Today, media reported that President Rouhani of Iran called the White House for “mentally retarded”.

Mr. Reza Akbari, on Twitter, wrote the following:

I re-tweeted with a comment:

Mr. Akbari the re-tweeted my re-tweet stating the following:

So the question is now what did Rouhani say? Here is a clip of what Rouhani said in farsi:

In farsi, this is what he says: “Kakhe sefid dochar-e malooliat-e zehni shodeh.” This is said the first 9 seconds of the clip, and it is these 9 seconds that are of interest.

The translation of these 9 seconds are now a matter of controversy.

I argue that the translation to English should be as follows:

“The White House have a mental retardation.”

In my view, loyalists and supporters of the Iranian regime are now trying to reform Rouhani´s statement. Of course, they are all wrong, and I will show you why.

Once again, the word argued about is “Malooliat-e Zehni“. Zehni is a Persian word meaning mentally. There is no argue about that. The argue is about the full word “Malooliat-e Zehni”. Some people, mostly those being part of the Iranian regimes propaganda machine, state that this translated to English means “Mental disability”. The media, however, have translated this to “Retarded”.

Supporters of the regime on Twitter, You Tube etc. state that the word “retarded” has its own word in farsi, namely “aghaboftade”. Indeed, this is very interesting: Using this logic, then only ONE word can refer to a thing or phenomenon. That is of course pure stupidity. The word retarded for example has several synonymous words in farsi: Aghaboftade is the first. Aghabmoonde is the second. Malool-e Maghzi is a third. Malool-e Zehni (the word Rouhani used) is the firth. Kamtavani-e Zehni is the fifth etc.

The difference lies in the content the word is to be used. Both Aghaboftade and Aghabmoonde are derogatory words. The more sophisticated word is for example what Rouhani used: “Malooliat-e Zehni”.

The web page “Ravanasay” is operated by Iranian psychologists based in Iran. They discuss the word “Malooliat-e Zehni” and clearly writes that one of the reasons for why an individual can be diagnosed with “Malooliat-e Zehni” is for example chromosomal diseases (i.e. Downs Syndrome). The author of the articles further states that the bible of Psychiatry, DSM V, divide “Malooliat-e Zehni” in to mild, moderate, severe and profound. They further discuss how “Malooliat-e Zehni” must fulfill some criteria which is used to diagnose “mental retardation”. So, inside Iran, “Malooliat-e Zehni” is the word that is used when discussing “retardation”. This can also be seen in hundreds of publications inside Iran where the word “Malooliat-e Zehni” is used to describe Downs Syndrome or “retardation”.

Interestingly, looking at DSM V, they do not any longer call the diagnosis for “mental retardation” but “Intellectual/mental disability”. So, even if we are to buy the translation of Mr. Akbari and those being supporters of the Iranian regime, that Rouhani said “mental disability” then that is synonymous with “retardation”.

I repeat. Even if we are to say “Okay, you are right, Rouhani said mental disability”, is is STILL mental retardation. The media has thus translated it correctly and in line with medical terminology and science.

But. The content of what I write is in reality that it is so demeaning to use such a phrase and word since we have millions of individuals out there being affected by mental disability.


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