Frequently asked questions

Is it Persian or Farsi?

To us, it’s both! Some will argue ‘Persian’ is more correct, and coming from a background in academia at the University of Texas in Austin, we chose to go this route with naming the program. But, honestly, we like the sound of ‘Farsi’ better, so a lot of times we refer to it as Farsi in the podcast. But either way, whether it’s ‘Farsi’ or ‘Persian’, know that the goal is the same- to understand each other better and to be able to have a conversation in this sweet language! The rest is just details to argue about.

Why Conversational Persian?

If you use a resource that teaches formal Persian, you sound silly when you’re having a conver- sation with a real Iranian, because that’s just not how they talk. From the beginning, we made a decision with Chai and Conversation to focus on PURELY conversational Persian- to teach you to communicate with others starting at the first lesson. We teach vocabulary and phrases that you’ll need to have normal conversations, and we don’t get bogged down with grammar and formalities in the beginning- though we do teach that to you too once you’re ready. Learn More About Our Speak Persian Course.

Can't read and write Persian? No problem!

Another problem with Persian learning resources is that they focus on getting you to learn script from the beginning. Some people want to focus ONLY on conversation- and that’s totally ok with us! All of our learning materials feature the words and phrases we teach with English phonetic script so you can hit the ground running. Learn More About Our Speak Persian Course.

Want to learn to read and write?

We have a course for that too! In fact, our reading and writing course has been developed over the course of 30 years, and we think it’s absolutely the best and easiest way to learn to read and write Persian out there. Even if you’re not interested in learning in the beginning, being able to read and write opens up many doors for your language skills in the future, so we encourage all students to pick it up at some point. Learn More About Our Reading & Writing Course.

Here just for the poetry?

Persian poetry is revered throughout the world. We take our poetry extremely seriously. For that reason, Chai and Conversation has a whole course on poetry that you can take no matter where you are in your language learning journey. As a complete beginner or an intermediate learner, we meet you where you’re at by teaching all the individual vocabulary words and phrases in simple and complex poems, and show you how to use those words and phrases in every day conversation. So learning poetry with us will help you take your conversation skills to the next level! Learn More About Our Poetry Course.