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on 5 May 2012
I agree with Brian Granger. I 've been using this course, on my own, for about ten months . I have also used several other courses, including ' Colloquial" and ' Living Language'. They all have their merits. I've stuck consistently with this, however, I guess, because there is a real sense of being guided. The structure is grammatical, and has a logic, but may be frustrating if what you need is a quick entry into everyday conversation. You also need to persevere with the script; there is little transliteration. Not all vowels are marked, which failing can fairly easily be remedied using a dictionary like Yavar Dehghani's " Persian-English English-Persian Learner's Dictionary ", which transcribes.

The major advantage of this script -based approach is authenticity. In my local swimming pool I picked up an advert which turned out to be a 'chelo-kababi' in Tehran. A tiny triumph being able to read it, maybe, but which Iranian transcribes ? None and it is, in a sense, a self-deceiving way to learn Farsi. The script was easier to learn than I expected ; what is harder is quick recognition of words, but now after ten months I can, slowly but definitely, read the language at a basic level. If you need a speedy introduction for day to day use this is not for you, but if you want a slower pace and deeper level, it has much to offer.

I am now on unit 20 and can't pretend I have got it all, especially the audio, which I really enjoy, and I intend to go back over from the start. I guess learning a language is about perseverance, but the gain is finding I can now attempt modern poets like Shamlu in the original. I had no idea he existed before, and this course, through its script-based approach and focus on ' formal' Persian, has given me access to Iranian culture in the round. It has also given me a new perspective on the present travails between the West and Iran.
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on 2 December 2011
This book is definitely one of the better language-learning titles out there. What makes all the difference - despite the 'Complete' and 'Colloquial' language series all following similar formats - is the inspiration of the author. Here we have someone who, right at the beginning, gives a short description of her journey towards teaching Persian in the UK, after first arriving there to study in a practical field such as engineering (suitcase containing the requisite rosewater, pistachios and saffron, in addition to books of Persian prose and poetry), as many travelling students do, only to find herself drawn to the beauty and wonder of her native language, as well as 'its historic development and its resilience in the face of more than a millenium of onslaught by so many invaders who were ultimately absorbed into the Persianate world'.

In contrast to the book 'Colloquial Persian', where the author immediately sets out to make clear to the student that Persian, despite being an Indo-European language, is difficult for the Westerner to learn due to the massive (in his conception) cultural divide between Europe or the West in general and Iran, the author of this book shares her inspiration with the reader and new student, encouraging you to enter into and develop a greater sense of wonder at this millenia-old, rich, still vibrant culture through its language. Simply pointing out in the section 'Only got five minutes?', where a general introduction to Persian is provided, that the word blue, âbi, comes from the word âb, water, or the word for khaki (as in the colour) comes from khâk, the word for 'dust' or 'earth', gently encourages one into the new experience which Persian is.

There is certainly some work involved, but if one wants to get to know one of the world's great languages (not simply hopping on the Chinese bandwagon, so to speak), this is a good place to start. As the author writes in the section 'Only got a minute?': 'Learning the script may strike you as daunting but be assured that it is more difficult for a speaker of Persian to learn English than it would be for you to learn Persian.'

This is another great addition to the 'Complete' language series, which is essentially an evolution or slight repackaging of the most recent 'Teach Yourself' editions by the same publisher. The author shares the same level of inspiration and interest in her subject as the author of 'Complete Hindi' (Rupert Snell), who is equally fascinated by his specialist subject and even offers tons of his own Hindi learning materials at the Hindi-Urdu Flagship site, free for anyone who likes to download. (That is a good sign that the writer is not just doing it for the extra money.)

(Note: the glossary has no transliteration, so you will have to learn the Perso-Arabic script to be able to use the book well.)
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on 1 June 2016
This book seems to be available both with and without cd. I strongly recommend getting this version with the cd, because if not, you will need a teacher or extra material just to get started. I'm really surprised by the fact that this book does not explain the correct pronunciation of consonants in the beginning. They are not all like in English. There really should be a list of all the letters with their correct pronunciation in the beginning of the book.
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