As with any desire to learn a language, if you choose to study Farsi, you have plenty of options on how to do it. With the helpful resources that the web provides, your ability to find tools that will help you learn is no problem, if you know where to look.
One of the first choices to make is whether you want to enroll in a formal university course, Persian studies program, or focus on independent ways to learn. There are a number of excellent DVD or personal study curriculums such as the Rosetta Stone language programs, which include lessons of varying degrees of difficulty, making them ideal for those of any learning level. There are also the options of hiring a tutor or engaging in correspondence and online chat discussions with native Farsi speakers who can aid you in learning and feeling confident in speaking the language.
Sites like LRNGO provides an alternative to paid tutors with the concept of learning exchange, where you teach your partner something in exchange for a lesson to you. This allows you to have the benefits of a tutor without the cost, and helps you establish a relationship with someone of the culture.
There are also opportunities to study Farsi at a university level, though not all United States universities offer students the ability to obtain a degree in Farsi language. The list below is not extensive, but includes some of the places where you can find a degree program. If your interest in learning Farsi takes you to a university setting, take special interest in the programs that these schools have to offer.
- University of Pennsylvania
- Indiana University
- University of Arizona
- University of Utah
- University of Maryland
- United States Military Academy at West Point
Despite the small number of universities that offer such a degree, Due to Homeland Security concerns, U.S. government funding became more widely available to students interested in learning to speak Farsi. This meant that universities offering Farsi courses increased by 80% in the years 2002 to 2006. Because knowing Farsi is considered a requisite skill for an increasing amount of government jobs in defense, intelligence, and Homeland Security, applicants for government funding may be asked to work a minimum of 2 years for the government after graduation.
If you’ve decided to dedicate yourself to learning Farsi, persevere and practice. You can practice some of the basics on your own using sites such as Linguanaut and Digital Dialects.
Photo Credit: Alan