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The Kite Runner - Foreign Terms Translated

Updated on February 28, 2015

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)

The Full Kite Runner Audiobook

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      oceansider 5 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
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

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

    • profile image

      donnaMhicks 5 years ago

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

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

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

    • silverstararrow profile image

      silverstararrow 5 years ago from India

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

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

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

    • profile image

      Liberty 2 years ago

      Wow! Talk about a posting knciokng my socks off!

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