Salam! Khosh amadid!
Hello everyone, how are you?
Today, I am going to change the mood a bit! I know this class is different from the routine ones, but I think we are in a big class where everybody has the right to participate in it by raising a question or something. This will bring us all together and we will find ourselves in a real class.
Last week I received a couple of messages and I think it’s not a bad idea to let you see them. Maybe some of you have the same feeling and my answers could be for all of you.
Message 1 (the complete message with no change)
Subject: I can’t hear a thing
Thank you for putting easypersian on the internet for free
I discovered it today and tried it out. When I wanted to listen to the words/sounds, I clicked on listen, then the computer told me to download a file which I did. Then, when I wanted to open it, it asked me where I want to open it, not knowing what to put, I chose RealAudio. Now, everytime I want ot listen to it, it tells me “this is not a RealAudio file” and that’s it. I cannot change it or anything.
Why don’t you give people some adise how they can use this program. For me it got screwed up the first day I tried it…..
In almost one hour, I received the second message from the same person on the same day. Here’s message 2 (the complete message with no change)
I am so frustrated with your course, that I have to write again. I understand, that you put a lot of work into your course, but I really think it is very frustrating for beginners.
When you learn a new language, you want to start speaking a few words as soon as possible. It is simply incomprehansible to me that one has to “waste” a full ten (10) weeks, before the first word is tought. That is almost three months. I have some prior knowledge, so I went through these lessons in about half an hour. Any book you buy, gets you started with a few words, so you can learn, practice and retain the new letters. Why don’t you?????
You give examples of words early on, but you don’t explain/translate them. What would you say, if I am teaching you to read and write “er geht heute abend nach hause” but for three months or longer I am withholding from you what it means (“he is going home tonight”)???
Likewise, you are so busy presenting Persian poetry, which nobody can understand (at least not anyone who just started learning the language), not realizing that it is more annoying than anything else. Why do you think the 15 year old Brazilian wanted you to translate the poetry? In my mind he wanted to try to make a little sense of it all, and probably actually start learning (!) a few words.
I have already vented about the audio problem. I cannot fix it. I guess I will never be able to listen to this.
It is too bad that there will be no response from you, I would really like to know what you have to say. But I guess, you get too many e-mail, to answer individually, and that is your prerogative.
Thanks for reading this and thanks again for putting up your online course (even though I have yet to discover its usefulness for me….), I don’t mean to be a total nag, but you are inviting criticism and – as mentioned above – I am too darn frustrated to keep it to myself.
I wrote back to him immediately. As I told you before, listening to the ideas of your classmates will give you the feeling of attending in a real class. That’s why I have posted these messages here today. I hope you will not consider it as wasting your time. I do really like these messages. Frankly, what I get from these messages is much more than the messages in which I am praised. I strongly believe that those who criticize me teach me more than those who are just praising me. So, I do respect the policy of being criticized!
Here’s my answer to Mr. Birgit, which I have already sent him:
Let me frankly thank you for the two messages. To be honest, this is the first time I’m receiving such clear criticism for which I am deeply grateful.
I believe the problem you have with listening to the audio files comes from your own computer. I, myself, am using the real audio player to listen to these files and have no problems with it. The sounds are in MP3 format and should not cause problems by themselves. I am not really sure how you can solve this problem now, but I guess you have to go through the explorer to fix it. Unfortunately, this is a computer related matter and I have little knowledge about it. If you want to use other media player to listen to these files, please download Winamp. This one is already tested and many of my visitors are using it. You may find it here: http://www.winamp.com/ . I hope this will solve the problem. This is for your first message.
About your second message, I’d like to say some although I agree that you are right in many aspects.
I am sure you have read my homepage. As I have mentioned in my homepage as well as in lesson one (start from the very beginning), this course is basically designed for those who have no knowledge about Persian. That’s why I have started from the very scratch. How can I let you drive a car when you don’t know how to start the engine, how to use the brakes, or how to turn on the lights? What I have done during the first ten lessons is to help everyone become familiar with the very basics of this language. Many students have described it strange because it is really different from the western languages. So, how can I let them “start speaking a few words as soon as possible”? They haven’t touched the car in their life and you are asking me to let them drive for a while as soon as possible! They need to know some about it first or they will face some serious problems later. In this online course, I have imagined that no one knows Persian and I am supposed to teach those who knows nothing at all about this language. Don’t think it’s a matter of ‘wasting’ your time for ten weeks learning not a single word. It took me more than ten weeks to introduce my site on the internet. Therefore, it gave everyone some time to find it first. Then, it’s up to you to either learn it in ten weeks or simply go “through these lessons in about half an hour”.
The examples I have given are to let you see each given letter in different words. I think you are absolutely right that these examples might be confusing. However, what is important is that you don’t need to know these words at this stage. These words are supposed to give you hints to see the explained letters in different situations, like what you see in Lesson 6. It helps your eyes get more familiar with them and you are not asked or supposed to know the words. Unfortunately, I didn’t explain it in those lessons so clearly as I am doing now. So, you seem right! But be honest! I haven’t given you such a sentence: “er geht heute abend nach hause”! (by the way, which language it is?)
The idea of presenting Persian poetry or Persian Samples did not come from a fifteen-year-old Brazilian! As you have seen, I had already posted some samples without translating them. I thought, as a beginner, you needed to see some Persian Samples. I thought this because I was afraid many of you might have no access to other Persian writings. As you have complained for not translating some Persian words “early on”, I received a suggestion from a fifteen-year-old Brazilian who was eager to know what those strange writings were about! That’s why I decided to present it bilingually in spite of all the problems I have in my daily life. And I guess I’ll close the Persian Samples page in future due to the difficulties I have in my time limit. Anyway, no one is supposed to do any homework on Persian Samples page. As it comes from its name, it’s just a sample page, which I think can be useful in many ways.
I deeply hope I have answered to your questions although I am honestly happy with your messages and the way you expressed your feeling. If you don’t mind, I am going to post your messages on my next week lesson since I think it is probably the problems of many other students.
I wish you all the best in your daily life and I will certainly be glad of receiving such messages again and again.
Quite fortunately, I received the following massage from Mr. Birgit soon after my answer:
Subject: Thank you
I was impressed: not only did I receive an answer, but you wrote right away. Thank you very much.
P.S.: The language is German
For your convenience, here’s the original message of the Brazilian student who wrote to me long ago:
Message 4 (the complete message with no change)
Subject: salute and suggestions!
First off all, I want to congratulate you for the website and your initiative, that makes possible the easy apprenticeship of this interesting language. All lessons are simple to be learned and the explanations are enough good, but the course should be more dynamic; if you put more contents in each lesson, or publish them more frequently,it will be perfect. Ok, as you are asking, I’m Brazilian, 15 years old and I’m learning Farsi just for fun! I’m don’t have any relationship with any persian speaking… That’s my hobby, I now something about Russian, Esperanto and about other constructed language, Quenya, made by J.R.R. Tolkien for his famous book, Lord of The Rings.
Oh, I almost forgot to say that the “Persian Samples” should be a bilingual zone, since the texts looks very nice, and while we don’t understand this language very good, we can’t read these compositions.
So, thank you for the attention, and good bye! I wait for your answer!
All right, I hope everyone enjoyed the messages today. These are all parts of a class and as it happens in your daily classes, listening and respecting other’s ideas and suggestions is a different course, which is by all means important.
Now let’s start:
Today, it’s you who should work! Please do the quiz first and then go to Useful drills page to do more!!
Quiz: (this quiz is a little bit different from what we have already experienced. Hope you can do it)
1- Listen (only once) to the audio sounds and write down the Persian and their English translations on a paper: (You have already seen these sentences, so it’s not a real test!)
2- Say these words in Persian first, then make two sentences with each given word (one in simple past tense and one in present perfect tense, and of course your sentences must be in Persian not English!).
The day before yesterday =
To like =
To look at =
To scream =
3- Say these numbers in Persian:
5 – 35 – 235 – 1235 – 11235 – 80 – 180 – 881 – 21
Ok, that’s it for today. Please go to Useful drills page to keep on working!
Let’s write page is waiting for you if you want to see the main stress of the new words.
See you next week! Khoda Hafez!