July 27, 2014 | Persian
A New Language-Exchange Partner
ConversationExchange.com finally produced a native Persian speaker for me in New York!
One of my problems as a language learner is that I really like reading books about language and at times have trouble making myself go out in the world.
I am reading some eight different books about Persian right now. I’m not kidding.
My Oldest Book
My Newest Book
They include Basic Persian (Routledge), Persisch für Anfänger (Buske, which is a German publisher), Le Persan (Assimil), Persian Grammar (Cambridge University Press), Corso di lingua persiana (which is in Italian, from Hoepli), and a brand new book from Bahar Books in New York called Essentials of Persian Grammar: Concepts and Exercises.
I should probably finish one.
Anyway, because I’m not talking enough, my speaking progress is negligible. I posted something on ConversationExchange.com months ago, indicating I was looking for a conversation partner here in New York. The offer was my English for their Persian.
Over a couple of months I received about 25-30 messages offering help. Not one of the people actually lived here. Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I finally heard from a charming young student who was in fact here! In the city!
I like talking in person more than electronically, is the thing. I don’t much enjoy Skype.
This Persian Cucumber Was Recently for Sale at My Local Grocery Store. I Bought It and Ate It.
Anyway, the student and I exchanged messages and arranged to meet on a Friday. I was waiting for him in a café when he materialized.
Surprise! It wasn’t a he. It was a she!
It is hard to recognize the gender of names in other languages.
Our sessions so far have been extremely helpful. I have a children’s book from Bahar Books, called Our Earth, and we started reading it together.
I read about clouds, and wind, and sun, and light, and no light. It was fantastic.
When I am studying a language very different from my native English, human interaction is extremely helpful. Otherwise I can end up doing crazily wrong things, in terms of pronunciation, or writing, or vocabulary. And there will be no one around to tell me.