12 Easy Tips to Improve Your Persian

You may dream of learning Persian in Tehran – but the reality is that you’re learning Persian in your car as you drive to work, or at home with an online course or books.

No worries!

Whether in Tehran or at home, the key to learning Persian is by exposing yourself to and practicing the language as much as possible. Sure, it’s going to be more challenging if you’re not living in Persian culture, but there are still numerous ways for you to incorporate Persian into your daily routine.

Here are 12 ways you can improve your Persian at home. Use one of these tips every day and you’ll be surprised at how strong your Persian is when you finally do come to Iran!

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“12 Tips”

1.  Read in Persian every day

It doesn’t matter what – just get reading! The most important thing is to read on a topic that interests you and you like it. If you’re into cooking – read a Persian food blog. Check out Persian newspapers. For literature lovers, read a book you’ve enjoyed in English, in Persian. Remember to write down any Persian words that you don’t know so you can look them up later.

2. Labels items in your home or office

Write down the Persian name of objects in your home or office on a post-it note, then stick the note to the object. Every time you look at the item, say the Persian name aloud. Be sure to write the definite article before the noun and always use the article when you say the noun aloud.

3. Listen to Persian radio

Persian sounds vastly different from how it is written, so an essential part of your home study must include listening to Persian. Thank heavens for the internet, where you can listen to Persian radio and listen to a variety of programs in Persian, from political talks to discussions of theater and music.

4. Talk to yourself in Persian

Admit it: sometimes we mutter to ourselves. We all say things like: “Where are my keys?” or “What should I make for breakfast?” or even “Let’s go.” Think about what phrases you say the most in the day. try to come up with at least 4 or 5 of them and translate them into the Farsi language. And from now on say them in Persian. When you can, practice saying them in the mirror to observe how your mouth moves as you speak.

5. Keep a Persian diary

You can write whatever you like in your diary: Write about the weather. Make a grocery list. What you plan to do today. What you already did today. A description of a colleague at work. Until you’re comfortable changing tenses, we suggest focusing on writing in a particular tense. For example, if you’re just learning the present tense, try to write only in the present tense until you feel ready to change it to another tense. Aim for writing one full page per day.

6. Get a Persian chat partner

There’s no escape – to truly learn Persian you must speak it. Thanks to communication programs like Skype and Google Talk, you can do a language exchange with a native Persian speaker. You’d speak in Persian for 30 minutes, then your partner would speak in English for 30 minutes, with each of you correcting the other.

Some more tips:

7. Create flashcards

Flashcards help you learn Persian words and even idioms better and faster and you can memorize them and use them in different places such as the workplace or university.

 8. Create a weekly “Iranian movie night”

Watching movies or Persian programs can be a great way to help absorb spoken Persian – if it’s done right. If you’re new to Persian, it’s probably best to watch a Persian TV series or even cartoons rather than a full-length feature film. (The voices on children’s programs usually speak more clearly and don’t use much slang, making it much easier to understand.) If you’re ready for a feature film, avoid watching it with English subtitles, as you’ll be doing more reading than listening to Persian. Instead, try to get a Persian film that offers Persian subtitles for the hearing impaired. The Persian words will help you understand oral Persian better as well as improve your reading.

 9. Listen to Persian music

Nothing can pull you deep inside a language better than music. Find your favorite Persian tune and learn the song by heart. Please pay close attention to pronunciation.

 10. Play pretend

Lookup a Persian restaurant on the internet and study the menu. Pretend you’re in Iran and are going to order something. Practice saying what you would order and the Persian phrases that you’d need to order it.

 11. Repeat a Persian word or phrase for 24 hours

Repetition is the best way to remember Persian words and phrases, so choose a word or a phrase that you will repeat for the whole day. Please say this word or phrase as often as possible, and set reminders for yourself. For instance, if you want to learn the phrase: How old are you? (چند سالت است؟), you can put a note next to your clock to remind you to say the Persian phrase whenever you glance at it. You can also put the phrase on your phone or screen saver, so each time you look at your cell or computer, you’ll remember to say that phrase.

12. Change your technology settings

Why not make the language on your cell phone, tablet, or computer, Persian? It’s an easy and good way to expose yourself to the language. Plus it’ll remind you to practice the language!

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