How to learn Persian faster – 4 easy techniques

So you’re itching to study abroad in Iran, a trip to Isfahan, or spend a part of the summer in Shiraz, and to make the most of the experience, you’ve decided to take some language Persian online classes as well. As you attend the class and memorizing new Persian words you may think to yourself: “I’m never going to get this.” Trust us, we understand. Learning Persian isn’t as easy as making a cup of coffee – but it’s not impossible either. In fact, we have prepared four easy techniques to help you learn the Persian language much faster.

Now, as with anything worth doing, learning Persian requires dedication. So please remember: these techniques aren’t hacks or tricks. But they are effective. To see how much, all you need to do is make a commitment to using these techniques. Ready?

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1. Talk with real live humans

Since we started clicking and swiping our devices all day, we think that everything can be practiced, learned, and taught without interaction. Want to gain a master’s degree? Take an online course. Need a great recipe? Google it. Want to learn Persian? Choose an app. It’s true that the internet can help language learners bulk up their vocabulary and feel more confident in their abilities, but unless you plan on never uttering a Persian word, forget it. You’ll need to talk to native Persian speakers – and as soon as possible.

Now, before you back out of your overseas travel plans, please don’t worry. Talking to native speakers doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. Try finding a language exchange partner in your city and for example, chatting over coffee or commit to an online course.

If you want to combine a new, exciting experience with your language studies, go to Iran to really live this language – this is one of the most effective and fun ways to progress, fast. Whatever you do, please start before you think you’re “ready”. And remember, languages are made to be spoken.

2. Use new Persian words as soon as possible

Many language learners dutifully write lists of new words in their notebooks, only to never use them in their real life. While taking note of new words is a good habit, it’s not enough on its own. As they say, use it or lose it!

Next time you hear a new Persian word, don’t just write it down: make an effort to use it as soon as possible in as many ways as possible. Say it, write it in a sentence, find its noun, verb, or adjective form, and ask your native Persian friends questions about it. This technique gives new Persian vocabulary a living context and lets it stick in your mind faster!

3. Ask a lot of questions

Don’t be a shy obsessive note-taker: actually, teachers love students who ask good questions! Don’t know what to ask? Write a list of general questions in the back of your notebook and use them during your Persian class. Please remember, the best questions give you more information or clear up a doubt.

Some great ones are “What’s the verb/noun/adjective form of this word?” “Is this word used in informal or formal situations?” “Can you please suggest any synonyms/antonyms?” or you can ask “Does this word have the same meaning in Iran/Afghanistan/Tajikistan?”

If you’re not enrolled in Persian classes, don’t worry! Post your questions to a forum, Google them, or ask your native Persian friends to help you out.

4. Start with what you really need

Imagine you’ve landed in Tehran, ready to start your semester abroad and talk to real live Iranians. You have to think about what these conversations are likely to be. We bet you won’t be diving straight into a deep and meaningful conversation about art or politics or sport, right?

To jump start your first days and weeks abroad, please think about the situations you’re likely to be in. For example, I’m lost (topics: getting around the city, city sights, public transport). I want to eat (topics: ordering food, going to the supermarket or restaurant). I want to make friends (topics: asking personal questions, talking about family and friends and life). Once you’ve identified your vocabulary areas, you should focus your energies there. It’ll make your experience much meaningful and will help you learn Persian faster.

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