Babak v. bAbak

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Oct 25, 2013 at 06:04 PM

My pet peeve: the way people mispronounce “Babak”.  Here’s a quick fix, and it leads straight to the fabulous #textingfArsi protocol.

Consider Babak aka بابک

Let’s take a look at the name “Babak.” You probably know a Babak.  And you probably mispronounce poor Babak’s name.  This is because there are two different vowel sounds in his name, both represented in English by the letter “a”: the long a as in “father” and the short a of “cat”. 

The bAbak effect

To help you see as well as hear the difference, check out what happens when you use a capital A for the long a sound in “fAther”. (You may need to un-mute the vine to hear).

textingfArsi Campaign

That simple distinction - “A” versus “a” - is the foundation of the #textingfArsi campaign. It’s gone beyond pet peeve. Now it’s a whole, global key for revitalizing an ancient and poetically powerful language.

We’ve come up with this simple #textingfArsi protocol to help people who don’t speak Persian be able to figure out what a word sounds like, even if they don’t know what it means. This protocol is useful for native speakers as well. The consistency and simplicity of the rules clear up a lot of texting clutter and increases the speed of comprehension of a texted passage.  Try it for a while.  You’ll see.

Why is it important to enable non-fArsi speakers to pronounce it when it’s transliterated in English? Here’s our hidden agenda - about that ancient language revival thing

The Bob-ak Solution

Some bAbak’s have found a clever workaround to the pronunciation problem.  The most famous is the stellar Bobak Ferdowsi, who gently guides people to the correct pronunciation via “bob”-ification.  This works well.  I’m not asking Bobak to change anything.  But once in a while, it would be great if you spread the message of #textingfArsi.  Perhaps the occasional sign off of:“Bobak aka bAbak #textingfArsi” would help direct folks to consider the possibilities. 

If you think about it, the lowercase b and the capital A evoke a mowhawk.  Or mowhAk, if we use #textingfArsi.

If you want Bobak to take on #textingfArsi - send him a tweet!  And follow his amazing stream.  Enjoy!

Mo bAbaks

Are there any bAbaks and friends of bAbaks out there, ready to take on the #textingfArsi protocol and spread the #Persian meme throughout all lands?  Tweet, instagram, etc. Drop us a line and we’ll embed your social media pledges here.  Thanks! And please retweet:



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