5 Ways to Maintain and Improve Your Persian Skills

Learning Persian entails a great deal of motivation and hard work. But the next big challenge stems from keeping language skills fresh and maintaining language proficiency. Even when you’ve reached a level of fluency in Persian, most language learners must keep finding ways to use and practice what they’ve learned.

Here are some ideas and strategies to help you maintain — and even build — your abilities in all four skill areas (writing, reading, speaking, and listening) in the Persian languages.

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1. Be consistent

Maintaining language proficiency is about being focused, making good learning habits stick, and being consistent. Exactly like muscles, language skills must be used consistently to prevent deterioration. This quote summarizes it so great: “If you are persistent, you’ll get it. If you are consistent, you’ll keep it.” Actually, doing a language activity on a regular basis can make a big difference.

One of the best language learning tips is to make learning a part of your daily life. Listen to Persian music and podcasts during your morning commute, read for at least 15 minutes a day, or review Persian vocabulary every night. These days, with the availability of ingenious language learning tools, it’s much easier to review and re-learn at your own convenience. Also, setting a daily reminder for review helps a lot.

These tips also apply to native Persians living overseas who are exposed to a foreign language and seldom use the Persian language. Persian needs maintenance, too, because you can also lose proficiency after a period of time. Read the daily news in Persian, have regular conversations and video calls with your family and friends who speak Persian, watch the latest movies, and listen to your favorite songs.

2. Build your own vocabulary list

Many of the activities that we have written above (like listening to music, watching movies and …), give you the chance to pick out new Persian words, write them down and learn them. Write them in a notebook, you can create your own flashcards or do whatever works best for you. It is important to write them down, say them aloud, and please try to incorporate them into your speech. If you’re stuck on ideas, look around your home. Do you know all of the words for household items? Food? Kitchenware? Clothing? If the idea appeals to you, you can build your own theme lists. Take the time to learn Persian words that may not appear in your course textbooks. Chances are, those Persian words will come in handy someday! (Skill areas: Reading and writing)

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3. Watch a movie in Persian

Watching Persian movies is a great way to get exposure to authentic language. Turn on the subtitles if you need to. If you’re up for a challenge, leave the subtitles off and just enjoy the movie. Set yourself a goal such as: Watching movies by the same director or same actor, or watching a different genre of movie. For example, watch an action movie and a comedy the next time. Keep notes about the movies you watch and any new words or Persian phrases you’ve picked up. (Skill area: listening)

4. Reassess your long-term goals

In fact, setting clear and realistic goals can motivate you to stick to good learning habits until it becomes a part of your routine. Do you want to become a language teacher for kids? Are you aiming to become a certified and professional translator someday? Or do you think about translating in more than one language pair? These are only some of the goals that will drive you to keep learning and improving your Persian skills.

Actually, improving your second language skills can lead to one source of income. For example, if you’re translating into your mother tongue now, you may strive to improve your skills so you can eventually translate into your second language. Once you’re proficient, you can start to market that skill and earn more and more money.

In addition, you may eventually venture into other freelancing jobs, such as editing, content writing, and copywriting in your native or second language. So please never stop learning and building your skills to open new doors in your career!

5. Read news in Persian

News is a great way to get exposure to authentic language, and also learn what’s going on in the world. You can go online and find a news article on a topic you’re interested in (such as: sport, game and…) and read it through. Read for content and meaning, please try to get the gist of what it is saying. Then read it again and agin to get the deeper meaning and the details. If you prefer a more structured approach, dissect the article to find the “5 Ws” (چه کسی؟ Who? چه؟ What? کی؟ When? کجا؟ Where? چرا؟ Why?) in the article and write them down on a separate sheet of paper. Find one or two new Persian vocabulary words an add them to your list. (Skill areas: reading and possibly writing, if you choose to incorporate it).

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