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Lesson Transcript

Mohammad: Hi everyone. I’m Mohammad.
Becky: Hello! I’m Becky. Welcome to PersianPod101.com. This is All About Lesson 1 - Introduction to Iran and the Persian Language.
Mohammad: Together, we will guide you through everything Persian.
Becky: That's right. And this first lesson is all about the Persian language and Iran, the country where it's spoken. We’ll take you on a tour through Iran in this lesson. Let’s start with where Iran is located.

Lesson focus

Mohammad: Sure! Iran is a country in the Middle East, which neighbours Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkmenistan to the North, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the East, and Turkey and Iraq from the West.
Becky: Also, there is the Caspian sea in the North, and the Oman Sea and Persian Gulf bordering in the South of Iran. So Mohammad, is it true that Iran has hot weather because of its deserts?
Mohammad: Actually Iran's climate is a variation of hot and dry, cold, and humid weather. This is the result of the 3 factors of the central desert, the West and North-West Zagros and Alborz mountains, and the Caspian and Oman seas creating green and cultivable lands beside them.
Becky: That’s interesting! One more question - is Islam the main religion of Iran, like most other middle-eastern countries?
Mohammad: Yes, the majority of the Iranian population is Muslim. Before Islam, they were Zoroastrians originally from the "Aryan" race, which has lived in the South West of what is Iran today for thousands of years.
Becky: So historical buildings and famous old Architecture like the "Persepolis" and "Tchogha Zanbil" temple, are the proof of that long history?
Mohammad: Exactly!
Becky: Great! Now let's talk about the Persian language, which is also spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and parts of India and Pakistan too. It's kind of similar to the Arabic language - do they come from the same roots?
Mohammad: Persian was originally born in the Fars province in the South of today's Iran, which used to be called the "Pars" land...
Becky: Which is why it's called Parsi or Farsi.
Mohammad: They even had their own writing system, which developed in different stages.
Becky: If I remember correctly, it was originally in the "Hakhamaneshi" era around 1500 years ago, when Iranians spoke Persian, right? And they used their own writing system called...
Mohammad: ...Cuneiform
Becky: ...Or it’s called the "Mikhi" script, which resembled the shape of nails, and was written from left to right.
Mohammad: It continued to the "Sasani" dynasty era, when the Persian was called "Dari" and was spoken by Iran's court, which is called "Darbar" in Farsi, and the capital's people, in the East of Iran. Later it became the Persian named “Pahlavi”, which was different in the North and South of Iran. In the North, it was called "Ashkani Pahlavi", and in the South it was "Sasani Pahlavi" written from right to left.
Becky: And finally...
Mohammad: The new Persian began to be used after the appearance of Islam. The Arabs won in Iran, and used the Arabic alphabet for writing Persian to spread and advertise the religion of Islam. A few letters were added to the Arabic alphabet...
Becky: ...and that's how today's Persian language came into being! So Mohammad, can you tell us more about the Persian alphabet letters?
Mohammad: There are 32 letters in the Persian alphabet, which is written from right to left, in which mainly vowels make the syllables, and is spoken with different stresses and accents.
Becky: We'll learn more details in the lessons that are coming up. But now, it's time for motivation! Let's have a review of the top 5 reasons why Persian is a good language to learn. What’s number five?
Mohammad: You'll get to know Persians!
Becky: Persians are warm and friendly, and are famous for their hospitality. Knowing their language can be a connecting bridge to work and live with them, and to find more friends in this fascinating country! Okay, Mohammad, what’s number four?
Mohammad: Traveling to Iran will be more fun!
Becky: Right. It's a beautiful country with a varied climate and different geographical aspects, including mountains, plains, valleys and deserts. Iran has remarkable landscapes, and significant tourist attractions. You’ll find the ruins of old civilizations right next to beautiful natural scenery. Ok, and number 3...
Mohammad: You can understand more about this region’s rich history.
Becky: Learning the language of this historically significant country will mean you know more about its people and their stories. To understand the way the people have thought and acted helps us learn from their mistakes and successes, and become stronger ourselves. Ok and.. Number 2 is...?
Mohammad: The Persian language is different!
Becky: That’s right. Persian is different to the English and Latin-based languages, because it has its own alphabet, grammar and pronunciation. So it can be a good change of pace. And finally, what’s number 1?
Mohammad: Learning Persian is fun and exciting!
Becky: Of course! The uniqueness is not only limited to the language, but also linked to the culture, manners, customs and traditions. Discovering a whole new world can be very interesting and fun!
Mohammad: So everyone, get ready! Get out your pen and notebook, grab your iPhone, fire up your computer, and whatever else you use to study - and start learning Persian with us at PersianPod101.com!


Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening everyone.
Mohammad: Bye.