Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thoughts on Communicating a Spirit

Recently, I have been watching a number of movies with my husband. The actors in those movies speak Farsi, and many of the movies have no English subtitles. Although I have only a rudimentary understanding of Farsi, there are certain scenes that I understand, without any translation. The spirit of the scene makes the words clear.

Aparently Abdu'l-Baha had the ability to communicate with others by conveying the spirit of whatever he intended to say. A Baha'i writer with whom I correspond by email has told me about a time when Abdu'l-Baha was speaking here in the United States. He was of course speaking in Farsi, and he had to pause periodically, so that his words could be translted into English.

Apparenty, one American in the audience was quite annoyed by the constant interuptions. He could understand what Abdu'l-Baha had said, even before it had been translated into English. Abdu'l-Baha had managed to convey the spirit and emotion of whatever topic he had planned to address.

I am trying to learn the source of this story. I have been told that it was probably shared by a speaker at a conference in San Francisco. I will seek to confirm that fact.

1 comment:

The Baha'i Principles said...

You can probably find the comment in Ward's account of the Master in America, 239 days is the title I think.

I agree with Ruhiyyih Khanum that we should call the language spoken in Iran "Persian." Calling it "Farsi" is like calling French "Francais" or Spanish "Espanol".