qAbel nadAre - قابل ندارد

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Oct 08, 2013 at 09:22 PM

Thank you so much for what you just did!
You shouldn’t have!
It’s not worthy of you.
قابل ندارد

qAbel nadAreh! This is a common phrase in Persian t’Arof that means: It’s not worthy of you.

Garth and Wayne Demonstrate The Concept

The boys in Wayne’s World take it a step farther, “We’re not worthy”.  “qAbel nadArim”

Common Usage

You may encounter the phrase “qAbel nadAreh” when shopping in Iran. It goes something like this.

You: How much for the shoes?
Merchant: It’s not worthy of you (qAbel nadAreh)
You: xAhesh mikonam (I insist)
Merchant: qAbel nadAreh, $50
You: That’s outrageous!

And the dance goes on until you reach a price.

The phrase can also be used when handing in homework, presenting a gift, any number of things. Now to see if Chai and Conversation has done a unit on the subject!

Does “unworthiness” seem extreme? There’s a reason for such language, which you can read all about in this book:

Debt, the First 5000 Years

This book offers a new perspective on the extreme language of t'Arof.

Graeber...brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.

Likewise, words of t'Arof.

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