Persian

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Persian language and culture studies at GW is a comprehensive program at all levels from beginning to advanced. The curriculum and courses are designed for both heritage and non-heritage students. Students develop their Persian language skills and cultural understanding through rigorous study and application.

Several scholarships are available for students studying the Persian language. The GW Persian program enables students to fulfill the GW Elliott School of International Affairs – Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement.  As Persian is considered a Critical Language by the US Government, learning Persian is especially beneficial for those students who are studying International Affairs, Political Science, Middle East Studies, Islamic Studies, History and many other related majors and minors.

The demand for Persian speakers in Western countries is increasing. Persian is an Indo-European language and related to major European languages, including English. It utilizes Arabic script, however, is not related to the Arabic language. The Persian language is spoken today by over 100 million people worldwide. Persian is the official language in Iran as well as Afghanistan and Tajikistan, where it is known as Dari and Tajik, respectively. Classical poetry, literature, philosophy, science and mathematics in the Middle East have all been significantly influenced by the Persian language and culture.
Students will develop their Persian language skills in conjunction with exploration of Persian culture. The coursework facilitates ease of learning as it builds on each subsequent class and gives students continual opportunities to practice and build upon their developing Persian language skills through writing, reading, listening and speaking. At the advanced levels, students are introduced to a wide range of media sources from the Persianate world. Students learn how to critically read, accurately summarize, analyze, translate and interpret Persian media in its political, social and economic context. These skills allow them to successfully qualify in the fields of diplomacy, linguistics, intelligence, or business, in the USA and abroad.

Please contact the Persian Program Coordinator, Maziar Valamotamed, for further information or questions about the GW Persian Placement Exam.

Meet the Language Coordinator

Photo of Maziar Valamotamed

Students who are considering studying Persian are encouraged to speak to the Department’s Language Coordinator Maziar Valamotamed by contacting him via email to setup an appointment to discuss your course of study.