3 Steps to Improve Your Persian Listening

When learning a foreign language, there are four skills we need for complete communication: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

These are called the four language skills. No matter what language we learn, we have to learn these skills equally.

When we are learning our mother tongue we go through a simple learning process:

  1. We learn to listen
  2. We learn to speak
  3. We learn to read
  4. We learn to write

If we want to learn a second language, then we have to follow the same process.

Just like when we are kids.

kids spend their first months and years listening to and replicating the sounds they hear. Then, they start learning their language vocabulary. And, only after that, they start making different sentences.

The question is: if this is a natural process, why do some people find it more difficult to learn one skill than another?

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1. Practice Active Listening

This just simply requires you to sit down and listen to someone speaking Persian. You can do this by using the internet to find Persian music, movies, news clips, or sports commentating. Find something that you enjoy it.

Listen to the Persian and write down what you think you heard. Please don’t go for a word-to-word translation, write down the general idea of what was said. You can start small and then work your way to a longer portion of the clip. We suggest you don’t hesitate to replay the clip as many times as you need it.

After you have finished writing down what was said, you have to verify that your response was correct. Actually, you can do this easily if the clip has subtitles. If not, you may have to also write down the Persian and break down the translation on your own. We would suggest sticking to videos that have subtitles for your first couple of practices.

Recommended Tools

There are a few good sites that offer listening tools to help you along:


Use podcasts that produce fun and culturally relevant Persian lessons that you can listen to. This site does offer some free material but has a paid monthly subscription as well.


YouTube is a place for finding all types of Persian videos from technology videos, to movies, to music and beyond. Pretty much anything you can imagine is on YouTube.

2. Let’s Listen

When we are adults we want to see the results of everything that we do quickly and immediately. We also want to be productive and efficient. And it makes sense, we invest part of our time in learning a new foreign language and we want to make the best of it.

But let’s take it easy and enjoy the learning process. You will see it will make much sense.

Some people start learning Persian by “reading” and “writing”. They read and write Persian vocabulary. They try to memorize it.

But the problem comes when they want to have a conversation in Farsi. Generally, they struggle to understand other people, they can’t make proper sentences, and they get frustrated.

If you start by just listening:

You will get familiar with the sounds of the vowels and consonants in Persian.

When you listen you can also improve your Persian pronunciation.

The way you pronounce Persian directly affects your ability to understand it. If you are consistently pronouncing a word wrong, you will struggle to understand a native Persian speaker when they say it correctly.

Also, you will tune your ear to different people, different accents, and different speeds.

We think, one of the biggest mistakes is getting used to only one person’s accent, you will find it hard to understand other people.

Only in Iran, there are dozens of different accents and dialects.

Useful Tips:

3. Make Listening Part of Your Daily Routine

You need to set aside about 30 minutes a day to practice your listening comprehension. Please break it down into 10-minute segments throughout your day:

10 minutes of vowel/consonant drills
10 minutes Listening
10 minutes of practice imitation

Actually, by breaking it down, you can fit it into your schedule easily and it will not take up a large chunk of your time. Doing this daily, will become part of your routine, and enhance your Persian at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

Incorporating a listening comprehension aspect into your Persian learning will set you up for success in many ways. Understanding a native speaker while traveling or having a conversation will be easy, especially if you are practicing daily.

Keep up the great work! Listening comprehension is one of the harder things to master when learning Persian. Remember to take things one at a time and don’t forget to make listening to Persian part of your daily routine. Every day you will get a little bit better. Even before you know it, you will have mastered listening comprehension!

Please make sure to use the comment box below if you have any questions about Persian or methods that have worked for you. Don’t worry, we are always here to help!

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