Start Learning Persian

Where to Start Learning Persian

Written by Katia Monajemi, BA in the Persian language, BA in Cultural Anthropology with focus on Iran

Although Persian (Farsi) may not be the most popular language to study, but there are quite a lot of materials available at bookstores and online. If you do a quick Google search, you will find lots of various materials that help you start learning Persian. What`s more, some language learning apps have added Persian to the list of the languages they offer. Although the materials are in abundance, not all of them are equally good.

In the article below, we have gathered the best materials that will help you start learning Persian in the most effective way. So, if you have postponed learning this beautiful language because you just didn’t know where to start learning Persian, make sure to read up to the end, and you will find all the answers. Let`s get started!

Learning Persian by Textbooks

Although Persian textbooks are being published in many countries and in many languages, and probably every major language learning publisher has released a Persian textbook of their own, there are a couple of textbooks that stand out. These textbooks were designed by professional language instructors and professors of Iranian background and teach the up-to-date language that is being spoken in Iran right now.

What we especially like about these textbooks is that each lesson is accompanied by multiple audio files recorded by native speakers as well as videos with everyday conversations. What`s more, there are tons of real-life materials used in textbooks, for instance, newspaper clips, book covers or posters, and other visual material in Persian of Iran Today, and song lyrics and poems in Persian in Use. All of them allow you to not only learn the language but also to learn more about Iranian culture.

If these textbooks are available in your country, we would recommend to start with one of these two:

Persian in use

Persian of Iran Today

Learning by Express Persian Course

If learning the alphabet seems like too much an effort and you can`t afford to spend time on learning it at the moment, the Express Persian Course is what you need. This course is written in Finglish (Farsi + English), Persian words are written in English letters which will save you a lot of time and give you instant results.

Although the course has a little bit of everything in it, including simplified grammar, vocabulary, and reading, its major focus is speaking. Each lesson gives you everything you need to speak on a certain topic that covers things like introducing yourself, talking about your routine, where you work and where you live, what you like, arranging a meeting with a friend, and much more.

Start Learning Persian Online by Express Persian Course

The course consists of 16 lessons; each lesson won`t take more than an hour to complete. You can work on your Persian any time and any place that is right for you and put as much time as you have in your studies.

This course can be a perfect choice for those who want to learn some Persian for their trip to Iran or have small talk with their Iranian partner or friends.

Start Learning Persian by Online Resources & Apps

Most websites that offer free lessons in Persian are extremely outdated.  They are full of vocabulary lists and grammar explanations but don’t have any exercises or practice whatsoever. However, there are a few sources that can make an amazing addition to the textbook of your choice. Keep in mind that it is not recommended to use them on their own as they may not be enough to fully understand all the aspects of the Persian language.

No matter whether you want to start learning Persian from the very beginning or have been learning it for a while already, this website has something to offer to everyone. Most importantly, it`s an excellent source of short animated videos on different topics, each of them is equipped with a transcript in Persian as well as in Finglish (Persian written with the help of English letters), explanation and an exercise. The good news is that you can access all the resources absolutely for free.

The website offers tons of lessons in the form of podcasts that cover everything from vocabulary on various topics, to conversations and even grammar. Each lesson goes with a PDF file that has the whole episode explained more thoroughly. The materials on the website are subscription-based. But you can try it out for free for a week with their trial version.

PersianPod101 also has hundreds of videos on YouTube and is available in most podcast apps and proper for start learning Persian.

  • Vocabulary Apps

Learning vocabulary is one of the most basic and significant things you need to do when you are just starting to learn a language. Clozemaster, Drops, and Lexilize Flashcards can help you expand your Persian vocabulary, while Pimsleur can give you more listening activities and teach you conversational Persian.

Create your study plan to start learning Persian

Now that you know the best resources to start learning Persian, you need to organize your studies. Here is a study plan many language learners follow that may help you choose the best resources for yourself and learn the language effectively.

Most Persian learners start with studying the Persian alphabet. The Farsi alphabet is based on the Arabic alphabet (with additional 4 letters), so if you already know it, then you are over and done with probably the hardest part of the Persian language. If not, don’t worry, most textbooks and courses start with the alphabet, so there is no need to look for extra resources to learn the alphabet.

Want to Socialize With Iranians? Start Learning Persian

It`s always easier to achieve goals and get results if you have a plan. So, choosing a textbook that will guide you through the language is a must. With a textbook, you can easily go back to any grammar rule or piece of material whenever you want, everything is gathered in one place.

One of the keys to success in learning languages is surrounding yourself with your target language. These days it can be easily done with a smartphone and all kinds of apps it has: listen to Iranian songs, watch Persian-language videos on YouTube, and explore Persian Wikipedia. And of course, don’t miss out on connecting with the Iranian community in your town! That will encourage you to use Persian in everyday conversations and dive into Iranian culture by trying out Persian food or celebrating Persian holidays alongside Iranians.

We sincerely hope that these resources will help you find your way in start learning Persian, and hope to see you in Iran soon!

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