Persian, sometimes called Farsi, is a very important language to learn if you plan to travel in or work in the Middle East or Central Asia. It is one of the world’s 20 most widely spoken first languages, with more than 60 million native speakers and another 50 million secondary speakers.
Not only will learning Persian help you to better communicate with all of those people who speak it as their first or second language, but it will also help you to understand the culture, history and current events of the Middle East and Central Asia.
If you’re learning Persian in an in-person class or in an online course, then listening to podcasts can be an excellent complement to your current language-learning efforts. Podcasts are available on a wide range of platforms and are often free, and you can listen to them any time, anywhere, making accelerating your language learning that much easier.
Check out these seven Persian podcasts for more.
Podcasts for Beginners
If you have absolutely no experience with Persian whatsoever, then you’ll want to start with these very basic podcasts that start right from the beginning.
PersianPod101 is a podcast for beginners and it starts out with the most basic concepts, including vocabulary words. There are additional podcasts available in the series of episodes that are created just with travelers in mind, that teach you specific vocabulary words that would come in handy in a travel situation.
However, if just getting through a quick trip is not your main motive and you do want to thoroughly learn to speak Persian, then you’ll find that PersianPod101 gets you off on the right foot, helping you to establish a good base from which to move on to more advanced vocabulary and grammar concepts. Lessons are not only available for beginners, but also for intermediate and advanced learners as well.
The majority of content on PersianPod101 requires a subscription. The memberships are relatively affordable, but if you’re interested in seeing what they’re all about, you can check out our full review of PersianPod101.
Learn everyday Persian phrases over the course of 30 lessons. Rather than learning single vocabulary words, you’ll learn how to use these useful, everyday phrases in a conversational context, so that you can begin using your Persian in real-life settings more quickly. All of the instruction is offered by native speakers.
Learn Persian by PodGap provides beginner, intermediate and advanced-level episodes, but beginners will have no trouble following along with the first batch of episodes until they reach a point where they’re comfortable moving on to more intermediate concepts. Learn vocabulary words and grammar, study Persian literature and listen to interviews with native speakers. Get a feel for colloquial Persian, Iranian culture and regional traditions as well.
After you’ve built a good base of Persian vocabulary words and you’re familiar with the language’s grammatical functions and concepts, then you can begin moving on to more advanced concepts. Continue progressing in Persian with the help of intermediate-level podcasts, and begin incorporating more Persian into your everyday life, until you’re ready to move on to speaking and understanding Persian fluently.
This podcast, which is updated on a regular basis and currently offers more than 70 lessons, teaches conversational Persian in a very casual setting. Each episode is between 15 and 20 minutes, and you’ll learn a very broad array of vocabulary words. It is more geared toward intermediate learners than beginners, as it brings in a lot more Persian and more advanced vocabulary and grammar than what you’ll find in most beginner podcasts.
Once you’re quite familiar with the Persian language and you know how to follow along with a Persian speaker and actually comprehend what’s being said, then you’ll want to test your skills further by listening to podcasts that are the same thing those Persian speakers might listen to for news or entertainment. If you can listen to these podcasts with no problem, then you’re well on your way to becoming a fluent Persian speaker.
If you’re familiar with world affairs, news and events, then you’ll find that this Persian podcast from the BBC is an easy transition. You’ll be able to listen to content that covers information you’re likely already familiar with, but listen to it in Persian verses in English. New podcast episodes are uploaded daily and each episode is about an hour in length.
Farsi Speaking Kids takes popular children’s stories and then puts them in Persian. While the podcast does not provide the English translations, it’s not difficult to find them online, so you can follow along with the Persian narrator as you read the English text, allowing you to compare and contrast the two languages and see what you’re able to easily translate on your own, with no help needed.
Similarly, StoryTime in Farsi offers new and classic stories spoken in Farsi, but unlike Farsi Speaking Kids, this podcast is geared toward both children and adults, and especially those who are learning or practicing Persian. Episodes are uploaded quite regularly and each episode is relatively short, usually less than 15 minutes.
Learning Persian can be a rewarding experience, even if it’s not the easiest one. There are tons of online resources to help you learn this language more conveniently than ever before, whether you’re just trying to learn a new skill during your commute to work or you need to add the language to your resume.
Are there any great Persian language-learning podcasts that you’ve found that we didn’t list above? Let us know!