Persian: to believe

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by maleconnevskiprospekt, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. maleconnevskiprospekt Member

    Hi out there,

    what is the best translation for to believe? Since I have 2 dictionnaries with 2 different versions:
    etteqat dasjtan or ettemat dasjtan?

    thanks, Jan

    * I am currently working on a free on,line course Dutch-Persian. I use my other lessonbooks, Spanish and Russian to collect all the words.
  2. colognial Senior Member

    Hello, maleconnevskiprospekt!

    Eteghaad daashtan is certainly correct here. Etemaad daashtan basically means 'to have confidence (in)', also 'to trust'.

    However, on occasion you may find that a speaker or writer will use etemaad daashtan in the sense of 'to have a firm conviction'.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    There is also a “genuine Persian” verb girawīdan, but I think it is not much used in modern Persian.
  4. Jervoltage Senior Member

    It is still in common usage, especially in the sense of 'to convert'.
  5. OmidTavana Member

    Well, I think "Bavar dasjtan" (باور داشتن) is a better translation that fits between "etteqat dasjtan" and "ettemat dasjtan". Because in english you use "to believe" in two different meanings for example
    1- I believe in God --> Be khoda etteqat/bavar daram
    2- I believe you (when you mean I think you are telling the truth) --> Be to ettemat/bavar daram
  6. colognial Senior Member

    OmidTavana, I don't think 'baavar daashtan' means 'to believe'. Rather, it is equivalent to 'to believe in'. In Persian, we do not say, for 'I believe you', 'be to baavar daaram', not unless we are actually speaking bad Persian, which, I admit, happens quite often.

    Furthermore, referring to your example quoted above, 'be to etemaad daaram' simply means 'I trust you'. It does not mean 'I believe you'. Of course, usually when you believe the words of an individual, you do so because you trust them to speak truthfully. However, strictly speaking, these are two different statements, whether said in Persian or spoken in English.
  7. Jervoltage Senior Member

    I beg to differ. باور داشتن means 'to think of sth as true' which, I think, is better covered by the word 'to believe', e.g. Don't believe a word of it = یک کلمش رو هم باور نکن.
  8. colognial Senior Member

    I know, Jervoltage. You are right. Except, taken in the context (of the example given), the verb 'baavar daashtan' is no longer quite covering the sense of the English verb. When English speakers say "I believe you", it does not translate into the Persian sentence "be to baavar daaram". Neither, for that matter, does it translate into "be to etemaad daaram".

    In Persian the same English sentence would find its equivalent in "حرف تو را باور می کنم" = "Harf e to raa baavar mikonam".
  9. OmidTavana Member

    @colognial: If you search for "believe" in google translate you get this:

    And these are the first seven example (out of ten) of Webster for "believe"

    • The scientists believed the reports. --> دانشمندان گزارش را باور کردند.
    • Many people seem to believe that theory, but I find it hard tobelieve. خیلی از مردم به نظر این داستان را باور کرده‌اند، اما به نظر من باورش سخت است.
    • You shouldn't believe everything you read. --> نباید هر چه را می‌شنوی باور کنی
    • He says he'll help us, but I don't believe what he says. --> گفت که به ما کمک می‌کند، ولی من گفته‌هایش را باور نمی‌کنم
    • They were tricked into believing that he was a doctor. --> گولشان زد تا باور کنند او یک دکتر است.
    • He says he'll help us, but I don't believe him. --> گفت که به ما کمک می‌کند، ولی باورش نمی‌کنم
    • She went to church because her family expected it, but she didn't really believe. --> به کلیسا رفت چون خانواده‌اش چنین انتظاری داشتند، اما به آن باور (اعتقاد) نداشت
  10. Jervoltage Senior Member

    I can see what you mean, but I think that even the word 'believe' as in "I believe you" can be well rendered as باور داشتن. Have a look at these couplets I found in the entry for باور داشتن in Dehkhoda:

    گرگ مردمخوار گشتست این جهان
    بنگر اینک گر نداری باورم

    بی توام شادیی نخواهد بود
    ای شگفتی که داردم باور

  11. colognial Senior Member

    Thank you for the examples! They do support the point I'm trying to make. The first five are examples of sentences where the subject always believes something: the report, the story, everything one hears, her words, his being a doctor. Surely this demonstrates that you don't believe people, not in Persian; what you do or don't believe, are always things, including statements. The next sentence in the list of your examples, 'goft ke be maa komak mikonad, vali baavarash nemikonam', to me, anyway, sounds like someone is trying to speak or write in a literary style and not succeeding too well; or, that the speaker/writer just chooses to omit the object of the sentence, i.e. the necessary reference to the promise made, thinking this must be correct. Actually, I'm not saying it's incorrect; it's just bad Persian. As for the last example, this is definitely not an instance of the use of the word 'baavar' in the sense we've been debating. This is simply baavar meaning 'conviction'.
  12. colognial Senior Member

    It can, but only in poetry or highly stylized prose. If I were to re-phrase the first lines, I'd most likely come up with something like: In jahaan be mojoodi gooee zendeh badal shodeh ast, mojoodi ke ensaan haa raa mibal-ad / agar harfe maraa baavar nadaari, pas negaah kon taa bebeeni.
  13. OmidTavana Member

    Ok, for the first five examples of Webster, we have to use باور کردن for "to believe". No other word can replace it. For the sixth example, the "believe" is actually means "think" or opinion (as in the third meaning of intransitive of believe in Webster) which is better to be translated as گمان کردن
    He says he'll help us, but I don't believe him --> گفت به ما کمک می‌کند ولی گمان نمی‌کنم = گفت کمکمون می‌کنه ولی گمون نکنم =گفت کمکون می‌کنه ولی فکر نمی‌کنم
    And the last example, even the english sentence is not complete. It should be like:
    She went to church because her family expected it, but she didn't really believe (in god/religion/church)
    and it can be translated as
    به کلیسا رفت چون خانواده‌اش چنین انتظاری داشتند، اما به خدا\مذهب\کلیسا باور (اعتقاد) نداشت
  14. colognial Senior Member

    We're actually in perfect accord here.
  15. Jervoltage Senior Member

    The last example sentence is complete as is. The verb 'believe' in this sense is intransitive. It means "to be a believer, to have religious faith".

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