Persian: gender - jen-deh (false friends)


Senior Member
English (British)
First of all, apologies that I'm unable to write the Arabic script. Anyway, years ago, in a former life, I taught English as a foreign language. In the 1960s, Iranian students were often in the majority in language schools in GB. I was interested in foreign languages and had a bit of a go at Farsi. I think I'm right in recalling that nouns in Farsi, unlike those in French and German, do not have grammatical gender. Trying to show off, I said to a class that consisted mainly of Iranian students, "I think that in Farsi, you don't have gender. I mean masculine and feminine gender." There was an embarrassed silence followed by incredulous looks and some giggling. This was a long time ago but I believe that the Farsi word for 'prostitute' is something like 'jen-deh'. If I’m correct, I guess that this false friend must have caused considerable embarrassment over the years.

  • mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Hi, mikeo38. The word does indeed exist and it means 'a prostitute'. It is a deragatory term. A better word to use -- better in the sense that it has no particular overtones -- would be "roospi", with the accent on the last syllable.