Fox News is reporting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as ‘pizzas’ which will now be known as ‘elastic loaves.’ All governmental agencies, newspapers and publications are to use words deemed more appropriate by the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, or Persian Academy.
The academy has introduced more than 2,000 words as alternatives for mostly Western language words, being less sensitive about Arabic words because the Koran is written in Arabic. Among the changes, a ‘chat’ will become a ‘short talk,’ a ‘cabin’ will be renamed a ‘small room,’ and ‘firewall’ will be ‘baroo,’ or firewall in the building sense (although some are reporting the ‘pizza’ change to be a joke).
The idea of such a ‘language academy’ is not new, with France’s being probably the most famous. Some are also glad to have a direct translation tool, now being able to explain that ‘telecommuting’ to work is nothing more ‘distance working’ (‘door-karee’) where there was no Farsi word for the act previously.
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