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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 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!


We have been waiting to publish this video for a long time; it is a passage from Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet to Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, also known as the Lawḥ-i-Sulṭán. It was delivered to that Qájár king by the great Badí‘, who was martyred for carrying out this task. The combinations of various plural nouns, verbal conjugations, and other linguistic factors give this passage a palpable musicality in the original Arabic. This passage is very special to us here at the Utterance Project because it is the one that inspired us—exactly one year ago—to start this initiative in the first place. For the full backstory, check out the recitation on YouTube and read the video description! See MoreSee Less
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5 days ago

The Utterance Project
Dear friends, We are very happy to present to you Part V of "The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá." V covers the period between 1910 and 1912, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is between 66 and almost 68 years old/ This is the first of a three-part series on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journeys to the West. We have made the Journeys to the West very, very special, because they are entirely about the Center of the Covenant moving through the world and affecting people everywhere, speaking to a total of over 93,000 people, and conquering the hearts of the poorest citizens, maids on steamships and social works in the Congo, ministers and princes, journalists and mayors, generals and poets. We’ve tried to find stories about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s time in Egypt, we’ve found a very special story about Shoghi Effendi’s voyage to America with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tragically cut off at Naples, and we’ve create many very unique and informative maps and graphics, see photos. The gem of this section is a timeline that accounts for EVERY ONE of the 1,194 days ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was away from Haifa and includes the date, location, address and hyperlink to the talk for all talks in The promulgation of Universal Peace, Paris Talks, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London and other provisionally-translated talks from Persian diaries. See MoreSee Less
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3 weeks ago

The Utterance Project
The latest addition to our Centenary collection is an excerpt on education from Some Answered Questions, a collection of table talks given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in ‘Akká from 1904 to 1906 and compiled by Laura Dreyfus-Barney, an American Bahá’í resident in Paris. An interesting thing to note is a mixture of two languages toward the end of this selection, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quotes from the Arabic translation of Genesis 1:26 in the middle of a Persian sentence. The word used and translated repeatedly as “education” in this excerpt, tarbíyat, may be familiar to those who have read about the Tarbíyat-i-Banát, a girls’ school established in Ṭihrán in 1911 which came to be so recognized for the caliber of its instructors and curriculum that it attracted children beyond just Bahá’í families. See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

The Utterance Project
Dear friends,We are very happy to present to you Part IV of the Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Part IV covers the period between 1892 and 1910, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is between 48 and 65. Bahá’u’lláh passes away, and the Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá starts under the constant threats and plottings of the Covenant-Breakers. On the one hand there is tragedy but there is also joy. Shoghi Effendi is born, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá erects the first Bahá’í House of Worship in ‘Ishqábád, builds the Shrine of the Báb an inters His remains and the first Western pilgrims arrive in the Holy Land.We continue the celebration of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Please share the beauty and the majesty of the “Mystery of God”. See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

The Utterance Project
The latest addition to our Centenary Collection is a passage from The Secret of Divine Civilization, a treatise written by ʻAbdu’l-Bahá in 1875. Many of the words in this passage rhyme—sharáfat, mafkharat, niʻmat, ráḥat, saʻádat, manfaʻat, hayʼat, and lidhdhat—because they are originally Arabic words that follow similar “patterns” (awzán) for forming verbal nouns. See MoreSee Less
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