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Persian Speakers, Wives of Persian Speakers...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
DH speaks Persian. Anyone else out there? I'm adding a few other key words in here: Tajik, Tajiki, Dari, Iranian, Iran, Farsi, Afghan, Afghani, Parsi, just so it comes up on the searches...

DH is not so great at teaching DD Persian but he's improved a bit lately. I am thinking about getting her a Persian-speaking nanny as well, but we'll see. Do you know of any good language tools out there? Kids' shows? We don't have TV but we'd buy a good DVD set as she's nearly two and old enough to watch a bit.
post #2 of 17
Unfortunatly, I'm no help, but I'm curious about any reply you get.
My DH is persian also, and speaks persian with his family. We are still TTC #1, but language and culture is important to me and I've brought up the topic with him a few times. I want our children to speak both our mother langage (I'm french speaking). He doesn't seem to feel this is important. He agress on the french, since we are in Canada, but doesn't seem to think learning persian is all that important. I'm hoping he changes his mind once we do have kids, but I have a feeling their persian culture education will come from their grandparents! This upsets me a bit because I know of several people, now adults, who really wish their parent had thought them their native language and really feel a large part of their culture and ancestry has been cut from them. A close friend even ended up taking night classes for years just to learn her mother's native language.
post #3 of 17
ps...does your daughter speek any farsi right now?
post #4 of 17
Hi there,
My husband is Persian and our daughter is learning it, but it's been tough. My husband somehow thought she'd just "get it" since she is Persian, which always puzzled me since he and I always speak in English, he used Persian only a bit with her and we lived in an Arabic-speaking country. When it became painfully obvious that it wasn't happening, he began speaking more with her in Persian and she wouldn't have anything of it. Eventually, however, she softened and would sing with him and listen to stories (waiting out the first Persian telling to get to the English translation telling, but gradually catching more and more). It helps a lot for me to be out of sight and out of mind when they get started chatting in Persian, so for a long time I'd quietly disappear if they seemed to kick into it. Now, I can be around and she'll stay (mostly) in Persian, but they love the papa-daughtalu time, too, and will go off on walks or whatever where they'll just stay comfortably in Persian or slip around in Persian, Arabic and English.

Another thing, when my husband began worrying about her not doing any Persian, he tended to get too teachy and she balked big time. He had to back off and make it fun. She loves stories of his childhood pets and adventures (which he told her he just can't explain in English) and those became his best tool to crack her resistance. He often tells these stories at bedtime and her Persian and Arabic have improved vastly since we began switching off bedtime story duties _ he tells or reads stories in Persian or Arabic on his nights (sometimes translating all or parts in English afterwards).

She's still shy with her Persian around his side of the family (whom we live near now), but sometimes forgets this in the fun of a big family dinner and uses it without thinking. Unfortunately, a thrilled auntie or uncle too often points this out making her self-conscious again, but in the past six months or so she's blossomed a lot on it, much to our relief. Her English, however, is miles ahead. My dd, by the way, is 5 1/2.

You mentioned the possibility of a Persian-speaking nanny. If that's realistic, I'd leap all over it, especially if your husband isn't really into speaking Persian with your dd. Since the nanny would be your employee, you could have a ground rule on hiring her of no English with your daughter (too bad that can't work with husbands!). They'll work out ways to communicate with simple words and gestures until your daughter picks up the language. A nanny would be with her a lot, so I'm sure it'd pay off. You asked about language resources as well... We have one 2-disc set that my dd really likes called "Shahrak Alefba." It's a man singing really cute songs teaching the alphabet (written letters and their sounds) on the first disc and singing simple kids poetry on the second. The set is a theatrical rendition of a bright, airy boys classroom and there's a muppet-type puppet along with real boys who are doing the learning/participating. My dd likes it a lot and runs to get a whiteboard and draw letters and words along with it. It's all Persian, no English on it. Unfortunately, I don't know where it would be available (a relative picked it up in Iran for dd), but you may try searching online for it or similar from bookstores in areas with large Persian populations (California?). You may find kids music discs this way, too. Also, Iranian movies are great! Often the central characters are children because of film taboos, etc., but that makes them accessible to kids and adults. Finding them probably requires finding a video store that at least has a big selection of foreign films. Good luck and I hope you (or maybe your in-laws) will be able to convince your husband to help you out with the Persian.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi, ladies, I didn't see your replies... internet time a bit iffy lately. Thanks for the tips- maybe I can find Shahrek Alefbi on e-bay. You never know!

My daughter understands a bit of Persian (not Farsi dialect) now, and speaks less. Her first words were in Persian, though, and she has heard it off and on continually since birth so I have hope that she retains the potential to speak it without an accent!
post #6 of 17
salam khanoomha...
man! man!


Umm Ibi
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
DH speaks Persian. Anyone else out there? I'm adding a few other key words in here: Tajik, Tajiki, Dari, Iranian, Iran, Farsi, Afghan, Afghani, Parsi, just so it comes up on the searches...

DH is not so great at teaching DD Persian but he's improved a bit lately. I am thinking about getting her a Persian-speaking nanny as well, but we'll see. Do you know of any good language tools out there? Kids' shows? We don't have TV but we'd buy a good DVD set as she's nearly two and old enough to watch a bit.
the best thing is to make sure the Persian speaker or speakers r using it around the children...we do that. Ibi knows words in both english and farsi now. mashallah.
post #8 of 17
I dont know if this helps but having Farsi kids books around is really vital. Even if the child/ren is/are too young to read it. We go back to Iran yearly to see our family there and we always stock up on kiddie books and books for outrselves, even the trip I went when I was pregnant, I bought what likle...$200 worth of kiddie books for babies in some upscale kiddie boutique in Tehran (we dont go to Tehran, btw we were just there to see a family friend)...the owner thought we were nuts but once we explained they got it and were very helpful.
Even now, at 2 we try to always read to him in Farsi because he hears English at daycare, so right now he uses half Farsi words and half English...we are praying that en'shallah once he's a bit older things will clear up and he'll be good at BOTH languages. A close friend of mine who is American but her husband is Irani...she said the reason why her duaghters (now in their 20's) cant speak Farsi is because her husband never wanted to speak it to them and she never forced it. Hmmm...it's so sad!

NE way, hope this helps.
post #9 of 17
Sorry for inundating this thread...hehehe

so I'm curious...
How many of you have been to Iran or Afghanistan or Tojikistan (I know 1 khahar on here is IN Tojikistan right now)?

How is it dealing with your Persian relatives and in-laws? How about ta'arof?

How about dealing with Persians in the US/Canada?

Can you cook anything Irani? Tojiki or Afghani?

Okay, pardon the curious questions...
mamnoon,

khodahafez,
Umm Ibi
post #10 of 17
DH speaks Arabic, not Persian, but one great resource for us has been YouTube. As long as DH searches in Arabic, we can find tons of kids stuff... cartoons, Disney movies in Arabic, kids TV programs, Sesame Street (Alam Simsim), etc. It's a great resource

He also found a website called Fomny.com that carries a lot of Arabic TV channels for free. They list 31 Iranian TV channels as well:
http://www.fomny.com/A-Tv-Iran.php

Here are a bunch of children's books in Farsi/English...even Harry Potter...

http://www.worldlanguage.com/Product...ooks/Page1.htm

I know that lately I've been able to find Arabic/English books on Amazon, which is nice. I was also shocked that my library in an area without a large Arabic population had ARabic kids books. (A few, but still I was psyched!)

Definitely, if you can hire a Persian Au Pair or Nanny go for it!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmIbrahim View Post
Sorry for inundating this thread...hehehe

so I'm curious...
How many of you have been to Iran or Afghanistan or Tojikistan (I know 1 khahar on here is IN Tojikistan right now)?

How is it dealing with your Persian relatives and in-laws? How about ta'arof?

How about dealing with Persians in the US/Canada?

Can you cook anything Irani? Tojiki or Afghani?

Okay, pardon the curious questions...
mamnoon,

khodahafez,
Umm Ibi
I was in one of those countries (in both actually) but I'm not anymore. I love my in-laws- they are wonderful, "simple" people, not in the unsophisticated way, but in the undemanding way. Ta'arof- don't know what it is. We have not met any Persians here, sadly, but I hope we can sometime soon. I can cook Iranian rice, pilaf ("osh"), shurbo, and non, but otherwise the dishes are pretty basic. My husband likes all dishes so we eat a lot of southwestern, pseudo-Indian, and traditional American (meatloaf, scalloped potatoes) and Russian dishes as well. He likes pizza too and I can make a pretty good sauce and crust as well. We also eat whole wheat bread instead of non a lot because it is healthier and he is very pro-health so that's not an issue. Of course the ingredients aren't the same so nothing tastes exactly the same, but I try.

Salomat boshed!
post #12 of 17
My father is from Iran and when I was small I was quite bilingual...English and Farsi. Could interchange the languages easily. My parents divorced and Dad went back to Iran. Today as an adult I can only speak a little Farsi but a lot of times can get the general "gist" of the conversation.

All I can say is start young and keep at it. Never let up. Perhaps make Farsi the main language at home which may mean that if mom is not a native Farsi speaker that she will have to learn also. I know of one family where the dad is Arab and the mother is Persian. All of the children know Arabic, Farsi, and English...written and spoken and can interchange all 3 languages on the fly. Quite amazing. Just keep at it. Gosh I wish I could still speak fluent Farsi!!! Would make it MUCH easier to deal w/family in Iran.
post #13 of 17
salam khanoomha,
No clue if this is any interest...BUT, I started a blog on hejabi fashion and my first few posts are Iran related. Mostly because there is a lot of stereotypes out there and confusion as to what is worn in Iran and basically I'm tired of reiterating over and over that a chador is not a overhead khaleeji abayah.
LOL.

anyway take a peep if you want.
http://oldschoolhejabi.blogspot.com
post #14 of 17
salam all,

I just wanted to let you know, PBS stations are broadcasting Rick Steves in Iran tonight. It's 10pm in my city (east coast).

It looks like it'll be neat, I wonder how many of the sites I've already seen and which ones will be new to me.

http://www.ricksteves.com/iran/
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know, they already broadcasted it here and I fell asleep putting DD to sleep that night. I might just have to buy it and support public television. Sigh. I was really looking forward to it! I heard him on the radio, too and we just love his books. Can't wait to see if he has a book about it so we can see what he writes in the essential phrases part.
post #16 of 17
My DH is Iranian, too, and we're teaching our little girls Persian. At first, DH was hesitant to speak Persian with our older daughter, because for some reason he thought it would confuse her, but once she started to speak he felt more confident about it. She loves stories in Persian, and TV is also a really great way to learn - anybody have FTA satellite?

Here's a great site where you can watch free Iranian TV (live and recorded shows) and movies and listen to the radio. They also have Shahrake Alefba and Madreseye Mooshha for kids:

https://www.glwiz.com

You have to sign up, but it's free.

For reading material, check out www.childrenslibrary.org - they have tons of books in Persian online!

On youtube, DD loves watching Babak on "Mixed Nutz" and the short clips from the "Hoosh Hoosh Bahoosh" educational videos.

Diana
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmIbrahim View Post
Sorry for inundating this thread...hehehe

so I'm curious...
How many of you have been to Iran or Afghanistan or Tojikistan (I know 1 khahar on here is IN Tojikistan right now)?

How is it dealing with your Persian relatives and in-laws? How about ta'arof?

How about dealing with Persians in the US/Canada?

Can you cook anything Irani? Tojiki or Afghani?

Okay, pardon the curious questions...
mamnoon,

khodahafez,
Umm Ibi
I haven't been to Iran, and actually DP hasn't been back since he immigrated here when he was 12.

I looooove my inlaws, they are so kind and generous, and very, very open minded, considering DP and I aren't married and aren't planning on getting married either (though they don't know that, but I'm pretty sure after 8 yeats they've figured it out!) and have been living together for several years now.

Dealing with extended family and friends is a little overwhelming though...I call it "going to Iran" and it would be ok if I mastered the langage a bit better (I can handle slow and simple conversation, usually about food!). I guess it's only fair since I have a large French Canadian family which DP finds overwhelming also!

Ta'arof, however, was the only cultural thing I had issue with. It took a very long time for my DP's parents to stop trying to push food and stuff on me, and I didn't get why they didn't understand I was saying no thank you!!! Honestly, DP's aunt is the one who explained ta'arof to me only a couple of years ago. I wish i had known about it from the beginning!!!!

As for food, my mother inlaw showed me how to cook a few dishes, but I can't say it's been a success. Luckily, they are in the same city as us, so we get fresh homemade iranian food on a regular basis!
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