In 2021, it’s almost impossible to get through school without learning a new language. In your country, speaking a foreign language isn’t necessarily valued, because you aren’t always confronted with opportunities to learn and use other languages. But once you get outside of your country, monolingualism is far from the norm.
And if you’re thinking of traveling or studying abroad, learning a foreign language is imperative.
Speaking Persian fluently takes work and practice. Even if you study every day, it can take several months to master it. Meanwhile, you start to get frustrated at your lack of progress and maybe you give up.
There are all kinds of rewards associated with speaking a foreign language. Not just intangible rewards, like being able to chat with native speakers when you travel, but psychological and health rewards as well. Studies show that being able to speak a foreign language may help you multitask and prevent dementia.
So if you want to know how to learn Persian effectively and reap all of the benefits of speaking the Persian language, here are 6 tips to simplify your Persian learning:
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1. Have a Word of the Day
Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in Persian can be overwhelming. Sometimes, even if you do learn new Persian words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context.
One way to get around this problem is to keep a few new Persian words in your vocabulary by using them on a daily basis. Since it takes an adult an average of 150 times to learn to use a new word properly, having a Word of the Day or several words can help build your Persian vocabulary.
You can do this one of two ways. One, you can keep a running list of Persian words you’d like to learn and designate one to be the word of the day. Or, two, you can wait for new Persian words to come up organically in conversation, and then try to use the new word several times.
2. Speak Persian as Much as You Can (Especially with Native Speakers)
And yet, it’s so easy to get trapped in the “not-good-enough” mindset, where you don’t speak because you think you don’t speak Persian well enough. And then your Persian speaking doesn’t get better.
So make an effort to communicate with native Persian speakers. You’ll learn a lot more in a 5-minute conversation with a native Persian speaker than you will from another English speaker who has learned Persian for 2 years through books.
Try to spend 80% of your time speaking with those who speak Persian better than you.
3. Listen to Persian music or movie, Even as Background Noise
Part of learning to speak Persian properly is learning the intonations and rhythms of the words.
The remedy to that is to listen to the language as much as possible.
Please try to hear the pacing of the words, how they’re pronounced in different contexts, and what the different intonations are. How does the Persian language sound when the speaker is excited, or angry, or asking an accusatory question?
Even listening to Persian in the background will help you to pick up information on how the language is spoken.
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4. Look up Persian Words You Don’t Know in a Monolingual Dictionary
In fact, figuring out the meaning of words can be tricky in a foreign language since direct and accurate translations don’t always exist. While getting the word for physical objects, like شیر «milk», میز «desk» or غذا «food» might be straightforward, translating concepts can be a lot harder.
By looking Persian words up in a monolingual dictionary, you can make sure that the word or phrase you choose actually means what you think it does.
5. When You Make a Mistake, Please Try to Correct Yourself Immediately
Lifehack published an article stating that if you mistype a word, you should delete the whole word before retyping it correctly to reprogram your mind to do it properly the next time.
The same goes for learning a new language.
If you misspeak and catch your mistake, immediately correct yourself by repeating the sentence in a correct way. It will help you program your brain to avoid making the same mistake again and again and solidify the grammar rules in your mind.
6. Carry Around a Notebook and Write down New Persian Words You Learn
If you’re in the beginning stages of learning a language, you can write new Persian words in the notebook you have with you and this process might be too overwhelming since you’re learning new words all the time. But once you get to an intermediate or advanced level, your language learning process slows down. In the beginning, you progressed easily because you were learning simple verb tenses and lists of super useful vocabulary that you use every day – «سلام، چطوری؟» “hello, How are you?”, «آیا می توانم با شما دوست شوم؟» “Can I become friends with you?” – and actually when you get past that stage, the learning suddenly gets harder.
When you’re advanced, keeping a record of the Persian words you learn can also help you from getting frustrated and thinking that you aren’t learning anything new.
As long as you use the Persian language, you’ll always be progressing.