Persian, once the pre-eminent lingua franca of literary culture in western Asia, still holds an important place in the Middle East as an official language in Iran (where the dialect Farsi is predominant), Afghanistan (where the dialect of Dari shares official status with its counterpart Pushto), and Tajikistan (where the dialect of Tajiki is written in Cyrillic script). The vast literary heritage of Persian, as indicated in the works of Rumi, Omar Khayyam, and a plethora of other authors, is a powerful motivation to learn this historic language!
This page contains resources for learning Persian at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.
- Chai and Conversation Podcast. With over 70 free audio lessons on a range of topics, from everyday phrases to poetry, Chai and Conversation is an easy and convenient resource for learning conversational Persian.
- Persian of Iran Today (University of Texas at Austin). A free online textbook featuring audio and written lessons that focuses on Iranian Persian, or Farsi.
- Persian Online: Grammar and Resources (University of Texas at Austin). An online reference for Persian grammar that also features quizzes, vocabulary lists, and other learning aids.
Textbooks & Dictionaries
- Saeed Yousef, Persian: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge, 2018)
- Vajehyab Online Persian Dictionary. Free and accessible general-purpose dictionary for Persian.
- Sulayman Hayyim, New Persian-English Dictionary (Online version courtesy of the University of Chicago). Encyclopedic dictionary published by Iranian-Jewish lexicographer Sulayman Hayyim in 1934. Very useful for literary Persian.
*This page will continue to be updated - please email any suggestions to CMES Outreach Coordinator Krishna S. Kulkarni at firstname.lastname@example.org