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Persian Grammar: Including Key [Paperback]

Ann K. S. Lambton

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Book Description

1 Jan 1953 0521091241 978-0521091244 Student Ed
Comprehensive, accurate, complete and scholarly, and contains sufficient reading matter to enable the student to handle the language for himself.

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'With her unrivalled knowledge of the Persian language, Professor Lambton has produced a work that will long remain the standard textbook. As was to be expected, the treatment of pronunciation and the spoken language is particularly excellent … an extremely useful work for which teacher and student will be equally grateful.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

'The need for a new graded grammar of modern Persian has long been felt. Hitherto we have been fobbed off with exiguous and sketchy products, sometimes not even accurate. Professor Lambton's new Persian Grammar therefore answers a real need; and it is profoundly gratifying that the void has been filled by one whose knowledge of modern Persian, both written and spoken, is unique … This grammar is comprehensive, and contains all that is necessary for the student to become thoroughly familiar with the language. We now have a Persian grammar which is accurate, complete and scholarly, and which at the same time contains sufficient reading matter to enable the student to handle the language for himself. Teachers of Persian will be particularly grateful for this book.' Oxford Magazine

'It is a pleasure to recommend this grammar to students of Persian, for I believe it is the best we have in English. One can admire the authoress for undertaking such a difficult task, and she has accomplished it with distinction. Although it is primarily for the contemporary Persian language, the book also serves as an excellent introduction to the classical language.' Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

Book Description

Comprehensive, accurate, complete and scholarly, and contains sufficient reading matter to enable the student to handle the language for himself.

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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but consider other titles too. 24 July 2000
By Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ann Lambton's grammar is the standard in English, and its status is well deserved. However, it was written for scholars of Persian language and literature. The second half covers Arabic grammar as it is used in literary Persian, and there is a companion volume of vocabulary for the exercises. If the student wants to do research in Persian, this is the book to use.
Those who want to learn modern spoken and written Persian but do not plan a life of scholarly research should look at the book by Wheeler Thackston or at the second-best "Spoken Persian" (one of the Spoken Language Series). Both have sound recordings for pronunciation and both will prepare the student for conversation, newspapers and modern literature.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting use of a classic grammar 18 May 2005
By J. E. S. Leake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
m_jawza put in a bit of time to do a useful review of this book, which he has sadly since deleted. He'd used the book to try to learn to read and write Persian as a US-born native speaker.

He starts: "Take it from a fluent speaker [...] Lambton's book is probably NOT what you should be looking for if you want to start learning the language." And if you want to speak Persian, I agree!

Lambton's Persian Grammar is an excellent book on literary Persian. It is an academic work of the nineteen-fifties. It describes sounds well to anyone who can follow the standard linguistic descriptions (yes, it could be more accessible). It is hardly surprising that forms like 'bachegan' - traditionally the plural of 'bache', child - might confuse a speaker who doesn't know literary Persian since they no longer appear in the spoken language. But the book is teaching literary Persian, and if plurals in '-gan' aren't in, you're going to be very confused when you come to any pre-modern or very formal writing. And Lambton does indeed say that plurals in '-an' can always be replaced by plurals in '-ha' and almost always are in speech.

I think, though, that m_jawza's biggest problem is going to be that the book is fifty years old. Persian has changed a bit in the last fifty years! But by the time he finishes, he'll be able to pick up a ninteenth-century book and have a chance of understanding it (with a copy of Steingass - or the Loghat-name - for all those Arabic and out-moded words). I'm not so sure about writing, though. I wasn't very impressed with the handling of syntax. I think for that, he'd do better to use Wheeler Thackston's 'an Introduction to Persian'.

By the way, I certainly agree that she packs a lot in one lesson. I too found the definite/indefinite description unclear. Lambton's book is a very traditional teaching grammar that can double as a basic reference grammar - indeed, it is the standard grammar of written Persian. I really preferred Wheeler Thackston's approach. But I use Lambton as a reference, and it is very good for that.

If you are wanting to use Lambton for self-tuition, two points, one good and one bad. She does have a key to the exercises, which Thackston doesn't. But she doesn't have a glossary - that, expanded, is published as a different book, Persian Vocabulary. Both volumes, by the way, are available at a considerably lower cost in paperback editions published by Chand of New Delhi that are actually better bound than the current Cambridge editions.

BTW, m_jazwa, please do come back to your review when you've used Lambton a bit more - I for one would like to know how you get on!
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not let the price frighten you away, it is well worth it! 19 July 2000
By Steven Clair Barker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not my first book on Persian Grammar but definitely my favorite for sure. I had great expectations for this book and ordered it unseen but new just from the publisher being Cambridge University Press that it would be excellent and scholarly. I was not disappointed at all. The author takes you through each letter of the Persian alphabet one by one. This gives you a grasp of words using each letter and then how to form small phrases and sentences, building as you go. I was most impressed by the texts' layout which teaches you not only the letters of the alphabet, one by one and words made from them along with their meanings. But it also teaches you how to read and write the letters and words as well in the Persian script. So you are not simply memorizing words or phrases but actually learning how they are written and spoken at the same time. I highly recommend this text for anyone seriously wishing to learn the Persian language also know as Farsi.
14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For someone wanting an introduction to Persian don't bother. 12 Sep 2000
By John Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For a scholarly detailed and obscure grammar look no further. If you want a guide to how Persian was written in the 10th century your on to a winner. For those who know Arabic, this work is comparable to Wright's grammar with little excercises and unbearably long vocabulary lists at the end of every section, followed by a collection of largely unannotated prose passages at the end of the book. The last half of the book is dedicated exclusively to explaining Arabic grammar that the student of the modern language scarcely needs. Alas I have never got that far. Every time I've picked up this tome, I've put it down again before completing Chapter 10. This book is for the advanced student only, and the more pedantic one at that. Beginners use Thackston, you won't regret it.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Old hat (kolah ye kohne) 10 Jan 2007
By Dr. Robert C. Oswald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Of great interest to a philologist, handy if you plan on restricting your reading to the Shahnama, but don't waste your money on it if your aim is to learn modern Persian, either written or spoken. Buy Mace first and follow that with Thackston, and you'll be off to a good start. If you want a Lambton cheap, I'll sell you mine.
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