How to Learn the Sistanian Language

Sistanian (also known as Sistani, Sistoni, Zaboli) is the native language of Sistanian people mainly in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. First of all, it should be noted that Sistanian commonly is considered as a dialect of Persian language. It is mostly because the lacking proper knowledge about the linguistic characteristics of Sistanian language among non-Sistanian people and linguistics.

  • There are much strong phonological and grammatical differences between the two languages. Additionally, under the political pressure of the nationally accepted language in Iran (Persian), the status of Sistanian and other minority languages in the mentioned country are increasingly weakening, and that is why what is mostly known as Sistanian is more like to a Persian dialect.
  • Here is how to get you started learning this interesting language.


  1. Image titled Learn the Sistanian Language Step 1
    Learn the phonological basics: Due to the fact that Sistanian is a phonetic language, its phonological system is significantly different from Persian and Arabic languages and mostly shares many features with the historic Indo-European languages.
    • Non-Persian learners may consider this language like a dialect of Italian language when listening to it. Note that like Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese) in Sistanian the “h” sound is not pronounced.
    • The “zh” sound (ʒ in International Phonetic Alphabet) is rare and “r” is commonly thrilled. This language is also rich in consonant doubling.
  2. Image titled Learn the Sistanian Language Step 2
    Understand the Sistanian writing system: Based on Latin or Arabic alphabet, there are two main writing systems which are considered for writing in Sistanian.
    • Although the Arabic is strongly recommended by the Foundation for Sistanian Orthography Development, it would be confusing for learners unfamiliar with this writing system, as a result the Latin alphabet is preferred here.
    • Doubling consonants shows the stress and putting apostrophe after vowels indicates long sounds. “aa” illustrates /ʌ/. Consider the following examples:
      • Aunt = Khla’ka /xla:ka/
      • Sister = da’da /da:da/
      • Worn (clothing) = latta /latta/
      • Overcrowded = me’da /me:da/
      • Gipsy = challi /tʃallɪ/
      • Skinny = chi’laask /tʃɪ:lʌsk/
  3. Image titled Learn the Sistanian Language Step 3
    Learn the basic conversational phrases: Learning the basics of common conversational phrases in Sistanian, enables us to interact with Sistanian-speakers on a simple level .
    • Hello = salaam
    • How you doing? = shtori?
    • Feel alright? = vakashi? / zabri? / tiaari?
    • O, yea! = o, jo!
    • You serious? = se’ ko? / tra vallaa?
    • Never mind! = va balaa’e to!
    • Never ever! = araam sho!
    • What’s the news? = chekhvar?
    • All fine = var qaraar
    • Watch out! = orma’t!
    • Thanks a lot = nadreto / khe’raatto
    • Get up! = vakhe!
    • Hurry up! = bijji! / ala!
    • What is going on here? = chkaara?
    • I love you = delme baale’ tra
    • Leave me off! = mna sa’r de!
    • You're welcome in my house: khone-me pow-andaaze shma
    • Don't forget!: osh nakni!
    • I want to... : va nzare mna ke...
    • I think that... : va mande me...
  4. Image titled Learn the Sistanian Language Step 4
    Enlarge your Sistanian vocabulary: Memorizing most common words is crucial for learning any new language. Here you can find a very simple thematic dictionary to improve and expand your Sistanian vocabulary :
    • Family members:
      • Sister: da’da
      • Brother: la’la
      • Mother: moka / na’na
      • Father: ba’bo
      • Grandmother: bi’bi / na’na
      • Grandfather: ba’pur
      • Daughter: kenja
      • Son: pse
      • Wife: za’
      • Husband: shu
      • Aunt: khla’ka / ama’ka
      • Uncle: khaalu / a’mu
      • Grandson: nvaasa
      • Stepfather: pendar
      • Stepson: macha’ti
      • Father-in-law: khaasar
      • Mother-in-law: khosh
    • Time:
      • Two days ago: pa’re
      • Yesterday: di’ro
      • Today: emro
      • Tomorrow: sa’baa
      • Last night: dishna / dishna’ka
      • Tonight: emsho
      • Morning / early : pega
      • Evening: be'ga
      • Late: e'ra
    • Colors:
      • Blue: aavi
      • Black: sia
      • White: spe
      • Blonde: sur
      • Green: soz
      • Red: sorkh
    • Animals:
      • Swallow: palpalaasi
      • Lizard: chalpaasa
      • Frog: pottok
      • Sheep: gospe'
      • Lamb: ka’ra
      • Cow: gow
      • Veal: gosla
      • Bee: gowj
      • Beetle: tuttak
      • Insect: lullak
      • Turkey: boqla’mi
    • Body parts:
      • Eye: cha'sh
      • Eyelash: majg
      • Tooth: dendow
      • Tongue: zvo
      • Cheek: lamosk
      • Shoulder: keft
      • Hand: da's
      • Foot: pow
      • Finger: penjol
      • Knee: ze'ni

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Categories: World Languages