5 things to do to improve your Persian (Part 2)

If you want to understand how to speak fluent Persian, you need to consider how fluency is gained by native speakers of the language in Iran. Iranians grow up in an environment dominated by Persian and learn the language through constant contact and social interaction. They use Persian as a highly practical tool to form relationships with others, study, work, and gain or exchange information for a variety of purposes.

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1. Set goals

Maybe you identify with a specific linguistic area and want to focus on it. Setting goals to learn this language related to this area can help. For example, if you want to visit Iran, you will need to know phrases like بناهای تاریخی کجاست؟ ‘where are the monuments?’, and چگونه می توانم به آنجا بروم؟ ‘how can I go there?’.

Tip: please keep a diary in which you write what you’d like to learn for seven days. At the end of the week, check you have achieved your goals or not.

2. Use your native language less

If you spend 99 percent of your time speaking your native language and only one percent is left for Persian, improving your fluency is always going to be an uphill struggle. Are there situations in which you could use Persian instead of your native language? This technique is called “replacement” and examples might include: changing the language on your smartphone to Persian, watching movies in Persian 50% of the time, or choosing to read a book in Persian instead of in your native language.

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3. Label

Please label everything you need to know. You can use colorful post-it notes: each color could identify a category of things. For example, you could use green sticky notes for kitchenware.

4. Stop thinking of Persian as just a “textbook subject”

Try to view Persian more as a way of life and less as a textbook subject. Any contact with the language will help you to speak Persian more fluently over time so why do you want to limit yourself to just traditional classes and textbooks? Taking a broader perspective is likely to make the learning process far more interesting and faster. Native Persian speakers have regular contact with the language in a wide range of contexts – so should you!

5. Go for it

Keep trying. In fact, every time you start something new, a moment comes in which you think you might as well quit. But maybe you heard, ‘if at first, you don’t succeed: try, try, try again.’ To help you stay motivated, remember why you started learning Persian.

Tip: keep a notebook of your common mistakes. Revise them constantly in order not to make them again. However, please don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Errors and mistakes are not a negative reflection of your intellectual abilities. Actually, they are a necessary feature of acquiring a new skill.

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