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The Gord of the Rings

Week 20, Episode 39

The powerfull Spell of Spelling protects it.
Those secret meanings are dormant within.
Only The Gord of the Rings may open the door,
a hero who has grit and courage to rule the Rings...

Fumes go away and voices disappear. Quarter of the textbook on Persian through, and you are still learning about letters—that is the reality for all of those so-far-from-cursive-scripts amongst us. Each of 25 out of 32 letters has 4 different shapes to be written in; they join together from left to right, as if you're knitting the words, changing shapes and becoming hardly distinguisable to an unaccustomed eye.

The challenge is they are not just written any way you'd like to put them on paper: there are rules to follow almost as precise as the golden ratio. Moreover, there are different styles to use, so the laws vary.

Normally, books, newspapers, magazines, and sites are written in Naskh—style for writing derived from Thuluth but smaller in size and with greater delicacy. Nasta'liq, another style, is more applied for decorative purposes nowadays, while its simplified version—Tahrir—takes over everyday jotting-down situations. All of them have something to do with rings if you aim for proper execution.

It is because the heigth, the length of every letter and the angle of its curves is measured by the number of big and small circles—rings. When long ago people of Persia wrote with qalams, or pens made of dried, trimmed and sharpened reed, a dot looked more like a little square, or better said, a diamond. So the circle in which you inscribe this dot is the Big Ring, or the Ring. The Small Ring is used rarely when the details are important.

When writing, you base the size of your letters on the proportion in comparison to the first letter of the Persian alphabet, Alif. It is three Rings tall (or, in other styles, may be 5, 7 or 9 squared qalam dots high). Other letters will be in a strong correlation with the size of Alif.

And this is how you draw the long and short forms of the letter ب Be that looks like a plate and a bowl respectively, how you write the oddly shaped letter ن Nun as if it is a ladel or the saucer-like ی Ye—and how you become the gord (Old Persian word for "hero"), The Gord of the Rings.

You will realize now how reading, speaking in Farsi and even grammar are much simplier than writing for all the letters, except three long vowels (ا Alif, و Vav and ی Ye), are read the only way and respresent sounds which their names start with. The short vowels (a, e, o) are normally entirely omitted, but may also be marked by some diacritics adopted from Arabic with the script system.

Question: Was Farsi always written in Arabic script? No, but it seems always in the same direction, from right to left. Before Arabs invaded the Persian Empire in the 7th century, the Iranian language of Parsi used what we now call Middle Persian, or "Pahlavi" Parsi, for about 12 centures. The word "Pahlavi" comes from "Parthavi" that may be translated as "from the place of the Parthian tribe", the tribe which Persians defeated and whose language they extended; it also means "Lord over Earth."

The magic spell upon the words...

Divide and add, courageous wizard!

You took over the Rings, my gord

And now it's time...

... to speak normally, as people really talk to each other in Persian :)

!به زودی می‌بینمت (Bee-zoo-dee mee-bee-nah-met) See you soon!

" Magical? Enchanting? Yes! I am a super article! Like me now! "

Read more about Persian and other languages at

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