If you’re looking to start preparing before you study in Iran – or just want to sound more like native Persian speakers – there are plenty of things you can do to help prepare.
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1. Read your favorite book
To start with, if you’re nervous about the long-form texts you’ll be reading in Persian at Iranian university, you can always try reading your favorite novel in Persian. Actually, by reading something you know and love, you can concentrate on the language used rather than the actual plot.
2. Watch with subtitles
If you prefer to watch serials or movies to reading novels, you can still learn Persian whilst watching your favorites. Choose a movie in your own language and add Persian subtitles. This way, you can read along with what’s happening on the screen – translating the Persian words in your head. It’s also a great way to get used to the way native Persian speakers pronounce their words.
3. Practise with friends
If you have learned Persian and your friend has also learned it, you can speak to your friend in Persian. Meet up for lunch or coffee and agree to talk only in Persian. As well as getting spoken practice in, you can also use this time as a way to correct each other’s Persian in a friendly and respectful way. If you’re really dedicated, you can even combine tips and start a Persian-speaking book club with your friends by recommending each other books to read and discuss!
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4. Go online
If you don’t have anyone close by to practice Persian with, a great option is to go online. The internet is a good place to find like-minded people to practice your Persian with. You can pick a topic you’re passionate about, whether it is a hobby or the subject you plan to study and search for it online. To develop your Persian reading skills, you can read blogs on the subject. For improving your Persian writing and communication skills, you can use social media, or even try writing some things you love on social media.
5. Learn a word a day
One of the oldest ways to learn a foreign language is still one of the most effective. Find a new Persian word every day and set yourself a goal to use it in conversation. There are plenty of ways to do this, you can pick Persian words you’ve come across in reading or watching serials and movies, or you can use an Instagram page that suggests words for you to use. A fun point on this technique is to choose colloquially and slang words and idioms that you may hear from other students at university.
6. Listen to the local accent
If you really want to be prepared for life in Iran before you arrive, a great way to practice is to get to know the local accent. Visit YouTube and listen to native Persian speaker accent. Although you won’t need to speak in Persian all the time, it will help you feel more comfortable when speaking with locals in the city center.