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Soleiman Haim

Soleiman Haim

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Solayman Haïm whose dictionaries appeared in English under the name Sulayman Hayyim (Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: سلیمان حییم) (ca. 1887, Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 – February 14, 1970, Tehran), was an Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian lexicographer, translator, playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and essayist, often called "Iran's Father of the bilingual dictionary".

Haïm was born into an Iranian Jewish
Persian Jews
Persian Jews , are Jews historically associated with Iran, traditionally known as Persia in Western sources.Judaism is one of the oldest religions practiced in Iran. The Book of Esther contains some references to the experiences of Jews in Persia...

 family. His father Haïm Eshāq was a quilter. both of his parents were Kalimis (Iranian Jews) of Shirazi origin who had migrated to Tehran. Haïm started his education in a Maktabkhaneh (traditional type of elementary school) called Noor that belonged to Christian missionaries in Tehran. He learned the Hebrew language and religious matters from the well-known Hakham Haïm Moreh and became his pupil and assistant when Moreh became blind. He continued his studies in Ettehad secondary school, where he learned French and Hebrew. He was 19 when he entered the American High School (later renamed American College, and yet later Alborz High School
Alborz High School
Alborz High School , is a college preparatory high school located in the heart of Tehran, Iran. It is named after the Alborz mountain range north of Tehran.- History :...

), which was run by a group of American missionaries under the supervision of the legendary Samuel M. Jordan
Samuel M. Jordan
Dr. Samuel Martin Jordan was an American presbyterian missionary in Persia .He is sometimes referred to as the "father of modern education in Iran," though Amir Kabir is generally thought to be more deserving of this title, and indeed within Iran, the title refers to Amir Kabir.After graduating...

. At the college, young Solayman excelled in English, Persian literature, and music. He then started to teach English in 1915 at American College. Soon after, he began working on the first series of bilingual dictionaries printed in Persian, a task that earned him the honorary name "Word Master." Later, he switched to translation. He is known to have worked for the Iranian Ministry of Finance for a number of years as a translator to Dr. Arthur Millspaugh
Arthur Millspaugh
Arthur Chester Millspaugh, PhD, was a former adviser at the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Foreign Trade, who was hired to re-organize the Finance Ministry of Iran from 1922–1927 and 1942-1945....

, an American adviser to Iranian government on fiscal matters.

He then moved on to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, where he headed the translation bureau until his retirement in the 1950s. His first published work (1928) is a play, Yusof va Zoleikha, based on the story of Joseph
Joseph (Hebrew Bible)
Joseph is an important character in the Hebrew bible, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt....

 and Potiphar
Potiphar or Potifar is a person in the Book of Genesis's account of Joseph. Potiphar is said to be the captain of the palace guard and is referred to without name in the Quran. Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar as a household slave...

’s wife Zuleikha, from the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

. Haim wrote this play to be performed by the students of Alliance school. His first reference work, the New English–Persian Dictionary, in two volumes, was published in 1929–31. This was later replaced by the Larger English–Persian Dictionary, and never reprinted.

He knew French, Hebrew, English and Persian, and produced bilingual dictionaries in French and Hebrew as well as English. He also wrote a compilation of Persian proverbs and their English equivalents with the name "A Book of Collected Poems". Besides Yusof va Zoleikha, he wrote the plays "Esther
Esther , born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther.According to the Bible, she was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus...

 and Mordecai
Mordecai or Mordechai is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. He was the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin.-Biblical account:...

" and "Ruth
Ruth (biblical figure)
Ruth , is the main character in the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible.-Biblical narrative:Ruth was a Moabitess, who married Mahlon, the son of Elimelech and Naomi, but Elimelech and his two sons died...

 and Naomi
Naomi (Bible)
Naomi is Ruth's mother-in-law in the Old Testament Book of Ruth...

". Besides writing these plays and composing their music, Haim also directed and performed in them. Moreover, he translated and contributed to articles in the Persian Encyclopedia that dealt with matters relating to the Jewish faith.

Soleyman Haim died in 1970 at the age of 82, with many projects left incomplete. Dariush Haim, Davood Adhami, Jahanguir Banayan, and Manouchehr Amiri have each written about their personal memories of Haim.

Haïm was fond of Persian history and literature, and the divans of Sa'di
Saadi (poet)
Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī better known by his pen-name as Saʿdī or, simply, Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but he has also been quoted in western sources...

 and Hafez
Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī , known by his pen name Hāfez , was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works composed of series of Persian poetry are to be found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day...

 were his favourite books. He also was an amateur poet.

Below is a list of Haim’s English–Persian and Persian–English dictionaries:
  • Larger English–Persian Dictionary, first published 1933, revised 1945, reissused in one volume and two volumes subsequently, rejuvenated and freshly typeset 1997. (It is his largest work, with 55,000 entries and 25,000 phrases.)
  • One-Volume Persian–English Dictionary, first published 1952 and reprinted many times subsequently, freshly typeset and reformatted 1995.
  • One-Volume English–Persian Dictionary, first published 1954 and reprinted many times subsequently.
  • Shorter English–Persian Dictionary, first published 1956, revised 1962, reprinted several times subsequently, revised again 1994.
  • Shorter Persian–English Dictionary, first published 1957 and reprinted several times subsequently, freshly typeset and reformatted 1996.

Books and periodicals

  • Asef, Bijan, "Ostad Soleiman Haïm", Ofogh-e Bina, Vol II, No X, Tir-Shahrivar 1379 AHS (Summer 2000); and ibid, No XI, Mehr-Day 1379 AHS (Autumn 2000).
  • Browne, E. G. Literary History of Persia (four volumes, 2,256 pages), 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
  • Emami, Karim, (1375 AHS, 1996) Az past va boland-e tarjomeh, Vol 1, Tehran; Vol 2 (1385 AHS, 2006).
  • Haïm, Dariush, "Pedaram, Soleiman Haïm", in: Sarshar, Homa, and Hooman Sarshar, Yahudian-e Irani dar tarikh-e moaser (Iranian Jews in contemporary history), Vol III, CA (Winter 1999).
  • Rypka, Jan, et al. History of Iranian Literature (D. Reidel, 1968). ASIN B-000-6BXVT-K

External links