The Kite Runner - Foreign Terms Translated

Foreign Terms in the Kite Runner - Code Switching

The Kite Runner features a literary technique known as 'code switching' in which there is a change in dialect completely, or a mixing of dialects when a character speaks. In 'The Kite Runner' the reader is given to understand that when in Afghanistan, all characters are speaking in Farsi, and a translation is given by the author so english speakers can understand. However, the author cleverly uses many afghani and islamic terms in order to reinforce and remind that the occurrences of the novel are happening in a different setting, and a different culture, adding to the stories novelty and interest. The variance is also a way of keeping otherwise mundane sentences interesting.

Below, are the key words used in the novel, and their english translations.

The Kite Runner Terms - Translated

(click column header to sort results)
Term  
Translation  
Agha
Title of great respect, Mr/Sir. Particularly used for elders
Mashallah
Praise God - Used with positive surprise
Inshallah
God willing, If God allows it
Bismillah!
In the name of God!
Jan
Dear, loved
Bas
Enough
Agha Sahib
Friend, Sir, Nobleman, Commander, Lord (term of great respect)
Laaf
Afghan tendency to exaggerate
Shorawi
Soviets
Roussi
Russians
Salaam
Hello
Salaam, Bachem
Hello, my child
Nang
Honor
Namoos
Pride, dignity, reputation
Shari'a
Islamic Law
Loftan
Please
Tashakor
Thanks
Khanum
Lady, Mrs
Balay
Agreement (I do/yes)

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Comments 7 comments

oceansider 4 years ago

Have seen this movie and liked it very much! The translations you have provided are very interesting.

Thank you,

Helen


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Thank you very much Oceansider, I'm glad it's of use :)


donnaMhicks 4 years ago

Haven't read it or seen this movie, but now I'm interested and will make sure I do.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Thank you very much, it's really a good story!


silverstararrow profile image

silverstararrow 4 years ago from India

Have already read the book and it definitely is a thought provoking piece of work.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

I agree! It certainly has a lot to say about humans, children, and guilt.


Liberty 23 months ago

Wow! Talk about a posting knciokng my socks off!

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