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Farsi (Spoken World) Com/Pap Bl Edition

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1400023479
ISBN-10: 1400023475
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Product Details

  • Series: Spoken World
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Living Language; Com/Pap Bl edition (November 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400023475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400023479
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Thesaurus on March 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
My reaction has been quite opposite that of the other reviewer. While this is not the only Persian textbook you'll ever need, it is just right for someone new to the language. I find that this course covers a lot of material and is clearly written, engaging, and well paced. Previous to this course I was using Thackston's "An Introduction to Persian," and I completed over half of his course before finally giving up in favor of Living Language's.

While Thackston was intelligible and comprehensive, the book's bare-bones, disconnected presentation leaves much to be desired. You'll learn grammatical concepts and little else. There is no dialog, no cultural or contextual information, only a handful of rote exercises, and a fairly useless set of vocabulary. There is almost no chance to practice or review what you've learned. Complicated constructions are consigned to explanations of a few terse and highly technical sentences. His explanations are more akin to those of a reference grammar than an introductory course. After assiduously working through the bulk of the book, I found myself more suited to parse verbs than to read or speak any Persian. I would probably recommend his book for those interested in reading Persian for academic reasons, or possibly as a follow-up to an actual introductory course like this one.

Living Language's course was a pleasant contrast. Suddenly, I was 1) given interesting dialog; 2) introduced to useful and relevant vocabulary; 3) taught the key grammatical concepts in a clear and logical manner; 4) given many opportunities to practice what I've learned in a variety of contexts; 5) provided with a variety of cultural highlights and insights.

The grammar explanations are excellent, albeit too quickly paced at times.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elish on April 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I was pleasantly surprised to find how well-done this set is. For my level it is just perfect, clear and full of useful vocabulary and dialogues, as well as other explanations about grammar and culture. I have a great deal of language learning experience and this is far better than your average teach-yourself book. I highly recommend it to anyone who intends to self-study. If it doesn't work for you, you need to attend a good class with a good teacher instead, and those unfortunately are not easy to find...
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gary J. Barlettano on December 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have reviewed and studied at least half a dozen Farsi textbooks. Had I not had this experience, I might have put this textbook down after one or two lessons in frustration. Introduction and practice in reading the Farsi (Arabic) alphabet are inadequate. No indication on how to write it is given which one needs to do using this textbook. The explanations regarding colloquial usage versus formal usage are weak at best and the "rules" sometimes applied incorrectly. Writing in the colloquial style serves only to confuse the beginner. The description of the verb in Lesson 4 turns a system which is simple and elegant into something confusing and convoluted. That really needs to be reworked in a more traditional and clearer vein because it doesn't work and will send the student down the wrong path. The introduction of vocabulary in the Key Phrases which isn't used and then the use of vocabulary in the dialogues which isn't introduced is just wrong. I've only gotten through the first four lessons, but felt I needed to say something now. My advice: Look and at Mace for clarity, accuracy, and succintness and Bashiri for an Iranian view of the grammar and try again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Oleniacz on September 8, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As anyone who has tried to learn Farsi knows, finding a good Farsi textbook is impossible- because there isn't one! Some quality textbooks have come out of Iran, but the level of English in those books is low, making them intimidating for people who are not yet comfortable with holding something from Iran. The government made some courses back in the 60s which are available for free, but they don't have audio. Yale University Press also published a course, but the audio component is extremely inadequate.

Honestly, you will not be able to find a better book than this one in terms of overall quality of production. The audio component of the book is well worth the cost of the entire package, since finding quality, transcribed Farsi conversations is almost impossible.

With that said, it is a sad compliment to pay. The book is littered with errors. The Tehrani pronunciation of "-un" for "-an" is frequent and irregularly scattered throughout the book with no explanation- often in parentheses beside the formal Dari pronunciation. The colloquial, spoken versions of verbs are incorrectly listed in the tables.

In addition, this book is impossible for beginners to understand. The first conversation is a complete conversation in fluent Farsi, instead of the usual "hello, how are you" we expect in language courses. It jumps right in, using compound verbs, the plural "ishun" form for 3rd person singular, multiple verb tenses, and turns of phrase which are not explained in the vocabulary- all in the first lesson! HA! It's laughable.

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.
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