شد که…

در تمام جهان جهانگیری شده …

آفرین

از این رو مردم مانند موش به دنبال سوراخن که برن توش و هرکسی را دیده فرار کرده و هرچه را احتیاج داشته انبار نموده و همه در حال جویدنیم.
انتظار می رود با مصرف بیش از حد گرمیجات… مانند این حیوان فعال… در این هوای عالی… همین باد بهاری… یک معجون پر پسته و آجیل و خلالی…
با این باده نابی که واسه سلامتی به دستات میمالی. تو قرنطینه، تایمم که خالی! با یک دلبر ناز و مامانی! رو مبل، فرش و قالی!… توی دروازه!
چه میکنه مرد ایرانی. به به
چه آب اناری!!!


با سلام و درود و خداقوت به بازماندگان 98، ورود شما را به مرحله 99 با دو جون اضافه.. تبریک میگوییم

Greetings and Godspeed to the Survivors of 98! We congratulate your entry to level 99 with 2 lives extra

با ورود به سال موش آثار آن نیز در تمام جهان هویدا شده 

With the entry to the Year of the Mouse, its effects, too, can be seen throughout the entire world…

ای مرگ هویدا – آخرین رئیس جمهور دوره شاه

Oh the death of Hoveyda!

(The last prime minister in the time of the Shah – 65 – 77) 

 عوضش کن!

Change it!

(As in – don’t refer to him!

علم گشته… رئیس دربار زمان شاه

Alam has gone

Alam was another Prime Minister (1962 – 64) in the time of the Shah 

 بدتر شد که..

 It got worse..:/ !

( presumably Alam is even less liked than Hoveyda..)

– در تمام جهان جهانگیری (معاون اول رئیس جمهور فعلی) شده

In the entire world, it has been globalised!! (The effects are seen globally) 

Jahangiri is a reference to the Vice President of Rouhani’s Government

– آفرین

That’s it!

(At last – Not a Minister to the Shah!) These are all word plays – 3 Ministers whose names in this context all carry roughly the same meaning – That there is something that is seen or known worldwide.. 

– از این رو مردم مانند موش به دنبال سوراخن که برن توش و هرکسی را دیده فرار کرده و هرچه را احتیاج داشته انبار نموده و همه در حال جویدنیم

From this, People, like the Mouse, are looking around for a hole to go into.  Seeing anyone, it flees and anything it needs, it stores and all whilst we are chewing  

انتظار می رود با مصرف بیش از حد گرمیجات… مانند این حیوان فعال… در این هوای عالی… همین باد بهاری… 

It is expected with consuming too many warm foods*…much like this active animal (the mouse)…in this amazing air, just like the spring breeze….

* This refers to the Iranian food medicine on which foods are categorised as being ‘warm’ or ‘cold’. It is believed that eating ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ foods can affect ailments in the body – in regards to Covid – 19, the belief is that by eating ‘warm’ foods the body will be more able to fight off the virus.

یک معجون پر پسته و آجیل و خلالی…با این باده نابی که واسه سلامتی به دستات میمالی.

one ma’ajoon (1) full of pistachio, nuts and slices(of what I am not sure), with this great wine (2) the one which  for health you wipe on your hands (3)

(1) Ma’joom is a mixed smoothie type drink. According to one of my male friends this a good drink for picking backing up your energy after being particularly …active 😝)

(2) also referred to in Ehaam’s song – click here for the video with english and arabic subtitles

(3) this is another small hint to alcohol – and likely a poke at the recent allowance of alcohol for disinfectant reasons – though it it seemed some people had other ideas on how to use it…)

 تو قرنطینه، تایمم که خالی! با یک دلبر ناز و مامانی! رو مبل، فرش و قالی!…

In quarantine, you have nothing to do – lit: your time is empty! With a beautiful, lovely (1) heartstealer (lit: heart carrier), on the sofa, the rug..the carpet..

(1) insert flattering adjective as I cannot exactly translate naaz or maamaani other than it means she is pretty hot stuff!)

– توی دروازه!

…Score! 😏

چه میکنه مرد ایرانی. به به

Good going man!

چه آب اناری

What good Pomegranate juice –

or well let’s assume what we like about all of that last bit…  !!!


Keep your eyes peeled for the next video!! Or subscribe below to stay up to date!

In the meantime, Keep Safe 🙏🙏

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