September 12, 2014 | Persian

Persian Planning

I haven't been blogging, but I have definitely been studying.

A couple of days ago while walking through Central Park with my Pimsleur lessons, I was informed in Dari lesson 24, second level, that buzkashi is the national sport of Afghanistan.

“It’s somewhat similar to polo, but is played with the headless carcass of a calf or goat,” explained the Pimsleur guy’s voice. “Games are fiercely competitive  and can last for days.”

A Beautiful Day in the Park with Pimsleur

A Beautiful Day in the Park with Pimsleur

At first I thought I had spaced out and daydreamed this, so I backed up the lesson and listened again. Nope. I heard right.

Language-learning teaches you unexpected things.

Now, here’s my situation with Persian and my weeks-long disappearance from this blog. I have been studying, pretty much daily, but just haven’t been writing about it. My problem is in part (1) work-related busyness and (2) I am using too many books at once.

The latter doesn’t really bother me, but it’s not great for making efficient progress. A little focus might have been good. I keep reading about Persian basics in different books and different languages. And that has been stressing me out, because I was supposed to move on to Swedish by now, and there are so many Persian verb tenses left to learn!

While I was out on that same walk, practicing my Dari (Afghan Persian), I thought, maybe I should just forget about putting a deadline on my Persian as I have with other languages. I just have too much left to do with it.

It is such a regular, systematic language, with so many patterns I could learn—for example, with verb forms. I hate the idea of losing the opportunity to make my way through all the basic grammatical patterns. I’ve left other languages prematurely, but maybe my brain is getting frustrated with that. I have to think about this issue further for the future.

Anyway, for the moment I am going to keep making my way slowly through my oversized pile of books.

A Periplus Splurge for the Future

A Periplus Splurge for the Future

And now, a confession.

This week I broke a rule that I don’t usually break, which is not to buy books I am not about to use. Extreme language-learners are often language-book hoarders. I don’t want to be that.

But the other night, I bought a pile of Periplus pocket dictionaries, shown here, for various Asian languages. I think the only ones missing are Korean, which I already had, and Mandarin Chinese, which I chose not to buy right now because I am probably going to rely on something else for that when I go back to it.

I thought buying the pack of these could be a good idea as I think about future languages to study.

Plus they are like little candies. Look at the colors! I have been coveting them for a couple of years.

But these are for my future. For now, back to the present! I will just keep studying Persian for now and see what happens. Go with the flow of my preferences! In language-learning, pleasure is king.

And queen.

Comments (1)

mjn • Posted on Wed, January 28, 2015 - 7:30 pm EST

I’m a fan of languages like you. my English is mediocre, heh, and I’m learning Spanish these days (that how I found your blog) and I’m a persian (farsi) native speaker, If you want any help, contact me!

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