Rosetta Stone Language Software

Introduction to Dari

Before beginning the Itty Bitty Dari course, there are a few things you should know.

1. Dari is for all intents and purposes, the dialect of Persian spoken in Afghanistan. Once you know it, you not only know Dari. You can speak Persian with a funny accent!

2. Long vowels are indicated by the grave accent (á, é, ó) in these lessons. Otherwise, the spelling conventions largely follow those of Awde’s Dari Dictionary and Phrasebook. Where Dari resources (books and websites) did not seem to contain what I was looking for, I have tried to convert standard Persian for a Dari accent. The resultant phrases may not be strictly correct but should be understandable.

3. Dari and Persian are written with the Arabic script, which a) doesn’t render vowels clearly and b) joins short words to longer ones sometimes. Most of the time, if a word is joined to another in writing, I have written it as one word here. Note, by the way, that in the “Are you happy?” sections in Lessons Two and Three, I have given the full form for the verb “to be,” rather than available shortened forms. This should make the learning easier though your speech may be a touch stilted or overemphatic as a result.

4. Dari vocabulary has multiple sources, ranging from Old Persian (of which it is a descendant) to the Turkic languages to Arabic. For example, the words for “Please” (lutfan) and “Thank you” (tashakor) are Turkish (though the latter is probably indirectly from the Arabic “shukran”). The words for “Hello” (salám = peace) and “straight ahead” (mostaqim) are straight from Arabic, the latter being the word used to define the straight and narrow path of the virtuous Muslim in the opening book of the Koran.