New foreign languages can seem to be tough beasts to fight with. If you’re grappling with the challenge to learn the Persian language, overwhelmed by the millions of grammar rules, and lost in a sea of new Persian words that you can’t seem to commit to memory, fret no more! We share our top tips and strategies to make your language learning effortless and effective at the same time.
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1. Make practice a habit
It’s never easy for us to sustain the motivation to sit down for a practice session. When the initial excitement withers, so many people find themselves slacken on this front. But if you build short study sessions into your Persian learning routine, it can help retain your momentum. The human brain loves routine! And when you get used to it, things happen on an autopilot mode. Just find a time slot when it’s easiest for you to have a quick 15-30 minute session. It could be while you’re having your evening tea, or right after you finish watching the prime time news. The important key is to do it at about the same time every day so that your brain comes to expect and look forward to it.
2. Use modal verbs to anchor your sentences
New learners keen to dive into the deep end of conversational Persian should invest some time into understanding and learning how to conjugate modal verbs (e.g. باید, شدن, توانستن). This helps start speaking Persian in sentences by equipping you to express basic ability, necessity, or possibility. For instance, ‘من فقط می توانم کمی فارسی حرف بزنم‘, ‘من باید بروم’ or ‘ممکن است جلسه امشب دیر شود’. Actually, There’s so much you can communicate using modal verbs!
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3. Practice conversation with a Persian native speaker
We can’t stress this enough. Regardless of how good your exercise books are, nothing can beat the benefits of Persian conversation practice with real people. Colloquial usage is often more nuanced than what a Persian grammar book alone can teach you. In fact, it forces you to de-code the meaning within a particular context, taking intonations and other factors into consideration. Actually, It also helps one to get used to the native accent and learn to respond appropriately in real conversations. Reach out to your friends who speak the Persian language, or download a language app like Tandem or Speaky to connect with Persian native speakers across the globe.
4. Talk to yourself
No, definitely we don’t mean it in a creepy self-obsessed way! If you think about it, we talk to ourselves virtually all the time – whether we’re thinking about our life, preparing for meetings or presentations, or trying to articulate our ideas or thoughts. So using this as an opportunity to continue your Persian language speaking practice may be the smartest transition to make! In fact, it ensures continuity of practice and allows you to make mistakes (and correct them) without anyone’s judgment or evaluation.
5. Build a language learning network
If you know other people who are also struggling to learn the Persian language, start a language learning group on weekends. Meet somewhere comfortable and discuss your challenges, clarify everyone’s doubts and set a strict rule to speak only in Persian. Regardless of the level of proficiency, everyone can benefit from interactions like this. You may choose to read a Persian story collaboratively or set other group tasks and challenges. If you cant meet in person, even Whatsapp groups or Google Hangouts can be very effective tools for this purpose. Talk, meet, chat, discuss and share resources. You can share this article with your language learning group, as a first step.
No matter how uphill the task may seem, there are many fun ways to learn the Persian language and the list above is only a start. So give these tricks a try, and add your own tips in the comments to share with others learning to speak Persian. Happy learning!