Learning Persian, like any other new language, implies a lot of memorization, and often, as adults, our memory is not what it used to be. So what is the best way to learn Persian? These 12 tips will help you memorize new information longer, and learn Persian more efficiently.
Best Farsi Learning Resource!
12 Top Tips
1. Review – Repetition Is The Key!
This is probably the number one mistake Persian learners make.
They concentrate on learning new material and forget to review the older material.
2. Study Persian Regularly, For A Short Time, Not All In One Sitting
If you study Persian all afternoon, chances are that you’ll exhaust yourself, and are much more likely to get frustrated, lose your motivation or attention when studying Persian.
Spending 15-30 minutes a day learning Persian – not multitasking but with 100% of your attention – will get you better results than two hours during the weekend with the kids playing in the yard.
If your memory is great, go ahead and memorize everything that you like!
But if it’s not the case, PRIORITIZE: what Persian words in this story are YOU likely to use? Focus on learning these words first, then revisit the story once you’ve mastered your first list.
The same logic applies to tenses. Please focus on Persian verbs, and then move on to adjectives, essential vocabulary, asking questions, pronouns… things that will make an immediate difference in your ability to converse in Persian.
4. Learn Persian In Sentences
When you make up your Persian sentences, find examples that make sense to you, that are close to your own life.
For example, let’s say you want to learn ‘red’ in Persian. Instead of writing down a dull sentence like ‘the apple is red’, look for something red that personally means something to you, and write about it: ‘my cat likes to play with his red ball’.
Your brain will remember a Persian sentence describing a truth or a memory much longer than it will remember a sentence of made-up facts.
5. Avoid Writing In Your Head
6. Be Careful With Persian Cognates
This is why you should be particularly careful with cognates – words that are the same between the two languages.
Many students approach them thinking “ah, that’s so easy for me, I know that one”. But then when they need to use that word, they don’t remember it’s the same word in Persian as in English…
Furthermore, cognates always have a different pronunciation, and your English brain is going to fight saying that word the Persian way.
So, cognates need more attention, not less!
- Beginners Complete Persian Course
- Intermediate Complete Persian Course
- Advanced Complete Persian Course
7. Link Persian To Images And Visual Situations, Not English Words
Try as much as possible to link the new Persian vocabulary to images, situations, feelings, and NOT to English words.
By linking the image/ sensation to the Persian words, you will avoid mistakes.
If you are doing flashcards to study Persian – which I strongly encourage you to do – draw the word/situation whenever possible instead of writing English. Even if you are not a good artist, you’ll remember what your drawing meant, and it’s much more efficient to learn Persian this way.
Well, that’s how you need to learn Persian. Linking the Persian sounds to the notions, the images, the ideas. Not to the English words. Not to the logic. Not even to the Persian grammar.
8. Translate Persian Into English As Little As Possible
When you are a beginner learner, some translation is going to occur. As you advance in your Persian studies, try as much as possible to avoid translating.
Translating adds a huge step in the process of speaking Persian.
It makes your brain and body waste 30% more time and energy and will fool you into making a mistake when the literal translation doesn’t work.
9. Beware Of Free Persian Learning Tools
OK. I get it. Free is lovely.
But, if the material is not great, then ‘free’ can be a total waste of your time. And your time is so valuable.
Be particularly careful about social media. It’s easy to get lost in there and jump from one funny clip to another but in the end, actually, you learn very little – or not what you should be learning!
However, if you are serious about learning Persian, you need to follow a structured path that gently leads you through the different Persian learning stages. At one point I suggest you invest in a reliable Persian learning method.
10. Self Studying Is NOT For Everybody
When it comes to learning languages, not everyone is the same. Some people have an easier time with Persian languages than others.
It doesn’t mean that someone less gifted can’t learn Persian, but it means that self-studying is not for everybody.
Some students need the expertise of a Persian teacher to guide them through their studies, motivate them and find creative and great ways to explain the same point until it is understood. Skype can be a good solution.
11. Be In Touch With Your Own Persian Learning Style
Whatever the method you are using to learn Persian, make sure you adapt it to YOUR learning style.
12. Always Study Persian With Audio
There is a point that many Persian students don’t realize but which is key if you want to do more than just read novels or Persian magazines, and that is study Persian with audio.
Written Persian and spoken Persian are almost 2 different languages.
Many students are learning Persian mostly with written material.
Yet, if you want to learn Persian to communicate in Persian, not just to pass exams, you need to train to understand spoken Persian.