Persian: تو آدم نیستی

ali likes the stars

Senior Member
German, Persian
Hi guys,

an Iranian Christian has received a lot of hate on his Twitter account from pro-government and very islamic (islamist?) people. I was asked to translate those tweets into German so that they can be used to strenghten is asylum bid in Germany.

One thing I noted was how often he was accused of not being a human being or آدم.
There have been similar topics here:
But I am wondering, what exactly is meant by "becoming a human being". Sure, when used to address children it means "to behave". But I wonder if there is more to it and how this expression came to be.

For example, one of the tweets reads:
دهنت و ببند و بشین بی صدا مثل بچه آدم زندگیت و بکن

It makes me wonder, what a "human being" is in such context. Doesn't it rather mean a "normal person", where "normal" is what the accuser perceives as normal from their cultural and societal standpoint?
So, when a person says "when do you want to become a human being?" or "you won't become a human being" or "act like a human being" etc, what they really mean is "don't act out" in the sense of "don't behave differently than what is expected from you by society and it's standards and values, represented by me and what I see fit". It's more than just "behave". It implies a social dominance and the right to look down on others. Stripping them of their rights is one thing, but stripping them of their humanity has far more implications.

So basically, "whoever is not with us is not even considered a human being and therefore has no rights to be heard or respected, or in fact to live".

It seems a little exagerated, but I think it does make a big difference when seen in the context of such hate massages and what they might imply. Even when said to children, it implies so much dominance and plants a desperate need for acceptance into the childrens minds: You are nothing until I say so."

Too much?
  • دهنت و ببند و بشین بی صدا مثل بچه آدم زندگیت و بکن
    "shut your mouth and sit quietly like a [born of] human (descent person), and live your life"

    This is not rude or insulting and as we don't know what was said to provoke it I can not see anything overly worrying about it.

    آدم or بچه آدم is used in friendly banter between friends, members of family etc and it means being/acting like an 'idiot', being 'silly' or 'stupid' and the latter is the strongest insult.

    In an argument between two strangers it becomes more insulting but no more insulting that the above meanings.

    In itself, it doesn't imply "you are not like us/one of us" etc.

    You'll never be right/descent/normal
    You are incorrigible

    Teachers at school, parents, peers say these terms to their student/children/peers.
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    This is not rude or insulting and as we don't know what was said to provoke it I can not see anything overly worrying about it.
    He was posting Christian stuff like quotes from Jesus and Christan saints. I don't much care about that part, but it was in no way offensive or provocative in the sense that he would attack muslims or their belief. He was just posting stuff about his belief and was threatened to be murdered ("we will eventually get you and put head under water", "killing you is necessary" etc) and to be crushed by Imam Mahdi etc.
    Anyway, I was asking about the point being a human or not. I actually think it's quite rude to imply that someone is not a human being because they don't behave in a certain way, even if it has become a commonly used phrase an nobody seems to think too much about it or mean anything bad by it. Telling your kid that تو آدم بشو نیستی implies that they aren't humans to begin with.

    At least, that's how I interpret it. But as with many curses and insults, the Persian language can be very harsh.