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Where can I learn Persian ?

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I received it earlier. This may help you. 

“We work at Al-Mustafa Open University in Quran studies group (Qom city, Iran). Would you please send our link to the ones who like studying Islam or the Quran in our virtual University. Thanks in advance.”




"Exegesis and Qur'anic Sciences" group

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Easy Persian is easily is one of the best resources. In something like 185 short lessons you'll know Persian. However, my only two gripes with this site are (1) it doesn't seem to be complete and (2) you need to do 185 lessons! It isn't bad nonetheless, I know someone who used only 70 lessons but it gave him an excellent foundation in Persian.

Here are some textbooks going from most basic to most advanced (with links to library genesis whence you can download these books for free):

Basic Persian, an excellent beginner to intermediate text with a lot of vocabulary given to you. I'd recommend doing a few lessons a week and doing the exercises throughout. You should put the vocab on flashcards and go over them whenever you have 5 minutes -- if you have a smart phone, try the anki app. Anki uses an SRS software so you get cards you know well more infrequently than cards you know and the app learns from your study habits. If you get through this book you'll have a solid foundation.

Thackston's Introduction to Persian, a book which has quickly become a classic text (he also has excellent textbooks in Classical Arabic, Classical Syriac, and Sorani and Kurmanji Kurdish). It's a very well-designed textbook with good explanations of grammar and it gives you a lot of opportunities to create your own sentences. It's also a beginner to intermediate text but it requires a lot more from its student than Basic Persian does, it'll through a lot of grammatical terms which can make using this book daunting. In my opinion it'd be best if you do this book after Basic Persian, that is, if you want to consolidate elementary to intermediate Persian and consolidate what you've learned. Two major pros of this book are (1) the indicies in which he gives archaic usages and modern colloquial usages you'd hear in Iran. And (2) the reader he gives at the end of the text of prose literature, it's annotated and you can practice everything you've learned if you don't want to go and read Farsi on your own yet. You'd do well even if you just read the reader at the end after doing Basic Persian. The one major drawback of this book is that the answer key isn't digitized and it isn't very cheap either.

Ann K. Lambton's Persian Grammar, this is an absolutely classic book which you definitely should refer to. The author was the foremost expert of Iranian studies in her day -- even having a hand in the overthrow of Mohammed Mosaddeq in the 50s. Her dirty politics aside, her knowledge of Persian is phenomenal and this textbook is absolutely great. It's relatively advanced so if you did this after Basic Persian or after doing Thackston's Introduction to Persian you'd probably fare better than jumping into it straight away. This is a very dense text half of which also covers the Arabic grammar found in Classical Persian. It aims to ensure you'll be able to read even the most baroque texts and has exercises (both translating from and into Persian) and has its own answer key at the end as well as indicies with important information. Keep in mind that towards the end instead of getting translation exercises you'll start getting readings which are annotated, I think it also has a final reading at the end but not a reader like Thackston's, I don't find that problematic though. You'd do well if you did this as an intermediate to high intermediate or advanced grammar.

As far as dictionaries go, I can't think of anyone better than Dehkhoda's dictionary. It's the Hans Wehr of Persian dictionaries, if you've studied Arabic. You can find it online here. If you have a smartphone, install the fastdic app which is also very good and based on Dehkhoda's dictionary -- the drawback of this app is that it really is more like a dictionary than an app, you can't search present stems. Wiktionary is excellent as well, I use it for everything, install the app if you can.

If you want to refer to readers to practice reading, there's really only three worth mentioning:

  1. Arberry's Modern Persian Reader, based off formal texts such as newspapers and books.
  2. Haidari's Modern Persian Reader, also based of such printed sources.
  3. Thackston's translation of Gulistan-e Sa'adi (titled Saadi's Gulistan), it's a bilingual reader with glossaries at the back.

Unfortunately none of them are online, but if you can save up to buy them any of them would be helpful for the serious student of Persian. There is one bilingual reader online at the end of a small reference grammar called Modern Persian Colloquial Grammar by Fritz Rosen, funnily the reader is much larger than the grammar. Nevertheless it's the only book I've found online that I found worth mentioning. It is Modern Persian for sure, in the sense that it's not Middle Persian or Old Persian, and is useful for practicing what you've learned, but it's a stretch of the imagination to think this is reflective of how people would be speaking today colloquially. This book was written in 1897 when there was still an emperor of Persia from the Qajar dynasty, it's exactly a century older than I am! Nevertheless, it's not bad.

I'm not sure about you, personally I always find having a physical resource is more helpful for me than using PDFs, these books aren't too expensive on amazon so you could buy them, else you can print them out and have them spiral bound. However the PDFs are fine as well, of course.

I might update this post in the future with any new resources I might come across.

Finally, language is something that is a form of oral communication and that is how it evolved in the mind due to the grace of God. To learn well you need to speak and listen, not just rely on reading. Listen to Persian radio. Speak often, even if only to yourself. Sign up on a website like italki and try to get a Persian speaker to practice with. Write in Persian whenever you can. Watch Persian TV shows, movies, and lectures.

InshaAllah you'll be successful.


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Salam alaykum . 

Im Muhammad from Iran and im Shia and living in holy Qom . my mother language is persian and also I know and teach Arabic too . If some one can practice with me english or other  lanuages like french , spanish , italian , polish ... I will practice with you or teach persian or Arabic . May Allah bless all of my brothers and sisters .

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