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Pleasantries in Pashto (Common Phrases of Politeness) Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Culture, language

In this lesson we will teach you some very useful phrases that we refer to as pleasantries. These are the words or phrases that we use in order to show respect, appreciation, humility etc. By using these words one will come across as a polite person.  Even if you don’t speak the language you will still be able to use these phrases.  The following are some of the most common phrases that we use in Pashto language.

مننه  Manana means, “Thank you” the usage of this word is that same as its equivalent in English.

خیر یوسی   Khair Yosay  is another way of saying “Thank you”, however, it is informal and more like a prayer. It literally means, “May you face good.”  It could be used interchangeably with “manana” but  it is not well suited for formal situations.

هیله کوم Heela kawoom  means, “you are welcome”  it can also mean “please”, “please don’t mention it”

مهربانی  Mehrabaani is a very useful phrase. It is used to ask someone politely to start talking. It is also used to offer someone a seat.  For instance, if someone comes to your office by pointing to a chair and saying “Mehrabaani” you are very politely asking him/her to have a seat.  This same phrase can also be used to mean, “Go ahead”.

ستړی مشی  Starray ma-shay  literally means, “May you not be tired” . When you pass by or see someone working hard you will say “starry ma-shay” . Also, when someone comes to your office or home, you will great him/her by using this phrase.

کور ودان  koor wadaan is another version of saying “Thank you” .

سترګې دی خایسته دي   stargy de khaaista dee means “Your eyes are beautiful.”. This phrase is used to answer to a compliment. For example, if someone tells you that you have beautiful hair, you would answer by saying “stargy de Khaaista dee”. In Pashto we don’t answer a compliment by saying “thank you”.

 Watch the accompanying video for the correction pronunciation of these phrases.

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About the Author:Sayed Naqibullah

Sayed Naqibullah speaks Pashto and Dari as his native languages. Since 2004 he has been teaching Dari and Pashto and working as cultrual advisor to NGO workers, foreigners who live, work, or are visiting Afghanistan. Sayed has worked as a linguist for several companies that produce language course-ware. He has worked as a guide, interpreter and translator of a number of NGOs working in Afghanistan. Sayed is also a blog writer on Afghan culture and languages. He is the author of a Dari language textbook called “Dari as a Second Language”.


  1. Salman:

    Manana Laka 🙂