3 Tips for Practicing Your Farsi Speaking Skills

When you start out learning a Persian language everything is exciting. You pick up new Farsi words and basic phrases fairly quickly. The first time you say a greeting or answer the question “حال شما چطور است؟: How are you?”, you might even get a thrill. Speaking fluent Farsi doesn’t feel that far off and at this point it really does seem like language learning isn’t all that difficult. But actually, after a week or two, things begin to change…

After a few weeks of study, you start to hit walls as you’re faced with strange grammar, Persian vocabulary, and pronunciation. Actually, everything about learning Farsi seemed promising and hopeful before, but now you start to realize how difficult it’s going to be. Speaking the Persian language now feels like a long far off goal that you may or may not achieve one day.

But don’t let the innocence of being an absolute beginner or the disillusionment of an experience learner discourage you from learning Farsi. Honestly, speaking the language may not be as far off as you thought.

In this post, we’ll look at some practical tips that will help you speak better Farsi no matter what level you’re at.

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1) Practice with Native Speakers

Practicing your Persian with native Persian speakers is by far one of the most effective things you can do to improve your speaking abilities. Think of speaking a new language as riding a bike. After a certain point, you can’t read or theorize about how to do it actually you have to do it. If you can practice speaking with native Persian speakers who correct you and give good feedback, then you’ll be well on your way to improving your speaking.

Where to find native Farsi speakers

If you live in or near a major city there is a good chance there are some Farsi speakers there. You might get lucky and discover an entire Farsi community. Do a little research into the demographics of your city or simply keep your eyes open the next time you go through city. Also, you can attend a language exchange or cultural event.

If you can’t find native Persian speakers where you live then jump over to the net and find them there. There are a lot of free online language exchange apps that allow you to connect with other language learners from all over the globe via text, audio, or video chat. Look for a Farsi speaker who is learning English. You can spend some hours or so helping each other in your respective target languages. This is a highly practical and helpful way to learn languages (not to mention it can be fun too).

2) Devote some time to learning pronunciation

Pronunciation often isn’t the first skill people think of working on when they learning a new language, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. Truth be told, you don’t absolutely need a great accent to speak or understand Farsi. However, a decent accent can vastly improve your listening and Persian speaking abilities in ways you might not expect.

Being able to pronounce Farsi words and sounds makes it a lot easier for you to remember and understand new words simply by hearing them. Actually, if you can physically make a sound with your mouth then you can mentally remember it. Once you have a good accent the Farsi language won’t sound as foreign as it once did, and you will be able to understand rapid speech as well as pick up the definition of new Persian words based on their conversational context.

How to improve your accent

If you’re serious about developing your accent then you’ll want to dissect the Farsi sound system into its individual parts: first by letters, then individual words, followed by whole phrases. Start doing some mild research on the phonetics of the Farsi language. You don’t have to get too technical here, just try to get an idea of some of the main differences between English and Farsi pronunciation. Find out where Farsi speakers usually put their tongue while saying certain sounds, or pay attention to the shape of their mouths when they speak the Persian language (is it open or closed?). These subtle differences are what help you improve your accent.

Once you get the letters down start listening to native audio and compare your pronunciation to the native Persian speakers.

These precise methods of pronunciation practice are one of the most efficient and effective ways to learn Persian pronunciation.

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3) Imitate, don’t just repeat

Anytime you speak Farsi do your best to imitate the native speakers you’ve heard and practice with. Match the way their intonation rises and falls. Please pay attention to their word order. It’s even a great idea to match some of their body language. This degree of imitation will probably feel weird at first, but it reinforces fluency in the Persian language and breaks you out of the parrot trap where you simply learn and speak Persian through rote memorization or repetition.

In fact, speaking a language is like playing music. You don’t want to just know it. Truth be told, You want to live in the moment and feel it as you use it. Actually, You don’t sit and think of what you’re going to say in English before you say it. Why would you expect to do the same in Farsi?

Final thoughts

Don’t let ruffled expectations make you think that speaking Farsi is impossible. Yes, we know it’s difficult but it probably isn’t as difficult as you think it is. With a little determination and some faithful practice, you might be surprised how quickly and how far you can progress. Use these tips to better practice the language and see real results in your speaking skills!

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