Another good place to learn Persian: China Radio International

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here's the part of the site with recorded news broadcasts.

I took a look at China Radio International's Persian site today and found something extremely useful for those studying the language: news articles that have been recorded exactly as they are written. This type of resource is invaluable for anyone learning a language, as when simply listening to a language it's nearly impossible to catch everything that is said, and when simply reading a language, the way you imagine it being pronounced will often turn out to be wrong.

As a quick example from English, think of the following: "He was presented with a present" or "the photographer took a photograph". The stress on those words is different but it's not obvious for the student unless you're able to hear it in practice. With Persian, often you're not sure whether و is supposed to sound like va or o for example, and most of the time you can forget about properly pronouncing words you've never seen before because the Perso-Arab script doesn't give any indication as to what the vowel is if it's a short vowel, since they are unwritten.

Here's one example of an article you can listen to, that I think is about the military base issue between Kyrgyzstan, Russia and the United States. The speakers for CRI sound a fair bit different from those at Deutsche Welle or BBC Persian, but since I'm still learning the language I have no idea whether that's just the way Persian sounds further east or whether they are people that have learned it as a second language. My guess is that it's the former.


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