How to Learn Persian: My Persian Language Project Update

Three weeks ago I started learning my fourteenth languages, Persian. I promised regular updates on my methods, progress, and I’ll even do my best to break down exactly what I do each and every day to learn the Persian language.

So let’s jump right in.

Here’s where I was at on Day 0:


And here’s where I was at about two weeks later. (The video says Day 30 but I started the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge late and recorded my Day 30 video early).

My Daily Language Learning Routine: What I Do Each Day to Learn Persian

To learn Persian, there are a few things I do every day:

My Daily Routine to Learn Persian

Complete 6,000 points on Memrise.

If I have words to review, I’ll do this first. Then, any leftover time I’ll spend learning new words.

Where do these words come from? They’re primarily the vocab and phrases that come up during my lessons. But if I come across anything useful while doing other activities (listening to podcasts, watching Youtube videos, etc.), I add them to my flashcards as well.

When do I do this? I squeeze this into the day whenever I can. Sometimes it’s while I’m a passenger in the car. Other times it’s the last thing I do before bed. Some days it’s while my kids are doing karate. And it’s even while I watch tv on occasion.

Listen to 30 minutes of Pimsleur.

I’m currently nearing the end of Level I of Pimsleur. I’ve needed to repeat a few lessons to make sure I fully grasp the new material. And I already have Level II ready to go.

When do I do this? Whenever I’m in the car or on a walk. And sometimes while I’m doing chores.

Complete 5-15 minutes in Drops.

Drops is a good way for me to review some of the thematic vocabulary that comes up during my lessons. It’s also proven to be an engaging way to get introduced to new words I wouldn’t have come across in other contexts.

When do I do this? The same rules apply for when I do Memrise. But I do try to do Drops when I can listen to the audio because it’s read by native speakers and helps me with my own pronunciation.

My Weekly Routine to Learn Persian

Have 1 Persian lesson on Preply.

Every week I have a lesson with my Persian tutor on Preply. (Here’s the link to her profile directly.) We go over topics I’m likely to discuss in Persian with friends and she does an amazing job letting me guide the lessons but also steps in when I need a little more guidance.

I put together a complex sentence correctly on my own which led to a discussion about how many languages I’ve studied. I couldn’t help but grab a screenshot of the interaction!

What I Can Currently Do in Persian

According to Preply’s CEFR scale, based on the number of lessons I’ve done, I’m slowly creeping towards an A1. This, of course, doesn’t take into consideration all of the work I’m doing outside of lessons. My self-evaluation would be that I’m a solid A1 on my way to A2.

Currently, I can introduce myself, talk about my work, things that interest me and my family, and do some other basic things in the Persian language.

I still don’t have a huge vocabulary, Drops says I know just over 200 words and I’ve learned all 155 words and phrases currently stored in Memrise (though I have a lot more to add).

What My Future Plans Are to Learn Persian

Now that I’m over the newbie hurdle in Persian, it’s time for me to start really digging in.

Up until this point, I’ve been using romanization to get by, take notes, and figure things out. I want to start diving into coursebooks, however, so I’m due to start learning to read and write in Persian.

I picked up a copy of Judith Meyer’s Persian Script Hacking and will be using this as my primary resource to learn to read and write.

Once I’m comfortable with the Persian alphabet, I’ll start digging into the course books I purchased. They are:

And once I’ve gotten through these, other coursebooks I’m interested in evaluating are:

A Summary of My Persian Learning Strategies

Overall, I’ve been very consistent in my Persian studies. (You can follow me on Instagram to see daily reports of my progress!)

I also take every opportunity I can to practice the language. We have new neighbors who speak Persian and they’ve been gracious enough to let me practice with them. I also send my video recordings to a friend from karate for feedback. And I also do some grocery shopping at our local Persian market because even if I don’t practice the language with anyone there, I get to hear music in the language and look at labels in Persian.

If you have any questions about how I’m learning Persian, please let me know! I’m happy to add more detail on any part of my learning process. Just leave me a comment below.


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Published on: September 3, 2020

Filed Under: Language Project, Language Resources

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