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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


May 26, 2000


Before I go into the pros and cons of EuroFarsi, I would like to mention that I had given this topic some thought in the past and also done some research on the matter ["Eenjoori beneveeseem?"]. I would also like to point out that I was born in London, I am fluent in Persian/Farsi but I can read and write to a very basic level and this I learnt mostly at home as a child.

Recently I visited Iran after four years. On my return to the UK, I kept in touch with my cousins through email. My cousins can read/write and speak basic English from what they learn at their private lessons although it would be difficult and time consuming for them to write in English everytime. We adopted our own method of writing to each other which we call 'Pinglish'! (Persian English). I say 'our own method' because everyone spells words in different ways (e.g. Sima, Seema) and there is no official way of representing sounds such as the 'kh' sound, with the added confusion of writing in Farsi 'ketabi' or not (e.g. khooneh, khaneh). This would probably call for a dictionary in EuroFarsi.

After reading your comments, I have found all of your views on this topic most interesting. There are points that some of you have made that I agree with and others that I don't. However I also felt that as the discussion continued, the main theme of the topic was being side-lined by arguments about religion and Persian/Arab issues.

We cannot change and should not change what has evolved through years and years of history. We cannot adopt IPA for several reasons. The main one is that it would be difficult to begin re-educating the entire population of Iran, then again if Turkey did it, we surely can too, anyway most children now learn English at school.

Someone made the point that altering our alphabet would mean we would have to re-write historical books such as Shahnameh. My suggestion is that we do not take radical steps to re-address the nation with a new alphabet, but to standardise a secondary sub-language (i.e. EuroFarsi) -- the key word being standardise. In this way we can keep our heritage but at the same time expand the opportunities for people like me. 'By doing so, our children, and subsequently their children would be able to communicate with one another in Persian, and thus be able to uphold and promote our beautiful language.' (Khashayar Behbahani).

Those living abroad or born abroad will be able to communicate with other persians there and in Iran. Recently I had difficulty applying for an Iranian passport as the Iranian Embassy in London required me to fill out the application forms in Farsi. If we adopt this phonetic alphabet, then people like me will no longer have these problems.

I would love to read poems by Hafez or Ferdowsi, but unless we adopt this secondary form of language, I probably will never be able to fully appreciate the beauty of it. Also this phonetic style would prevent confusions that arise out of the Arabic influence on our written script i.e. the number of the letter Z's that we have in our vocabulary.

I would love to hear your views on my suggestion.

Sima Elli


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