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AccueilAbstracta IranicaVolume 452. Linguistique2.2. Langues vivantes et dialectesGhasem Toulany, Eva Orthmann. Leh...

2. Linguistique
2.2. Langues vivantes et dialectes

Ghasem Toulany, Eva Orthmann. Lehrbuch der persischen Sprache

Lutz Rzehak
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Ghasem Toulany, Eva Orthmann. Lehrbuch der persischen Sprache. Hamburg : Buske, 2 vol. : 2018 - 2022, 386 + 402 pp. + 2 CDs

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1This two-volume textbook of Persian is aimed at a German-speaking audience and provides a practical introduction to Persian, which, without being explicitly stated, is understood to mean the modern Persian language of Iran. The authors have many years of experience in academic foreign language teaching. Ghasem Toulany studied Persian as a foreign language in Iran and worked as a lecturer for Persian at German universities. Eva Orthmann directed language training for Persian at the University of Bonn and is now a professor of Iranian studies at the University of Göttingen.

2The first volume, which can be intended as an elementary textbook, is aimed at learners with no previous knowledge of the language. Its 24 lessons offer an introduction to the writing, pronunciation, grammar and basic vocabulary of Persian. The didactic concept can be described as consistently communicative. The learners should feel success in the acquisition of passive and active language skills from the very beginning. Therefore, the introduction to the Arabic-based writing system is not done in a propaedeutic section, but is taught in the first six chapters in parallel with initial knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. In this way, learners are enabled to understand and formulate meaningful statements even if they do not yet know all the characters of the writing system. The consistent communicative orientation of this textbook is also reflected in the teaching of the significant differences between written and spoken Persian. The dialect of Tehran, which is the basis of the colloquial standard in all of Iran, is not taught at a higher level of learning under a heading 'Special features of Colloquial Language' as it is the case in many other textbooks. Instead, it is the subject of teaching from the very beginning. In each lesson there is a text offered in the written standard, followed by a dialogue in which colloquial forms are introduced step by step. In teaching grammar, the Persian grammatical terms used in Iran today are fortunately used, thus avoiding the impression of trying to force Persian into traditional Western linguistic concepts.

3Volume 2, which can be understood as an intermediate textbook, is aimed at learners with prior knowledge. Here, didactically prepared texts are complemented by so-called original texts. These are texts which are not didactically prepared and which are intended to introduce the natural use of Persian in various areas of life. Various types of texts are presented, including newspaper reports, advertisements, and texts from online media. As protagonists, two characters named Arian and Sara accompany the learners on their journey through the world of modern Persian. The in-depth teaching of Persian grammar in the second volume is done throughout in Persian, for which a glossary of Persian grammar terms is provided. Another component of each lesson in the second volume are texts from the Persian literature. The first twelve lessons introduce representatives of modern Persian literature, with the selected texts having a contextual connection to the topics covered in the lesson. Lessons 13 through 24 offer texts from classical Persian literature, arranged by level of difficulty.

4Audio recordings are available for both volumes as an enclosed CD or available online. Both volumes include suggested solutions to the exercises and a glossary of the vocabulary taught.

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Lutz Rzehak, « Ghasem Toulany, Eva Orthmann. Lehrbuch der persischen Sprache »Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 45 | 2023, document 4, mis en ligne le 30 mai 2023, consulté le 24 février 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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Lutz Rzehak

Humboldt Universität, Berlin

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