Iran vs Iran

The Other “War” That Iran Is Caught Up In

You may have recently heard in the news about some conflict going on in Iran. If you have no idea what it’s all about, look no further, for I, Elan David Michael Levine, will enlighten you. Iran is one of the largest countries in the Middle East. The second largest to be exact. It is also one of the largest influences within the international community. Being a parliamentary theocracy in the Middle East, Iran operates very differently from many western countries. It also speaks a very different language from us: Persian (Farsi). I’m willing to bet that the person sitting next to you does not speak Persian. In fact, less than 0.0000001% of the world speaks Persian, and even less are actually native speakers. Therein lies the problem. In a country full of English speakers, we don’t know how to pronounce Iran.

Let me guess, when you read the preceding sentence, you read “I-ran,” which rhymes with “can,” but you’re thinking now that you should be calling it “Ee-ron,””

Let me guess, when you read the preceding sentence, you read “I-ran,” which rhymes with “can,” but you’re thinking now that you should be calling it “Ee-ron,” which shares an “a” sound with the “a” in father. As an English speaker, it is much more natural for you to call it the former, although you know that you should technically be calling it the latter, right? Well, not quite. The official Persian pronunciation of Iran does share the “a” sound from father, but then again, the official Russian pronunciation of Russia sounds more like “Rice-see-ya,” and I’ve definitely never heard anyone casually say that one. Germany sounds like “Deutschland,” which literally translates to “German Country”; Austria is “Österreich,” which technically means “Eastern… Rich?” Essentially, asserting that we HAVE to call it Iran (sharing the “a” from father”) means that we’ll have to start talking about Italia and España because at the end of the day, we still speak English. When speaking a language, there tend to be different words for the same thing. Just as “dog” and “perro” are the same, so are “Poland” and “Polonia.”

It’s just a matter of which language you say it in. That’s all.”

There is nothing wrong with saying the English word for Iran because we would never judge a Swedish person for saying “Rumänien” instead of the Romanian name, “România.” This argument is literally lost in translation because it’s in the grey area of whether or not it needs to be translated at all, to begin with. That’s the truth behind Iran and Iran. It’s just a matter of which language you say it in. That’s all.