July 30, 2014 | Persian

Doing Dari

I couldn't resist the 60 Pimsleur lessons available for Dari.

Persian has multiple dialects. I have been focusing on the one from Iran, often referred to as Farsi here in the U.S., but there are only 30 Pimsleur lessons for it. 

For Dari, the Persian dialect spoken in Afghanistan and one of Afghanistan’s two official languages (Pashto is the other), there are 60 Pimsleur lessons.

60 Pimsleur Lessons for Dari!

60 Pimsleur Lessons for Dari!

That is double.

So far I have resisted the persistent temptation to try Dari, because my research—consisting mostly of asking numerous people who speak Persian about this—suggested I would just get too confused. 

However, like stubborn people the world around, I ultimately ignored really good advice (sorry, guys!) and am now on lesson 12 of Dari. 

Yeah, there are challenges. For one thing, the verb endings are sometimes different. The id endings given for formal second-person verbs in the Farsi Persian lessons have given way to something that sounds like en for comparable verbs in Dari.

In the Farsi lessons, Pimsleur offers mersi for thanks (مرسی). In the same sentences in the Dari lessons, I have been taught tashakor (تشکر), which I believe is also widely understood and used in Iran. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong.)

I am trying to hold on to the Iranian verb endings while still getting the pretty similar Dari endings right.

Around lesson 8 I thought I might have to abort the mission, but now I am relaxing into it. There is so much overlap between the two dialects that I think this will help me more than it will mess me up.

And if it doesn’t, I will warn others from my desert island when my ship gets wrecked!

Comments (6)

Jeff Whittaker • Posted on Wed, August 13, 2014 - 6:41 pm EST

Hi Ellen,

Perhaps some of your readers would be interested to learn that if you are a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan, Pimsleur will allow you to download the complete Dari or Pashto course for free. How cool is that!

Here’s the link:

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Wed, August 13, 2014 - 6:46 pm EST

Thank you so much, Jeff! I was pretty sure that was true, but I needed to factcheck it first, and I hadn’t. I’m so glad you posted to confirm!

Meera • Posted on Mon, August 18, 2014 - 3:44 pm EST

Salaam Ellen jaan, shumaw chetor astain? I think it’s great you are learning Dari! It’s really close to Tajik (persian spoken in Tajikistan) Dari in Afghanistan also has different accents for example Kabuli sounds different than Herati. Herati is close to Iranian. Also most Afghans will refer to Dari as Afghan Farsi, I’ve rarely heard Dari in Afghanistan :P It always Farsi unless we are talking to an English speaker we say Afghan Farsi lol Pashto speakers also refer to them as Farsi speakers.

Bao Kieu • Posted on Thu, September 04, 2014 - 10:32 am EST

It’s great to hear that you still have a great passion for languages, after learning a lot of languages already

ali • Posted on Tue, September 09, 2014 - 1:07 am EST

hi, i’m from Iran and Farsi is my native tongue i’d be grateful to help you to learn my language. thanks for choosing Persian because few people tend to learn Persian and you are exceptional.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, September 09, 2014 - 2:35 am EST

!تشکر، علی

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