How to Learn Persian (Outside of Language School)

It is quite common to think you have to sign up for language school if you want to learn a new foreign language. Going to language classes is great to learn vocabulary and basic grammar, for sure. But spending up to 6 hours a week at a language school can be hardly doable next to the university, a student job, and your social life.

This is why we want to give you advice on how to learn Persian outside a language school.

Learning Persian can be fun, but it can also be time-consuming. In this article, we have put together some tips on how to learn Persian.

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1. Read children’s books

maybe you feel a little bit awkward, but we recommend reading children’s books. It really helps to stay motivated as you get the feeling that you can actually read something in Persian without having to look up every second word.

Most of the books you have previously read in your native language and you know what the story is about beforehand, will make it a lot easier when you read that book in Persian. Reading different children’s books just really helped you to get used to the Persian language and to learn more Persian words along the way – but without any pressure or homework.

2. Set a specific goal

To stay motivated and consistent during the learning process, specify why you want to become fluent in Persian, and what exactly you want to achieve in specific time frames. Play make your goal as clear as possible. For example, it may look like “within six months, I’ll be able to make small talk on common topics with my Persian colleagues”.

3. Interaction with Iranians

Going to the language school is your “kickstart” into the Persian language, but not enough to become completely fluent.

Interacting with Iranians will help you a lot to improve your language every day. Learning Persian will probably always be an ongoing process.

YouTube Farsi Lessons:

4. Make a study schedule

Practice makes perfect. When it comes to Persian learning, regular studying does make a big difference. In fact, creating a balanced learning plan will help you stay focused, motivated, and persistent on the way to your goal. Even if you’re on a busy schedule, start small, but practice Persian every day. Even 20-minute study sessions per day are better than nothing and in the long run, it will improve your Persian.

5. Watch something Persian

If you want to spice up your Persian learning game, you should start watching Persian movies and series. Maybe you have to concentrate very hard in the beginning, but it will get easier from time to time. In fact, it is so satisfying if you notice your own progress and get better at following the plot and understanding the dialogues.

Of course, you could also watch some Persian YouTubers or find yourself a Persian movie or Persian documentary.

6. Learn basic vocabulary

As a beginner, you might want to translate words into Persian directly, but learning a foreign language is more than memorizing a bunch of separate words. Once you’ve covered phonetics, proceed to learn common Persian phrases that are widely used in real-life conversations.

Below are some Persian words and phrases that might be a good start:

ممنون (mamnun) — “Thank you”

ببخشید (bebakhshid) — Sorry

چطوری؟ (chetori) — How are you?

خداحافظ (khodâ hâfez) — Goodbye

لطفا (lotfan) — Please

To learn basic Persian vocabulary, you can use flashcards or language learning apps, such as Memrise.

7. Listen to Persian music

For a Persian learner, listening to music is an excellent way to tune the ear to pronunciation and practice listening comprehension. Plus, by learning the lyrics of songs, you’ll expand your vocabulary. You can listen to Persian music online on YouTube, add playlists with Persian songs to your iTunes or Google Play, or listen to Pop music on Spotify.

8. Make use of subtitles

Here comes a quick follow-up on the previous advice on watching something in Persian.

By watching English movies with Persian subtitles, you can pick up on various words or useful phrases. Watching Persian movies and series with Persian subtitles can help you a lot with building up your vocabulary. Please try and let your brain slowly match the language with the on-screen visuals.

9. Listen to Podcasts

To really challenge your listening skills you should try listening to Persian podcasts. A good one to start with might be Persian Pod. It provides you with functional language and clear explanations on how to use certain Persian vocabulary, so that you can easily apply it in your daily life – you can learn everyday phrases which make you sound more native.

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