If you’re bored at home or have dreams of visiting Iran and immersing yourself in the culture, you might start to wonder if it’s possible to learn Persian on your own.
Besides bragging rights, the benefits of learning a new language are profound. Studies suggest learning a foreign language can improve brain function, concentration, and memory. Plus, one study even implies that it can slow the rate at which your brain ages.
There are an ever-growing amount of effective free language learning apps such as Drops, and Memrise, that make the process of learning a language at home easy and convenient, too. You never even have to go to a formal class, you can take entire courses by yourself, right from the comfort of your couch.
Please don’t expect results to be that fast. Mastering Persian takes plenty of patience, practice, and repetition.
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For the best chance at success, follow these expert tips:
1. Jump right in!
Don’t overthink it. If you’re just experimenting, download a free learning app. You can always upgrade and improve if you’re sticking with it. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start learning something new, especially a foreign language. Remember: “You won’t understand everything right away, but your brain is made for language learning,” says Dr. Cindy Blanco. ” Just keep giving it the chance, and you’ll soon crack the code.”
2. Start with the basics
Though it sounds obvious, the best way to begin learning Persian is to build a foundation with the basics. Focus on how to say “سلام” hello, the most common verbs, the most important adjectives, and how to count. You’re most likely to see success if you follow the curriculum as intended.
3. Speak the words
One of the hardest aspects of trying to learn Persian on your own is speaking. «Reading the words of Persian language is undeniably important, but then you don’t learn how folks actually sound.» Supplement your learning by listening to Persian native speakers and practicing the sounds yourself. Some apps encourage this with repetition tasks. Listening to Persian podcasts and watching TV and movies can also be great supplements for learning.
4. But don’t overload your brain
Binge learning isn’t very effective. Slowing down your learning so you can properly commit Persian vocabulary to your long-term memory is the key to success. Studying for 15 or 20 minutes per day is your best strategy for becoming conversational. If you’re having trouble squeezing it in, try to fit the time in during unexpected breaks, like while waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for the bus. Then you’ll be surprised how much you can learn in just a small amount of time each day.
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5. And be consistent
Actually, for language learning to stick, it’s important to practice regularly, with no more than a couple of days in between lessons. For best results, experts recommend at least 30 minutes per day, four to five days per week, and if it helps, set yourself a reminder for the same time each day.
6. Remember to review previous lessons
In fact, reviewing can be a chore compared to learning new things. But actually, if you want to learn Persian, rather than just memorize some fancy sentences, you need to review what you’ve done. «Doing this ensures you don’t forget what you’ve learned and that you’re building on your progress in learning».
7. And practice with actual humans
“The keys to learning Persian are repetition and applying the language in new contexts. Actually, these help you build connections between new information and what you already know.”
But software can just get you so far if you’re hoping for fluency. Look for a friend or family member you can practice with. This gets you in front of the language and allows you to see words and Persian grammar in new ways.
8. Finally, be patient
Rather than focus on mistakes, you may make while learning, celebrate the successes that come from consistent learning.