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Posted by on Jul 29, 2006 in At TMV | 12 comments

Iran Bans Foreign Words As Part Of Ahmadinejad-Speak

Watch what you say, more than ever in Iran:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as “pizzas” which will now be known as “elastic loaves,” state media reported Saturday.

The presidential decree, issued earlier this week, orders all governmental agencies, newspapers and publications to use words deemed more appropriate by the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, or Persian Academy, the Irna official news agency reported.

The AP report says most of the 2,000 banned words are rooted in the West. The problem isn’t with Arabic words, since the holy book is written in Arabic.

The academy has introduced more than 2,000 words as alternatives for some of the foreign words that have become commonly used in Iran, mostly from Western languages. The government is less sensitive about Arabic words, because the Quran is written in Arabic.

Among other changes, a “chat” will become a “short talk” and a “cabin” will be renamed a “small room,” according to official Web site of the academy.

That means no longer can Iranians who don’t agree with him assert that he belongs in the “looney bin.” From now on it’ll have to be the more formal term “psychiatric evaluation and treatment unit.”

And how will the President now refer to his favorite book that has a title in German (Mein Kampf)?