Imagine it’s December and your best friend, Jane, comes to you and asks you to help her with her New Year’s Resolutions. As someone close to her you want to be helpful and supportive.
Here’s list of the goals she want to achieve:
By the end of 202X
Jane wants to...
1- Save $5,000
2-Lose 20 pounds
3-Learn how to speak and write in Farsi/ Persian (Level B)
4-Teach her dog to fetch
5-Ask William to marry her
The list goes on and on.
Wow! Congrats on having such an ambitious friend!
But can you imagine the conversation with her?
It would probably go something like this:
You: Jane, your first goal is to save 5k. Do you have any solid plans for that?
Jane: Sure. Here’s my spreadsheet. I made 40k last year. My business is growing, so this year I should make around 50k. So...after paying my mortgages, insurance and so one, I should be able to put 5k aside.
You: Well done! But what about weight loss? Girl, you have tried a thousand times to lose weight before. What’s the new deal?
Jane: Yeah, yeah. I know. But I’ve just started this intermittent fasting diet and I think this time it will work. Plus, the “Weight Loss Program for Life'' announced a huge promotion, and I know two people who've gotten massive results after only six months! I’m going to join too and...I also got an exclusive membership at a local gym. No way, I’m going to fail this time.
You: hrm.. you sound serious about this. So no late night cocktails anymore?
Jane: Yup. No more “let’s hang out!” texts at midnight.
You: Number three… Learn how to speak Persian… interesting. Where did you get this from? Why Persian?
Jane: I had a dream in which I married a Persian prince. So I want to make sure that I’m prepared for when we meet in the real world.
Does that sound like Jane? A successful ambitious lady learning a new language based on a stupid dream?
Who would do such a thing? Well...me. Ten years ago, when I decided to learn Spanish because I enjoyed listening to Gyspsy Kings. But I was 19 at the time. Yes, totally!
Learning a new language is fun. It allows you to explore different cultures, communicate with a variety of people. It gives you better chances on the job market, it enables you to explore foreign literature, and grants you extra independence while traveling on your own.
Some may say your reason for learning a new language doesn't really matter that much. But come on, picking a new language to learn is not an easy feat. To learn a new language, especially as complex as Persian, you will need the same dedication I had 10 years ago. It will cost you time and money and will require you to stay focused and consistent. Of course, you need to be equipped with a legitimate reason and a reliable motivation to keep you on track.
When I decided to "officially" become a Persian teacher, I had lots of questions. The most important one was, of course, what my students want from me, how can I support them? which ultimately led me to ask: Why do people choose to learn Persian these days?
Soon I found out there is a wide range of reasons our there. Girls and boys who only want to impress their Iranian partners by solely memorizing some basic but romantic words. You know what I'm talking about: "Eshghe man", "Dustet dāram", etc. Which is cool and adorable. But what fascinated me mostly were those who spoke Persian as their mother tongue, without knowing how to read and write! Then Europeans with no Persian family members, who could write and speak Persian at an advanced level.
Why, when, and how did you start studying Persian?