The Utterance Project was started with three aims:
To extol the beauty of the spoken utterances of The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the original Arabic and Persian;
To connect people with the languages in which the Bahá’í Holy Scriptures were originally revealed by providing subtitles and transliteration;
And to spark an interest in learning these languages among a wide variety of people.
Although the English translations of Bahá’í scripture are exceptional in their quality, there are musical and poetic characteristics of the revealed Persian and Arabic that cannot be reproduced faithfully in other languages without compromising the integrity of the original meaning. Certain words or spiritual concepts which sound nothing alike in English (or any other language) often rhyme perfectly in the original text. Similarly, certain ideas that can be expressed concisely in Persian and Arabic require wordier translations to unpack the full meaning in English.
Ideally, because the chosen excerpts are short, spoken clearly, and accompanied by subtitles and transliterations, the viewer will experience hearing the words and understanding them as they are being spoken in the original language of revelation. The written and transliterated Arabic and Persian are also provided with the hope that the viewer may eventually come to recognize certain sounds in their written forms.
We hope these videos achieve their goal in making Arabic and Persian seem more approachable, and will make each person feel that it is entirely within their reach to access the wealth and beauty of the Bahá’í Holy Writings in their original languages.
Thank you for your interest in the Utterance Project!