Oral History Workshop – 12


Shahed Yazdan
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The oral history website is going to provide the educational materials of some oral history workshops to the audience in written form. The present series has been prepared using the materials of one of these workshops. As you will see, many of the provided contents are not original or less said contents, but we have tried to provide categorized contents so that they can be used more.





After we decided to do the work by keeping the questions or removing them, we must use punctuation marks in our text to make the text "easy-to-read". We put dots, commas, question marks or exclamation marks and the likes in the places of the text where it is necessary.


Note: The principle is that the sentences should be as short as possible.


After placing punctuation marks, we use prepositions such as "from", "with", "in", "that" and other such things to make the text "goo-to-read".

So far, we have not changed the original text and have only made it easy-to-read and good-to-read.

In the next step, if necessary, we move the sentences and change their order to obtain a good form of the text. At this stage, we do not remove or add a sentence, but we may just change the order of the sentences depending on the need.

Then we add explanations and clarifications of ambiguous points that were written before in the form of footnotes to the main text to complete the first chapter; after that, we do the same for the rest of the chapters of the book.

Be sure that at this stage, you also need to refer to the narrator and ask him or her ambiguous things.


Until the book is finalized, supplementary interview does not get off the back of researcher and narrator!


Spoken or written tone

Spoken tone or broken writing style is the words that the narrator says literally, for example, he says "I'm going" or "we went" while he means "I went". On the other hand, there is written language style, which turns the narrator's speech into writing and replaces the word "I am going" with a slang word like "I'm gonna".

Currently, it is customary to convert the spoken tone into a written one, except in direct quotations. In a direct quotation, the tone of speech must be placed inside an open and closed quotation mark; For example: "He said to me: Mammad, let's go."


In direct quotation, the exact phrase is cited in broken writing style.


In late sacred defense period, a number of oral history books were published about the war, which had been edited in broken writing style; but the Academy of Persian Language and Literature found fault with it due to the deviation in the Persian language, and gradually, it made them go more towards writing in written language style. At the same time, everyone agrees that wherever there is a direct quotation, it should be written in broken written style.

In direct quotation, if the sentence is in another language, it should be cited in the exact form and its translation should be written in the footnote. Even if a person mispronounced a word, it should be written in the same way as it was said, and if an explanation is needed, it should be mentioned in the footnote.


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Is oral history the words of people who have not been seen?

Some are of the view that oral history is useful because it is the words of people who have not been seen. It is meant by people who have not been seen, those who have not had any title or position. If we look at oral history from this point of view, it will be objected why the oral memories of famous people such as revolutionary leaders or war commanders are compiled.

Daily Notes of a Mother

Memories of Ashraf-al Sadat Sistani
They bring Javad's body in front of the house. His mother comes forward and says to lay him down and recite Ziarat Warith. His uncle recites Ziarat and then tells take him to the mosque which is in the middle of the street and pray the funeral prayer (Ṣalāt al-Janāzah) so that those who do not know what the funeral prayer is to learn it.

A Critique on Oral history of War Commanders

“Answering Historical Questions and Ambiguities Instead of Individual-Organizational Identification”
“Oral history of Commanders” is reviewed with the assumption that in the field of war historiography, applying this method is narrated in an advancing “new” way, with the aim of war historiography, emphasizing role of commanders in creation of its situations and details.
A cut from memoirs of Jalil Taeffi

Escaping with camera

We were in the garden of one of my friends in "Siss" on 26th of Dey 1357 (January 16, 1979). We had gone for fun. It was there that we heard the news of Shah's escape from the local people. They said that the radio had announced. As soon as I heard this news, I took a donkey and went on its back.