Learning Persian can be a tiring and challenging process. You are trying to perfect your pronunciation and Persian grammar every day, yet sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. Many researchers claim that children are better at understanding a new language. Actually, they believe that the human brain perceives more new sounds in early childhood. That’s why so many kids that live in bilingual families can speak both languages perfectly and correctly.
So, where does that leave adult language learners? Not everyone learns a new language in childhood. Most of us only discover the necessity or desire to speak a foreign language in our teenage or adult years. Is there a way to improve the learning process for older learners? By eliminating these five things, you will be able to learn Persian more effectively.
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Avoid doing these 5 things when learning Persian
1. Don’t rely on translation
Many beginners start creating a glossary of unknown words writing down the Persian word and its translation in their native language. However, this is not the best long-term approach. If you know the translation of the word, you will continuously be translating Persian phrases in your head and spend more time finding the right equivalent than communicating.
What you should do is to learn to think in Persian, not translate. It’s better to write down the meaning of every Persian word or phrase you want to memorize than translate it. When you know the definition, you will understand what the exact Persian word means (even if you don’t remember the translation of it) and be able to convey your message faster.
2. Don’t stick to one textbook
Most learners use a textbook to learn new words and practice grammar rules. There is indeed a wide selection of textbooks categorized in different levels containing vocabulary and Persian grammar explanations and exercises, creating a logical step-by-step system for learners to follow.
But a textbook shouldn’t your only source of learning Persian. You won’t hear how Iranian people really talk and express their thoughts in that language from a textbook. In fact, language covers much more than just texts and exercises: it’s culture.
Instead of only using textbooks, look for various types of content, such as YouTube videos, films, podcasts, and TV programs in Persian. You can even watch IGTV or stories on Instagram. Surround yourself with different materials in Persian, and you will be impressed with the results.
online Farsi courses on YouTube:
- Learn Farsi in 100 Days Course
- Read and Write Persian Language in 7 Days
- Learn to Speak Persian / Farsi Fast
- Farsi Conversation: Learn the Most Common Words and Phrases Farsi Speakers use Every Day
- Easy Persian Grammar: A Perfect Handbook of Contemporary Persian Grammar (Beginner to Intermediate)
- Top 1500 Persian Words: Essential Words for Communicating in Persian
- Top 100 Farsi Words: Most Common Farsi Words You Need to Know
- 3000 + Most Common Persian Phrases
- 200 Absolutely Essential Persian Verbs
3. Don’t focus on your mistakes
When trying to communicate in Persian with other people, we often may feel ashamed and embarrassed about our pronunciation or get frustrated at all the mistakes we make. This is an entirely wrong attitude.
For Persian learners, it’s so easy to feel insecure when talking to a native speaker. But imagine the opposite situation; if you come across someone learning your mother tongue, making little progress, and lots of mistakes, would you judge them? Of course not! Incidentally, you would encourage them and try to give them confidence.
We allow other people to make mistakes, so why aren’t we forgiving our own mistakes? The next time you have a chance to speak Persian, embrace your mistakes in order to eliminate them in the future.
4. Don’t procrastinate in language-learning apps
There are some useful and well-designed mobile apps that promise to help you pick up new words and learn Persian faster. Flashcards may indeed help you to memorize Persian words. But, such apps don’t really improve your knowledge of the Persian language and can waste a lot of your time.
Memorizing the meaning of the Persian words taken out of context takes a huge amount of time. That’s because you need to learn the meaning of the Persian word by heart, without “feeling” it in a sentence. In fact, language-learning apps project an image of progression in learning, but they don’t enhance your skills considerably. Cut down on the time you spend using such apps and focus more on active learning, like reading a newspaper or listening to a radio program in Persian.
5. Don’t expect too much from a teacher
Getting individual lessons from a teacher is one of the best ways to study Persian. Such lessons will give you an opportunity to practice communication skills and ask for some additional explanations of Persian grammar rules.
Although teachers are helpful, you shouldn’t rely on them to do everything for you. Many learners blame their tutors and get disappointed every time they don’t see the progress promised. But listening and absorbing knowledge requires patience many learners lack. Teachers can help you, but they can’t put the grammar and new Persian vocabulary in your head. As Haruki Murakami once said: “There are things you can only do by yourself, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.” So make the most of any individual lesson and revise and review the materials thoroughly before the next one.
Language is a very complex phenomenon; thus, you will need to be productive and persistent to understand and use Persian with any proficiency. With all the ‘don’ts’ you may have gotten the impression that Persian learning is boring, but it can be fun, we promise! By creating a favorable atmosphere for learning, you will enjoy the process and discover a whole new world.