I ask you, the good people of this forum, to help me come up with a game plan. Writing does not matter, and I just want to develop good skills in listening, speaking, and reading. Reading is the most important if I had to pick just one skill to focus on, but equal development would be great. I tried to do my due diligence before posting by reading old threads, and feel free to skip down to the dotted line for the TL;DR version:
I have ordered a 1973 hardback version of John Mace's old Teach Yourself Modern Persian (TYMP). It seems to be universally well-regarded for learning the alphabet systemically, and this this old post from daristani made me think it was worth shelling out the few extra bucks for the hardcover version.
I am fortunate in that my local library has a variety of seemingly useful courses:
Routledge Basic Persian, which has an answer key and great reviews (4.5 stars)!
Essentials of Persian Grammar: Concepts and Exercises, which looks pretty solid and has nice reviews. It seems less in-depth than the Routledge course, but may be good reinforcement or something to do first.
Spoken World: Farsi It has an interesting review that says, "I recommend John Mace's classic introduction to Modern Persian as the real "course book" with which one learns Farsi. Get an old copy from the 1980s and work through some of the grammar. When you have worked through a few chapters of John Mace, order this course to work on your pronunciation. However, don't expect to learn any grammar from this poorly organized, error-ridden, scatter brained book. I think of it as a vocabulary builder and fluency trainer. One of my exercises in working through it is to find the errors on each page and correct them, and also to try to figure out the complicated speech patterns used in each lesson which are left unexplained."
So, to avoid any of the errors mentioned elsewhere in reviews, maybe this would be a good thing to strip down and use purely for the audio+persian script sentences.
Hippocrene Beginner's Persian, which seems from reviews to be similar to the Spoken World course, but not quite as good.
While there are many other solid seeming grammars such as Elwell-Sutton's Elementary Persian Grammar and Thackston's An Introduction to Persian , but since I already have physical access to multiple grammar workbooks, I don't want to invest time or money into either of these at this time.
There is an NHK Persian channel, in addition to a Persian EuroNews channel.
I read that DLI Persian is incomplete.
I am glad to say the FSI Basic course seems to be all available:
FSI Basic Persian Text
FSI Basic Persian Audio
Though, at the moment, I cannot seem to find any pertinent reviews of it, because my eyes are going cross-eyed from reading so many posts about Persian today.
Beyond the above, there are also Pimsleur courses.
10 lesson Basic Course
16 lesson Conversation Course
30 Lesson Comprehensive Course
I have no idea if each of the above includes the shorter courses. Is the 16-lesson version just the 10 + 6 new ones and the 30-lesson is the 16 + 14 new ones?
How is this for an approach to a beginner student of Persian who took French in college and spent a few month's fooling around with Brazilian Portuguese earlier this year:
1) Teach Yourself Modern Persian by Mace until I complete the alphabet lessons. Simultaneously begin the Essentials of Persian Grammar course. Listen to NHK daily so I start to develop an ear for modern, full-speed Persian.***
2) Begin working through the Routledge Basic Persian grammar and workbook once I am through either Mace's book or the Essentials of Persian Grammar Course. Continue listening to NHK daily.
3) Once I have finished two of three between Mace's Book, Routledge, and Essentials of Persian Grammar, I will begin working through whichever is available of the the Hippocrene or Spoken World Course. Instead of working through them as they were made to be used, I'd use them both solely for vocabulary building. Basically, I'd edit with audacity and just use it to memorize stock phrases and learn to be able to read some words/sentences on sight. Continue listening to NHK throughout all of this.
4) Once all five courses are done, my daily exposure would be to continue listening to NHK daily, and to start using EuroNews as well. Utilize google translate as necessary to be able to decipher EuroNews.
Does the above seem like a decent, systematic way to begin my approach? This is going to be a multi-year process, and I am in no rush, nor am I in search of promises of fluency in 30 days or similar silliness. I figured, unless someone in the know strongly objects, this seems like a reasonable way to at least get going. And then I could come back to discuss possibly using FSI, the Routledge Intermediate Course, readers, etc...
***Is the Mace course good overall, or good just for learning the alphabet? It almost always is brought up in the context of the alphabet. So it may also make sense to use it just for the alphabet and then set it aside to focus on the Routledge and Essentials books. Anyone with firsthand knowledge, like @daristani, are most welcome to share their views.