Introduction to Farsi and Iran's Contemporary Customs


Have you ever wanted to learn Farsi, the Persian language? In this course for absolute beginners, you will learn basic language skills to start a conversation in Farsi and about the modern-day customs of living in Iran. You will also learn about Iranian culture and diversity, and gain general knowledge of Iran’s geography, climate and history.

Target audience:
This course is for anyone wanting to learn the Persian language (Farsi) and about Iranian customs, either for work, travel, family or personal reasons.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will:

  • be able to read and write the Persian alphabet
  • be able to communicate in Farsi at a beginner’s level
  • have increased your knowledge of Iranian culture through language
  • gained a greater understanding of Iranian society, both contemporary and traditional.

Course outline:
Each session is interactive, and you are expected to engage with the class to help your learning. To reinforce your learning, homework is encouraged, but there is no formal assessment. All sessions contain both language and customs components.

Week 1
Language: Introduction to the Farsi language, alphabet and its origins
Customs: Introduction to Iranian customs and greetings

Week 2
Language: Farsi alphabet overview, basic grammar and basics of conversation
Customs: Persian literature and Iranian provinces

Week 3
Language: Alphabet overview, daily use of the Farsi (formal and informal)
Customs: Iranian society

Week 4
Language: Alphabet overview, Persian expressions in shopping
Customs: Iran’s economy, currency and shopping

Week 5
Language: Alphabet overview, describing your day and your audience
Customs: Iran’s climate and seasons

Week 6
Language: Alphabet overview, planning meetings and timing
Customs: Persian calendar and holidays in Iran

Week 7
Language: Alphabet overview, activities planning in Farsi
Customs: Sports in Iran and weekends

Week 8
Language: Alphabet overview, introduce yourself in Farsi and describe how your day was
Customs: Persian food and cuisine

A short break is held halfway through each session, and you are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, so please enrol early.

Binyamin Shadmanian is native Persian–Iranian with expertise in Farsi translation and cultural affairs. He has been helping the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New Zealand with translations, cultural affairs and public diplomacy for several years. He has translated several journals to Farsi from English for publication purposes in Iran. Binyamin is Iran Embassy’s certified translator, and Farsi language, history and culture teacher.

Relevant links:
School of Languages and Cultures
Language Learning Centre
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.