Learning Persian and following the situation in Iran? You may want to start watching Mohsen Sazegara

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Persian itself isn't that difficult a language to learn, but unlike languages like French and German and the rest it can be a bit difficult finding good content, and the best content for the student of a language is always (IMO) the language being spoken at normal speed, but with subtitles so that the student can go over it at his own speed and watch the video, read it again alone, watch the video again, and so on until most of the content is understood. Something like this for example is perfect.

Luckily for those learning Persian and following the situation in Iran, there's Mohsen Sazegara (محسن سازگارا). He was one of the founding members of the Revolutionary Guard, later became disillusioned with the way the country was headed, was blocked from being able to run for president, was arrested and jailed a few times, and eventually he left the country in 2003 and has been pursuing reform from the outside ever since.

He was interviewed on CNN a few days ago (July 1st), so this video will be able to provide a better background of who he is.

What's great about Sazegara for those studying Persian is that he has been uploading videos almost daily (sometimes even more than one a day), and they all come with a complete text as well. His video yesterday for example can be seen here:

and the complete text can be seen at this link, which is one link of many from his Google Group where all the rest of the texts and links to videos are kept.

The videos are naturally not made specifically for students of Persian and so there are no holds barred in the content, but simply listening to a language and following along is good practice even for beginners, and there are probably a lot of overseas Iranians out there that haven't been able to maintain perfect fluency in their Persian (writing is always especially annoying for those living abroad), so these videos are good for them too.

As for the content - mostly the current situation and techniques to use when protesting.


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