Persian: Marg bar مرگ بر

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Andreas_Jensen, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. Andreas_Jensen Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    As you may have guessed, this has reference to the infamous speech given once by Ahmadinejad and now used to fuel aggression against Iran. In danger of becoming overly political I need to know whether the translation: "death to israel" - in its meaning to most westerners, is a mistranslation or not. I have heard the phrase chanted on several occasions in demonstrations by Iranians against practically everything even abstract matters such as "dictatorship". So my suspicion is that it is a quite common phrase with shouldn't be interpreted as aggressively as "death to..." in English would. But obviously I need this confirmed.

    My questions are:

    1) What is the exact, literal translation of "Marg bar..."

    2) How commonly is it used in Farsi.

    3) Based on it's usage, could you suggest a translation that better mirror the actual meaning of the phrase (I've heard "down with...").

    Any elaboration on my three points will of course be highly welcomed.

    Best regards
    Andreas
     
  2. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    Down with

    مرگ بر is used for enemies that are fighting hard against us.

    Down with Israel
     
  3. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Well, I'm wondering if it is of any help but I can confirm the translation provided above, as per idiomatic usage. Thanks.
     
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I don't know if our Persian speaking friends might agree or not but I believe "marg bar x" is really the opposite of "zindah-baad". In Urdu, for this opposite meaning we use "murdah-baad".

    x zindah-baad = Long live x

    x murdah-baad = Down with x
     
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    As a Persian speaking friend, please let me answer positively to your supposition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  6. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    We use درود بر instead of زنده باد.
     
  7. darush Senior Member

    I know this is common in Afghanistan and Pakistan
     
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Does it occur at all in Iran? Have you seen any examples in Farsi literature?
     
  9. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    I have not heard مرده باد in Iranian daily life, but as far as I know, there are some examples in Farsi literature. For example:


    آن آتشین صلیب در آن خانهٔ مسیح.....بر خاک مرده باد مسیحا برافکند ﴿خاقاني﴾
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    و داد کشیدیم :
    ( زنده باد
    مرده باد )
    و در هیاهوی میدان ، برای سکه های کوچک آوازه خوان
    که زیرکانه به دیدار شهر آمده بودند، دست زدیم.

     
  10. pasargadae Senior Member

    Farsi
    Hi,
    yes you are right you can hear it in "demonstrations by Iranians against practically everything even abstract matters such as "dictatorship" it is very Frequent (as well as "zende bad" or "doroud bar" Viva Liberty or viva Democracy.) But it is not always as aggressively as "death to..." in English would specially when it is used about a person or a country . so
    1) The literal(not exact, it depends on matter) translation could be "down with" but it is not the exact one
    2) As I mentioned above, it is very frequent, especially in the past 100 yeras of Iran history or in the current situation of Iran(when unfortunately there are not only disagreement about government exterior policy but also about their interior treatment with Iranian people, as you have heard "marg bar dictatorship")
    3) I would suggest "Damn", whether for a person/country or abstract matters.
    It is evident that nobody has the right to want death for the others just because of the disagreement!
     
  11. ronin ronin New Member

    Farsi
    yes I agree
    the point is that we do not use MARG BAR in our daily conversations. it is just used in political literature or in demonstrations and protests.
    but ZENDE BAAD is something common. we sometimes use it to show our agreement with an idea which is expressed verbally by someone n the public.
    the most common quotations in Iranian political literature - by MARG BAR- are:
    marg bar amrica (down with USA)
    marg bar israel (down with Israel)
    marg bar monafegh (death for the hypocrite)
    marg bar zedde velayate faghih (death for who is against the leadership of Ayatollah)
    I believe that most of the Iranians don't like this political literature and it is not the language of majority but the language of dominant minority.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

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