Persian Beginner II

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
SLTG 5131
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
8 Jan 2018 - 30 Mar 2018
Non-degree Specialization: 
EMS—Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies
Non-degree Specialization: 
ACRS—Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies
Ágnes Németh Kalotáné

Persian Beginner II

2017/2018 Winter Term,
Language course, 3 credits

Instructor: Agnes Nemeth
Office hours: after class or by appointment

The aim of the course

The aim of the two-term course is to introduce students -working on the Islamic world- to the basic grammar and language of Modern and Classical Persian. (CEFR levels A1-A2)

Through an emphasis given to the essentials of grammar and reading the goal will be to enable students to understand simple Classical Persian texts with the help of a dictionary. With three sessions per week, 50 minutes each, the course will consist of two parts. The first part will focus on grammar; in the second part, the students will start reading short sections from simple Modern Persian texts.

By the end of the first term the students are expected to be familiar with the basics of the Persian grammar, to have approximately 1000 vocabulary units with a special emphasis on synonyms already in the first term. This will enable them to proceed towards reading and translating some simple classical texts in the winter term, giving them sufficient help to Ottoman and probably Arabic source readings as well.



Regular attendance, at least 22 sessions out of 24, is mandatory.

Student performance will be assessed through

  1. class performance
  2. regular written home works that have to be handed in at the beginning of each class by the students.  I will return them corrected at the beginning of the next class
  3. a final written exam after the second part of the course book, composed of text translation, grammar, a short composition  and communication exercises

Terminal grade: 20% quizzes,  60% class performance, 20% final exam.


Most classes will begin with a short written or oral quiz on the latest vocabulary and grammar, then discussing the problems with their homework.

Students will regularly be given specially prepared grammar and vocabulary sheets to use apart of the fundamental course book and workbook. Other readings, visual and audio materials will also be used during the classes.

Students should estimate that successful participation in this class will require at least three times the amount of time outside the classroom than inside the classroom. Both fall and winter terms will be concluded with a final revision and a consultation followed by a final written exam.

The course book


Purnamdarian, Taqi. Persian Lessons for Foreigners: An Elementary Course. Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran. 2005. pp. 450.

The syllabus

Week 1 – Course book  Lessons 15-16.

                pronouns and adverbs, repetition

Week 2 – Course book  Lessons 17 and 18.

                tenses: future, present & past perfect

Week 3 – Course book   Lessons 19 and 20.

                repetition of the tenses, a simple text

Week 4 – Course book  Lesson 21 and 22.

                imperative, a simple text

Week 5 – The colloquial Persian

                simple text

Week 6 – The Colloquial Persian

simple text

Week 7 – Course book  part 3. pp. 276-82.

                passive voice, simple classical text

Week 8 – Course book  part 3. pp. 287-302.

                word formations, text

Week 9 – Course book  part 3. pp. 324-332.

                present subjunctive case, text

Week 10 – Course book  part 3. pp. 340-350.

past subjunctive case, text

Week 11 – Course book  part 3. pp. 353-66.

                conditional sentences, text

Week 12 – repetition, final test



1.  Grammar

Lazard, G. A Grammar of Contemporary Persian. Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, California and

New York, 1992. pp. 301.


Jeremiás, É: New Persian, In: Peri Bearman, Thierry Bianquis, C. Edmund Bosworth, E. J. van

Donzel, Wolfhart Heinrichs (szerk.) Encyclopaedia of Islam: Iranian Languages. Leiden: Brill

Academic Publishers, 2003. pp. 426-448.


Lambton, A.K.S. Persian Grammar. CUP. Transformed to digital form: 2003.


Fazel, N. Persian Grammar, www. DASTUR.INFO


2.  Dictionaries


3.  Other course books

The Routledge Introductory Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast . Shabani Jadidi, P., Brookshaw. D.P. Routledge, London & New York. 2010.


The Routledge Introductory Persian Course: Farsi Shirin Ast Book 2. Shabani Jadidi, P., Brookshaw. D.P. Routledge, London & New York. 2012.


Thackston, Wheeler M. An Introduction to Persian. Bethesda: Iran books Inc., 1993.


4. Text types dealt in the winter term

Simple reading texts provided by the instructor

Epic Literature: Shahname

Education Literature: Qabusname, Siyasatname

Fiction: Sammak Ayyar

Mystical, Sufi Literature: Hafiz

Travelogues: Siyahatname-ye Ebrahim Beg

Humorous Anecdotes: Obeid Zakani


Useful links:

Encyclopaedia of Iran:

Encyclopaedia of Islam: