Alphamale 8:48am, 1 February 2008
Hello all,

I would like to get some attention about something which has been really bugging me for a while here on flickr. All of you have noticed that flickr displays a random greeting message on the top of your homepage in different languages. You might also have noticed that our language, Persian, is a big absent among these languages.

Before starting to do anything to get flickr fix the problem by myself, I thought I would look for the previous attempts. Here is the only initiative I was able to track down.

The author of the post, m.aghanori, tried to argue that 'SALAAM' is a Persian form of saying hi even though the word itself is Arabic. If you go through it, you will see that the flickr team and the others didn't get convinced. This is partly because a lot of people all over the world are confused about the difference between Arabic and Persian and that these two languages are totally different.

On the top of this, you might feel how different authorities (including the ones in Iran) in the world are trying to degrade the Persian culture in different ways. Just remember the story of National Geographic about renaming Persian Gulf to Arabian Gulf. The same thing has happened once again in Google Earth recently. It labels the gulf with both Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf. This is false enough even if it's not the first step to wipe off the real name from the maps.

They however don't get confused when it comes to mispresenting our culture. Again all of you remember the movie '300': The ugly, stupid, cruel figures were called 'Persian' many times.

If the above introduction made any sense, I'm going to tell you that this policy of flickr is in the same line. I even talked to a friend of mine who is an Arabic speaker. According to him, it's not common to say just salaam as a greeting among Arabs. It's very informal and only used in chat rooms or as a slang word.

Also consider that flickr also says "Hala! Now you know how to greet people in Arabic!". So it's like 2-0 for Arabic vs Persian... way too unfair!

Part of this story is so funny. They are ignoring Persian in a very bad way. I almost made a list of the languages with fewer speakers that get a share in flickr. The numbers are from Wikipedia and represent the number of speakers:
Hawaiian 200 native, 2000 total

Mäori (New Zealand) total speakers 165,000

Icelandic 300,000

Irish 355,000

Estonian 1.1 million

Lingala (Congo) total speakers 2 million native, 10 million second language

Swahili 5-10 million

Albanian 6 million

Hebrew 6 million

Tshiluba (Congo - regional language) 6.3 million

Swedish 10 million

Zulu (spoken in south africa) half the people understand it, total population under 11 million

Hungarian 14.5 million

Greek 17-25 million

Dutch 31 million

Burmese first language 32 million, second 10 million

Tagalog, Philipines overall 65 million
This is happening while Persian with 72 million native speakers and 134 million second language speakers has the 12th global rank (Wikipedia). Still flickr likes Hawaiian with 200 speakers better! This really sucks!!!

I was thinking of starting a new topic in the help forum and try to sound more convincing but the chance won't be high if there is no support behind it. So please get together to discuss this issue.

My suggestion is that we propose the following form which is actually nicer and has nothing to do with any Arabic word:

"Dorud! Now you know how to greet people in Persian!"

I'm not sure about the spelling of 'Dorud' though and I actually don't like 'Farsi', as it makes you feel the unpleasant trace of Arabic, simply because those Arabs were unable to pronounce 'p'. Anyway...

Hope to see you support!
Best Regards,

پی نوشت: دمتون گرم.. اگه راه دستتون بود انگلیسی پاسخ بدید و اگر هم حسش نبود فینگلیش ننویسین چون من یکی که سردرد می گیرم وقتی بخونم. راستی اگه انگلیسی باشه همه چیز، شاید بشه اون رو به فلیکر نشون داد
Hamed Saber 10 years ago
خانه از پایبست ویران است
خواجه در بند نقش ایوان است
eshare PRO 10 years ago
Dear Martia,

I appreciate your sense of responsibility in this case. I, personally, prefer this one:

"Salaam! Now you know how to greet people in Persian!"

Regardless of the root of the word, which is Arabic, it is the most frequently used greetings in Persian Language in contemporary Iran.

Keep up the good job,
sar-kelandi 10 years ago
Good point, we seem to have liked it this way!
By isolating ourselves from the rest of the world through radical positions we take. Try acting like that as a person and you'll end up alone, like an outcast.

With all that said, I still do not appreciate the attitudes of a lot of non-governmental organizations towards a language that is recognized and has nothing to do with the government.

Maybe through the good will towards Afghanistan we might get some benefits of Farsi being acknowledged!
Ali Daneshgar Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Ali Daneshgar (member) 10 years ago
Good idea,
yet whether we are going to use Salam or Doroud, I strongly recommend to use the term "Persian" instead of "Farsi" not because of what Martia said, but because the term Persian is the registered form of our language and Farsi is a native word we use to refer to our language( Arabs converts P to B, so Farsi doesn't have anything to do with arabized form of Parsi)

about using Salam or Doroud
I agree with Eshare that "salam" is used more frequently, yet I am not keen on using this term in such places, the reason is so simple,
I have found out when foreigners want to teach us their language academically, if they got a native word and a foreign word for a concept, they teach us the native word, even if its not frequent
Shoot to kill! 10 years ago
حالا سلام رو نتونستید بزارید از "درود" استفاده بشه هم پارسی تر هست هم دیگ انگ نمیشه روش گذاشت
یا حق
shirinektesabi 10 years ago
You know for a while I was watching that corner of the screen waiting for the Persian greeting to come along. It never did, and now I know why. It is shameful the attitudes of the staff of flikr to completely ignore the facts you have pointed out and to shun the Persian greeting all together. Maybe if we draw up a complaint form and have everybody sign it, they might change the greeting for us. What do you think?
Alphamale 10 years ago
Thanks guys for showing support but I should say, I was not impressed at all. I guess it's partly because it was in English and that a lot of our people identify themselves as Muslim first then Persian, who are not expected to care.

I actually thought about the issue a bit more and got to the conclusion that there is no hostility or at least we shouldn't assume there is any. Flickr is ignoring Russian too. This ignoring is mostly a result of ignorance.

I have met quite a few nice and highly educated people who were confused about our language. And when it comes to ordinary people on this side of the world, they either don't know there is a country named Iran or think we are like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan...
Many of them ask me 'Is Iran where the war is?' and I say 'No, that's Iraq ...'

I might try to write something nice, short and concrete to flickr by myself and see what happens.
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