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Teach Yourself Modern Persian/Farsi Complete Course Audiopack 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071419086
ISBN-10: 007141908X
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About the Author

Born in Iran, Narguess Farzad was educated in Tehran and the University of London, where she now teaches Persian language and literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

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Product Details

  • Series: TY: Complete Courses
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007141908X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071419086
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,900,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric D. Howerton on July 19, 2005
Despite AMAZON encouraging you to purchase this item with the "Teach Yourselff Modern Persian/Farsi" book under the BETTER TOGETHER subhead, the audiopack does in fact come with the book as well! If you purchase the audiopack you do not need the book.

My girlfriend is Persian and has noted that some of the numbers and letters in the Persian script are not quite accurate. I believe the letter for D is not slanted enough to distinguish it from other letters.
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It started as a good book letting the lerner take his time especially for beginners . Then it was too fast and there was alot of vocabulary. You will get lost somewhere in the middle and will jump to long articles with not enough explanation. The audio CD is good in teaching pronunciation but it was not enough and did not include all topics. Some chapters were not included at all inthe audio CD
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This book is a good start for those who are serious about learning Farsi. The introduction to the language's script is very good, as well as the pronunciation guide and the examples on the CDs. My only qualm is the speediness of the course. A dictionary is recommended with this book because some words used in the dialogues are not in the index. It is definitely better than the older edition of this book by John Mace.
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The books in the Teach Yourself series are very uneven in quality. I just surfed through the amazing Teach Yourself Afrikaans, an excellen language course. This one, sadly, is far from good. Believe it or not, Persian is one of the easiest languages you'll come across, the grammar is exceptionally easy. For that reason, the lack of indepth grammar in this course is no big problem. A far bigger problem is the very weak pronunciation section. Persian is an easy language to pronounce once you learn the rules, but you won't with this course. The worst problem is the vocabulary, you'll learn very few words. Having read and reviewed hundreds of language courses at a professional level, I've encountered very few with such a limited vocabulary. So, almost no help with the pronunciation, not much grammar and a far too limited vocabulary. What do you really learn with this course. Not much, hence the low rating. There are many courses that are better, such as Colloquial Persian, An Introduction to Persian or Modern Persian. Any of those three books will teach you far more than this one.
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For the price, it's a good deal if you get the CDs. But like all TY books, it goes very quickly, especially the second half. And it really focuses on grammar. There is surprisingly little about Iran or Persian culture, there is no color anywhere (and uninteresting layout in general), the images used are terrible (couldn't they afford actual pictures?), and there are mistakes in every chapter, although they're generally pretty small and easy to see. On the other hand, there isn't exactly much competition.

Vocabulary is also an issue - sometimes they give you tons of vocab to help with the readings and exercises, other times barely any. And short vowel markings are inconsistent, which is a little confusing for the beginner.

Overall, it's an okay book, but could be a lot better.
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It is hard to judge this book alone, so I'll compare it to the same coures for Hindi and Urdu (I also have Arabic, but I haven't really studied it yet).

This book starts out with a very short chapter on writing. Nastaliq is not an easy script, and although I usually do not judge this part of the book in this series (it is supposed to be brief, as they have another book for the scripts), the book does not use transliterations except in the first occurance of a word. If I hadn't already known Nastaliq from Urdu, this book would have been very hard to use. If you want to use this book, study Nastaliq first and in depth. Nastaliq isn't the most phonetic script, so I'm not sure why this was omitted.

Secondly, this book devotes chapters to rather mundane grammatical issues. I can understand a section for less obvious subjects like transitive and intransitive verbs, but the third chapter (I think, going by memory) is on the most basic grammar without giving any Farsi for it.

The introduction is odd as well. I've always found that simple sentences work best for introductions. It doesn't matter if the first sentence is "I am", as long as there is a subject + verb in their simplest form. The beginning chapters are on greetings (which do contain rather complex grammar, but it is not explained) and on word lists like numbers and days of the week.

It is probably a good book for learning Farsi (I'd have to finish it and get a native speakers opinion on my abilities to really know) though.
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I bought this for my husband who doesn't speak any Farsi. The CD goes too fast, and even the start is too advanced for a beginner that he can't really follow and repeat and learn. He didn't use it more than a couple of times, because it was not easy to follow.
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Well designed for self-study with a reasonable amount of grammar background. Buy with the "Persian Grammar: For Reference and Revision" guide.
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