In my native language (Persian/Farsi), there is a certain widly used adjective commonly referred to people who are somehow wise, respectful and civil. Lets say the adjective is X, then for instance:

Those who throw out trash, sound their vehicle's horn very often, have medieval ideas about the rights and roles of women and ... are not X.

On the other hand, those who have read a lot of books, settle their disagreement in private rather than yelling at each other in a public place, respect others opinion and treat them with respect and ... are X.

Also talks such as "As long as people lack (noun of)X , nothing's gonna change in this country" are very common in my country.

It's worth mentioning that Google translates X to "Cultured" which is probably not very accurate.

Considering my explanations, is there any proper adjective which accurately means X in English?

  • 1
    Yes, that sounds perfectly logical and natural to me. I'm still not sure if it expresses all the wonderful things your word does, though! Honestly, though, "cultured" might be almost too nice for that idea. You don't have to be very wonderful not to throw trash out the window. That's a pretty low bar. Dec 23, 2017 at 9:27
  • 1
    @joiedevivre Thank you :D I think the word which is "Farhang" btw, is a mixture of being cultured, civil and educated, so I guess I can use these synonyms separately in the right context. Thanks again :) Dec 23, 2017 at 9:36
  • 1
    Of course! By the way, "cultured" already definitely implies both "civil" and "educated!" I'm just not so sure it always implies "wise" or "open-minded." Dec 23, 2017 at 9:39
  • 1
    @joiedevivre : Then I guess I've had my answer. If you'd like to post your comments as an answer, I'd be happy to mark it as 'accepted'. Thanks again :) Dec 23, 2017 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Bahman_Aries - I'm glad you got the help you sought. You might want to wait a little longer before accepting an answer, though, as a matter of practice. Here's why.
    – J.R.
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


I hate to say Google translate is good for anything, but I think that in this case, cultured fits your first two examples well. It definitely implies that a person is educated, respectful, and civil:


It probably doesn't always mean that a person is wise or open-minded, though.

In your final example, "as long as people lack X, nothing's gonna change in this country," you'd have to change "cultured" to "culture." However, this might be the one situation where you'd want to look for a word that is more specific to your meaning. Although cultured is typically a praiseworthy quality, it can also have a connotation that is a little bit classist. That is, it's much harder for people who are born poor to become cultured. So, in that one case, you might prefer a word like civility or respect.

  • 3
    The word sophisticated – which is a synonym of cultured – might also work in this context.
    – J.R.
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:33
  • @J.R. I think sophisticated has even more classist connotations than cultured. I also don't really associate it with the concepts of "civility" or "manners." Dec 23, 2017 at 12:08
  • 1
    @joiedevivre : True, and for this reason, I'm gonna stick to "cultured" for now :) Dec 23, 2017 at 12:12
  • 1
    @Bahman_Aries I do think it fits your context better! It seems like politeness may be important here, and there's pretty much no association between sophistication and manners! Dec 23, 2017 at 12:15
  • 2
    @joiedevivre - Maybe not well-mannered, but perhaps overtones of better-educated. In any case, I didn't claim it was a better word, I just thought it might be a good one for interested learners to check out.
    – J.R.
    Dec 23, 2017 at 12:48

I think the word civilized fits your intent, both in meaning and in the context in which it can be used (it fits well into X in the first two examples).

As for the noun, culture may be better than civilization.

Also, well-mannered is a suitable adjective and manners is a good fit to the X in the third example.

  • One context I have in mind is something like this: "to solve the traffic problems, we shouldn't merely rely on government to take action, we, as members of the society, should also try to become more X . I think here, civilized fits well, right? Dec 23, 2017 at 13:46
  • I would agree. Alternatively you could use "well-mannered" here. Both would fit better than "cultured". Actually I should add it to the answer. Dec 23, 2017 at 13:54
  • Great! guess these words are all good alternatives in the right context. Thanks :) Dec 23, 2017 at 14:01
  • Still, I have some doubts about "manners" because lack of "x" in Persian might be even considered the root of all problems in developing countries. But "manners" seems a little too light to have such an impact. Dec 23, 2017 at 14:09
  • 1
    Some words don't have exact translations, especially when they describe something very culture-specific (arguably, some cultures are not civilized...) This may be one of them. Dec 23, 2017 at 14:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .