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Thread: Persian-Urdu-Hindi: dost/duust vs yaar

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    Persian-Urdu-Hindi: dost/duust vs yaar

    In Urdu, both "dost"[duust] and "yaar" basically mean a "friend", though "yaar" does have connotations of a "lover" and sometimes possibly with negative connotations when one talks about a female having a "yaar". Of coure, in Urdu poetry "yaar" is quite common. Are the meanings of these two words quite distinct in Persian or are they somewhat blurred and merge into one another?

    A long while back, I heard a popular Persian song, which I think began with these lines.

    ai aasemuun ai aasemuun naqsh-i-zamiin e
    xudam angustar-o, angushtar-o-yaaram nagiin e

    Here, "yaar" is clearly meant to be the "singer's" lover/beloved.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    The distinctions between دوست and یار in Persian are quite messy and blurred. Both in literature as well as in the vernacular, either one can mean "friend" "companion" "lover" or "comrade" depending on the context.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by eskandar View Post
    The distinctions between دوست and یار in Persian are quite messy and blurred. Both in literature as well as in the vernacular, either one can mean "friend" "companion" "lover" or "comrade" depending on the context.
    Same can be said to a large extent for Urdu too and certainly in our own Persian tradition (Indo-Pak faarsii) where often the two can be interchanged but some places perhaps not. For example in these verses trying to interchange either would not be advisable:

    بہ مہرش از آن راہ جنبیدہ مہر
    كزین رو زنش دوست بنمودہ چہر
    مرزا غالب

    میر اگر این است جوش ِ گریہ در ہجران ِ یار
    ابر خواہد برد آب از دیدہ گریان ِ ما
    میر تقی میر
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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Would "yaar" be connected to the Persian verb "yaarastan"?

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Moderators: Please extend the title to Urdu and Hindi, so that a new thread on "yaar" is not made necessary.

    In a recent thread, I quoted an Urdu couplet from the poet "DaaGh". I would like to discuss the meaning "yaaroN" in this particular couplet as well as the wider meaning of "yaar" in Urdu and Hindi.

    So..

    1) What meaning do you take from "yaaroN"?

    2) What meanings do you attach to the word "yaar"?

    nahiiN khel ai daaGh yaaroN se kah do
    kih aatii hai Urdu zabaaN aate aate
    Last edited by Qureshpor; 8th March 2013 at 4:25 PM. Reason: ai added to couplet

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    As mentioned by others many times 'yaar' and 'dust' can be interchangable and their meanings overlap in many areas, nevertheless obviously there are also differences in the way they are used and the impression they have on at least me as a persian speaker.

    'dust' is the general term for 'friend' and it is the word that's mostly used when talking about your friends, even girlfriend/boyfriend.(دوست پسر ،دوست دختر)

    Dusti = Friendship
    Yaari = friendship ,assistance, help, backing , support

    So here is the important difference between the two words, 'yaar' carries a sense of a supporter and helper, and as a friend someone who has been with you during tough times . So where both are used to mean 'friend' , 'yaar' is much more cordial and suggestive of a deep and long friendship. And then we have expressions like :

    بخت با او یار بود = He had luck on his side
    And here obviously 'yaar' cannot be substituted with 'dust'. In sports, yaar means a teammate, because obviously teammates work together and help each other to score.

    I think in literature 'dust' has a more platonic meaning and 'yaar' is more often used to mean a sweetheart or a lover. At least now that I try to remember Hafiz poems I think many times he has used 'dust' opposite of 'dushman' . And where his most delicate romantic sentiments are involved he more often has used the word 'yaar' .

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post

    nahiiN khel daaGh yaaroN se kah do
    kih aatii hai Urdu zabaaN aate aate
    Typo ...

    nahiiN khel ai daaGh yaaroN se kah do
    kih aatii hai Urdu zabaaN aate aate

    Edit: While in poetry the word yaar could mean more than friend (beloved, ...), in everyday spoken Urdu, yaar almost always means a close friend (buddy?). With that yaaroN would equate to "buddies" in English.
    Last edited by UrduMedium; 8th March 2013 at 4:53 PM.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    ^ Thank you for the correction.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by UrduMedium View Post
    Typo ...

    nahiiN khel ai daaGh yaaroN se kah do
    kih aatii hai Urdu zabaaN aate aate

    Edit: While in poetry the word yaar could mean more than friend (beloved, ...), in everyday spoken Urdu, yaar almost always means a close friend (buddy?). With that yaaroN would equate to "buddies" in English.
    Thank you for this clarification. I have often wondered why they were using yaar(a) this way in songs.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by UrduMedium View Post

    Edit: While in poetry the word yaar could mean more than friend (beloved, ...), in everyday spoken Urdu, yaar almost always means a close friend (buddy?). With that yaaroN would equate to "buddies" in English.
    Yes, it is very common in this sense. Buddy or pal is a good translation. It can also be equivalent to the American slang "dude".

    I think its original meaning in Persian was probably sweetheart, lover, or close friend, as shown in Persian literature and by its Skt. cognate jaara-, which means lover, paramour, or confidential friend. Years ago I had originally thought yaar, in the sense of lover, was probably connected to pyaar.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    ^^ Somehow "buddies" or "dudes" does n't quite match the register of the language used in the Ghazal from which this couplet has been quoted! Could "yaaroN" be simply translated as "friends" or is there something more to it?

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    Re: Persian-Urdu-Hindi: dost/duust vs yaar

    ^Companions, colleagues, other poets... those pretending to be friends... perhaps more context of this shi3r would be helpful in ascertaining the connotations.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    ^^ Somehow "buddies" or "dudes" does n't quite match the register of the language used in the Ghazal from which this couplet has been quoted! Could "yaaroN" be simply translated as "friends" or is there something more to it?
    QP SaaHib, I think here it means just "friends / colleagues/ peers".
    Utlub al-‘ilm min al-mahd ilal-laHd Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave (Ali ibn Abi Talib)

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    ^^ Somehow "buddies" or "dudes" does n't quite match the register of the language used in the Ghazal from which this couplet has been quoted! Could "yaaroN" be simply translated as "friends" or is there something more to it?
    I meant buddy or dude in the context UM described - everyday spoken Urdu. In the Ghazal it probably means "friends" or "companions" as marrish and Faylasoof mentioned. "Lovers" or "sweethearts" would sound odd in this context.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by Faylasoof View Post
    QP SaaHib, I think here it means just "friends / colleagues/ peers".
    Thank you, Faylasoof SaaHib. A shi3r by Zauq also uses "yaaroN".

    nah hu'aa par nah hu'aa Miir Kaa andaaz nasiib
    Zauq yaaroN ne bahut zor ghazal meN maaraa

    Would you say this is being used in the same sense?

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    Thank you, Faylasoof SaaHib. A shi3r by Zauq also uses "yaaroN".

    nah hu'aa par nah hu'aa Miir Kaa andaaz nasiib
    Zauq yaaroN ne bahut zor ghazal meN maaraa

    Would you say this is being used in the same sense?
    QP SaaHib, it is clearly the same meaning of "friends / colleagues/ peers". One could even say that he means rivals here but uses yaaroN as a form of sarcasm!
    Utlub al-‘ilm min al-mahd ilal-laHd Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave (Ali ibn Abi Talib)

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by Faylasoof View Post
    QP SaaHib, it is clearly the same meaning of "friends / colleagues/ peers". One could even say that he means rivals here but uses yaaroN as a form of sarcasm!
    This is exactly the meaning I had in my mind, Faylasoof SaaHib. "yaaroN" said sarcastically for "rivals", by both the poets. Zauq, obviously includes himself in this category of rivals/competitors.

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    Originally Posted by Faylasoof QP SaaHib, it is clearly the same meaning of "friends / colleagues/ peers". One could even say that he means rivals here but uses yaaroN as a form of sarcasm!
    This is exactly the meaning I had in my mind, Faylasoof SaaHib. "yaaroN" said sarcastically for "rivals", by both the poets. Zauq, obviously includes himself in this category of rivals/competitors.
    Yes, Zauq is definitely including himself in this! Incidentally, your "peers" can also be (in fact often enough are) your "rivals!
    Utlub al-‘ilm min al-mahd ilal-laHd Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave (Ali ibn Abi Talib)

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by Faylasoof View Post
    Yes, Zauq is definitely including himself in this! Incidentally, your "peers" can also be (in fact often enough are) your "rivals!
    We seem to have an agreement on this! I also suggested it: Companions, colleagues, other poets... those pretending to be friends...

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    Re: Persian: dost/duust vs yaar

    Quote Originally Posted by marrish View Post
    We seem to have an agreement on this! I also suggested it: Companions, colleagues, other poets... those pretending to be friends...
    You did indeed. And I think we have a consensus on the use of "yaaroN" by the two poets.

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