The most efficient ways to learn Persian

We have a question, what is the difference between effective and efficient? Let’s say you had to travel from Moscow to Paris; what means of transportation would you use? You could walk, run, ride a bike, drive a car, take a train, use a motorcycle, or fly (by plane). All of these ways of transportation are effective and they work; you will get there. But, which ways require the least amount of energy and accomplish the job in the shortest period of time? These methods are the most efficient. We are sure you would agree that traveling by plane is more efficient than riding a motorcycle.

Learning Persian can be broken down into two areas: input and output. Input consists of reading and listening and output consists of writing and speaking. Clearly, in order to have great quality output, you must have a lot of great quality input. Please think of how long a child listens before beginning to speak. As adults, we are not going to wait one or two years before attempting to speak, but the more input we get, the more output we can produce. The same applies to reading and writing. In fact, the more you read, the better you write. We can even say that the more you read, write and listen, the better you speak Persian.

Our advice to all serious Persian learners is to approach your goal with a sense of urgency. It means you should work effectively, but more importantly, you need to work efficiently. We have prepared the most effective and efficient ways to develop each area of language.

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1. Reading

Learn at least five new Persian words every day. My suggestion is to use index cards with the word on one side and the definition and translation on the other. Please keep the cards in a box and review them frequently by saying the word and trying to give the definition. Keep the definitions and translations as short and concise as possible. Five to seven Persian words are best. If you learn five words a day, actually that’s 1,825 words per year. Considering that the average high school student probably has a vocabulary of 5,000 to 6,000 words, in a few years your Persian vocabulary should be sufficient enough to understand nearly everything written in Persian.
Time commitment: 30 minutes.

2. Listening

Listen to talk radio. The objective of listening to Persian is to hear as many words as possible in as short a period as possible. The more times you hear a word, the better you will be able to use that Persian word. In fact, there is no more efficient way to do this than talk radio. The words are very diverse and there are no periods of silence because, unlike television, visuals cannot be used to keep an audience’s attention. The key is to listen as much as possible. Maximize your time by listening to the talk radio when doing other activities such as cooking, walking, eating, driving, getting dressed. If you can, try to listen to the radio while you go to sleep so it’s the last thing you hear while falling asleep and listen to it whenever you can.
Time commitment: 0.

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3. Writing

Keep a journal and write at least 500 Persian words per day. Actually, by writing every day you will be reinforcing everything you have learned. Also, it will force you to question the accuracy of what you are writing. In fact, this process of intense concentration will help organize the vast array of information you have in your subconscious mind. Write about whatever you want, but be sure to challenge yourself with new Persian vocabulary and various grammar structures.
Time commitment: 30 minutes.

4. Speaking

Read aloud. In fact, reading aloud allows you to practice perfectly. Please remember that it is perfect practice that makes perfect. By reading aloud you are speaking grammatically perfect Persian. If you have a typical conversation, errors will be made, and it is not just for Persian learners, but for native speakers as well. If errors are repeated continually, it will become increasingly more difficult to correct those errors. Also, you will be using Persian words that you would not normally use. Actually, in a typical one-hour conversation, you might speak for 30 minutes with a number of errors, but if you read aloud, you can speak for one hour without any grammar mistakes using new Persian words.
Time commitment: 1-2 hours minimum.

Please do these four things every day for one month and we promise you that you will be amazed at your improvement. There is no secret to learning Persian, just a lot of hard work to accomplish something that will enhance your life forever.

We wish you all the best!

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