Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

General discussion about learning languages
catherinemaheu
White Belt
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 pm
x 16

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby catherinemaheu » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:58 am

Obogrew wrote:Would it not be easier to start from Tadzhik? Does it help to master Persian?


Marah wrote:
Obogrew wrote:

While we're at it, what about Dari? How much could I expect to understand? :)


ancient forest wrote:
catherinemaheu wrote:


I could be wrong, but I thought that there was generally not a huge difference between the Persian dialects spoken in Iran (Farsi) and in Afghanistan (Dari). There is a much bigger difference between Persian and the other languages spoken in those areas such as Kurdish, Pashto, etc.


Yes, Tajik and Dari are very similar to Persian. I have met people who speak Dari and Tajik and have had no problems talking with them. But there are other dialects which are very different.
However, now that I think about it, someone who wants to learn Persian to read literature, or to find his way around in Persian speaking countries does not actually care about those dialects, so I guess that's something I should've taken into account when I was writing the first post from the point of view of a typical learner.
0 x

catherinemaheu
White Belt
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 pm
x 16

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby catherinemaheu » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:06 am

Obogrew wrote:Would it not be easier to start from Tadzhik? Does it help to master Persian?


If you only care about listening and speaking, knowing anything about Tajik is most probably immediately helpful on Persian, even though the influence of Turkic on Tajik may become problematic on some cases. As far as writing and reading are concerned, as far as I know, Tajik is written with Cyrillic script so you would need to put some efforts into learning the Arabic script and you also have to overcome the problem of hidden vowels (which does not exist when using the Cyrillic script).
0 x

William Camden
Green Belt
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:47 am
Location: Greenwich Mean Time zone
Languages: English (N), German (fluent), Turkish (fluent), Russian (fluent), French (semi-fluent), Spanish (semi-fluent), am studying Polish, have some knowledge of it, also studying modern Greek, basic knowledge of Arabic (mostly MSA, some exposure to colloquial dialects), basic knowledge of Latin and Italian, beginner in Scottish Gaelic.
x 462

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby William Camden » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:40 am

I am not convinced by this. Persian is pluricentric but on nothing like the scale that the colloquial varieties of Arabic are. It is also Indo-European, unlike Arabic and Turkish and in fact I have heard it described as being the easiest language of the Middle East for an English speaker to learn.
8 x
: 4321 / 4321Greek Memrise

ancient forest
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:13 am
Location: U.S.A.
Languages: English (N), Classical and Standard Arabic (advanced), Levantine Arabic (low-intermediate)
x 67

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby ancient forest » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:59 pm

William Camden wrote:I am not convinced by this. Persian is pluricentric but on nothing like the scale that the colloquial varieties of Arabic are. It is also Indo-European, unlike Arabic and Turkish and in fact I have heard it described as being the easiest language of the Middle East for an English speaker to learn.


I think that this discussion is connected to question of what constitutes a dialect and what constitutes a separate language. For example, catherinemaheu might see the language variants in Iran as being dialects (due to the shared culture and the shared political system in Iran) whereas others would classify them as separate languages (due to the lack of mutual intellibility). Wikipedia lists at least 10 languages spoken in Iran, but maybe there are Iranians who view some of those languages to actually be dialects of Persian. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Iran
4 x
Arabic
: 6 / 50 Speaking Arabic: A Course in Conversational Eastern Arabic

User avatar
Obogrew
White Belt
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:00 am
Location: Spain
Languages: Russian(N), German(C2), English(C1), Hebrew(B1), Serbian(A2), French(A1), Turkish(A1), Spanish(B1)
x 21

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby Obogrew » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:55 pm

catherinemaheu wrote:
Obogrew wrote:Would it not be easier to start from Tadzhik? Does it help to master Persian?


If you only care about listening and speaking, knowing anything about Tajik is most probably immediately helpful on Persian, even though the influence of Turkic on Tajik may become problematic on some cases. As far as writing and reading are concerned, as far as I know, Tajik is written with Cyrillic script so you would need to put some efforts into learning the Arabic script and you also have to overcome the problem of hidden vowels (which does not exist when using the Cyrillic script).


There was a discussion here about an easy start. Like Spanish is easy to start, reach A2, B1.

If I decide to learn Farsi, I will probaby start with Tadzhik. I don't know a lot about both languages, but I would assume that Farsi inherited a lot from Arabic. For instance in Arabic there are 4 "s" sounds. I would assume that it should be memorized which of those letters should be written. Like in German 'Verb' & 'Farn'
Perhaps due to this reason Tajiik could help for the start.
0 x

catherinemaheu
White Belt
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 pm
x 16

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby catherinemaheu » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:45 am

William Camden wrote:I am not convinced by this. Persian is pluricentric but on nothing like the scale that the colloquial varieties of Arabic are. It is also Indo-European, unlike Arabic and Turkish and in fact I have heard it described as being the easiest language of the Middle East for an English speaker to learn.


I don't know a lot about Turkish, but I can guess that learning Arabic would be way harder than learning Persian for an English speaker. However, as I have mentioned before, I'm not arguing that Persian is the hardest language to learn, or Persian is very hard to learn, etc., I'm just trying to point out some factors that could make it hard for the learners.

As for the colloquial varieties of Arabic, I have heard that they are very different, and I don't know much about them (I have only studied MSA).
0 x

catherinemaheu
White Belt
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 pm
x 16

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby catherinemaheu » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:50 am

Obogrew wrote:
catherinemaheu wrote:
Obogrew wrote:Would it not be easier to start from Tadzhik? Does it help to master Persian?


If you only care about listening and speaking, knowing anything about Tajik is most probably immediately helpful on Persian, even though the influence of Turkic on Tajik may become problematic on some cases. As far as writing and reading are concerned, as far as I know, Tajik is written with Cyrillic script so you would need to put some efforts into learning the Arabic script and you also have to overcome the problem of hidden vowels (which does not exist when using the Cyrillic script).


There was a discussion here about an easy start. Like Spanish is easy to start, reach A2, B1.

If I decide to learn Farsi, I will probaby start with Tadzhik. I don't know a lot about both languages, but I would assume that Farsi inherited a lot from Arabic. For instance in Arabic there are 4 "s" sounds. I would assume that it should be memorized which of those letters should be written. Like in German 'Verb' & 'Farn'
Perhaps due to this reason Tajiik could help for the start.


You are correct about the ambiguity of some sounds when you want to write them (there are 4 characters for 's' sound, 4 for 'z' sound, 2 for 't' sound, etc.).
0 x

DangerDave2010
Orange Belt
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:10 am
Languages: gibberish (N)
x 289

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby DangerDave2010 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:45 pm

Catherine, do you think that studying Arabic is necessary in order to truly master Persian? Whenever I pick a text that is a little bit old fashioned, I find many Arabic borrowings that I don't ever see in modern texts, often replacing common words, as if they borrowed freely.
0 x

User avatar
tarvos
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2821
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: The Lowlands
Languages: Native: NL, EN
Professional: ES, RU
Speak well: DE, FR, RO, EO, SV
Speak reasonably: IT, ZH, PT, NO, EL, CZ
Need improvement: PO, IS, HE, JP, KO, HU, FI
Passive: AF, DK, LAT
Dabbled in: BRT, ZH (SH), BG, EUS, ZH (CAN), and a whole lot more.
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 5651
Contact:

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby tarvos » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:29 pm

I would prefer to learn the spoken Persian. I don't need the written Persian so much and when you speak to people, that's what opens up the culture. There are so many things in spoken language that you just don't write, no matter what language you are speaking. When I spoke Chinese, I didn't understand everything everyone was saying either and I definitely didn't use 100% standard Chinese. And that's not accounting for mistakes.
0 x
How can you "just be yourself" when you don't know who you are?
Stop saying "Yeah, I know how you feel."
How could anyone know how another feels?

Is a girl.

ancient forest
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:13 am
Location: U.S.A.
Languages: English (N), Classical and Standard Arabic (advanced), Levantine Arabic (low-intermediate)
x 67

Re: Persian, and why you can’t learn to speak it

Postby ancient forest » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:21 pm

DangerDave2010 wrote:Catherine, do you think that studying Arabic is necessary in order to truly master Persian? Whenever I pick a text that is a little bit old fashioned, I find many Arabic borrowings that I don't ever see in modern texts, often replacing common words, as if they borrowed freely.


I am not knowledgable enough about Persian to give an exact an answer as to whether it is necessary to learn Arabic, but it looks like it would definitely be useful. For example, Lambton's book Persian Grammar has a section about Arabic grammar, which makes up about 20 - 25% of the book. The introduction for Part II: The Arabic Element says:

"There is a large Arabic element in Persian. This element is an indispensable part of the spoken and written word. The student will have already come across many Arabic words in the vocabularies - nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions. The Arabic words incorporated into the Persian language have become Persianized. Many of them have acquired a meaning other than their present-day meaning in Arabic-speaking countries or have retained the meaning which they held at the time when they were incorporated into the Persian language. Not only have a large number of Arabic words been incorporated into Persian, but many Arabic phrases also. Persian literature abounds quotations from Arabic writings, especially from the Qor'an and religious works such as the Nahj ol-Balaghe."
0 x
Arabic
: 6 / 50 Speaking Arabic: A Course in Conversational Eastern Arabic


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest