Persian Beginner I

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
SLTG 5031
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
17 Sep 2018 - 7 Dec 2018
Ágnes Németh Kalotáné

Persian Beginner I

2018-2019 Fall 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 two 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 academic year the students are expected to be familiar with the basics of the Persian grammar, to have approximately 1500 - 2000 vocabulary units with a special emphasis on synonyms already in the first term, that is, on acquiring a broad knowledge of both the modern and the classical Persian lexicon. 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, 20% test, 30% class performance, 30% 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.

Yousef, Saeed. Basic Persian Grammar. Routledge, London & New York. 2013. pp. 280

Yousef, Saeed. Intermediate Persian. Routledge, London & New York. 2013. pp. 280


The syllabus (fall term)

Week 1 – Course book pp. Lessons 1-4.

.09.2017 Introduction. The alphabet and pronunciation.

Yousef: Unit 1


Week 2 – Course book pp. Lessons 7 and 12.

.09.2017 Lesson four, Simple sentence, nouns

Yousef: Unit two


Week 3 – Course book   Lessons 5 and 8.

.10.2017 Ezafe particle & Determiners

.10.2017 Demonstratives, cardinal numbers 

Yousef: Unit six


Week 4 – Course book Lesson 5 and 9.

Counting words, names of Iranian months

.10.2017 Ordinal numbers, fraction

Yousef: Unit three


Week 5 – Course book Lesson 6., part 3. pp. 226-276, 288-92.

.10.2017 Numbers: singular, plural

.10.2017 Direct object marker, prepositions, simple text


Week 6 – Course book, part 3. pp. 154-167.

.10.2017 Adjectives

.10.2017 Degrees of comparison, simple text

Yousef: Unit eight


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

.11.2017 Adverbs 

.11.2017 Revision test.


Week 8 – Course book Lessons 10 and 11.

11.2017 Pronouns

.11.2017 Indefinites, simple text


Week 9 – Course book Lesson 16.

.11.2017 Verbs: stems, auxiliary to be and to have

.11.2017 Verbs: tenses: present, past, future

Yousef: Unit four, ten, eleven, twelve



Week 10 – Course book pp. 38-41. Lesson 17 and 18.

.11.2017 Verbs: Tenses: present perfect, past perfect 

.11.2017 Progressive, periphrases

Yousef: Unit thirteen


Week 11 – Course book part 3. pp. 364-68.

0.11.2017 the passive voice, longer text

0.11.2017 Revision. Consultation.

Yousef: Unit twenty


Week 12

0.12.2017 written exam.

.12.2017 Evaluation of the written exam.


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. 



4. Text types dealt in the winter term

Simple reading texts provided by the instructor

Epic Literature: Shahname

Education Literature: Saadi, Qabusname, Siyasatname

Fiction: Sammak Ayyar, Simin Daneshvar

Descriptive Literature: Nima Jusij

Critical Literature: Dehxoda

Mystical, Sufi Literature: Hafiz, Attar

Travelogues: Siyahatname-ye Ebrahim Beg

Women poets: Parvin Etesami, Simin Behbahani

Humorous Anecdotes: Obeid Zakani


Useful links:

Encyclopaedia of Iran:

Encyclopaedia of Islam:

For practice: