These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
IAM’s Long Course and Short Course Materials
On September 25, 2016, the International Assistance Mission took the decision to release as much of its language-learning material as possible under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. You can view that materials that have been made available so far in this shared Dropbox folder.
- A Learner’s Grammar of Dari (PDF; 43kb; 118pp) — A book about Dari grammar. This is a draft version; feedback is welcome.
Online LCP Resources
- Language Learner Profile — An online inventory to help you learn about yourself as a language learner. You can read the associated blog post.
- ACTFL Self-Assessment — Evaluate your progress as a language learner with this online tool.
- LCP News Collection — A collection of news stories (and one topical non-news-story…) to give you exposure to more difficult reading, and a wide range of new vocabulary. Topics include politics, pop culture, security, and world affairs. The meaning of every word appears when you place your mouse over it.
Presentations about Language Learning
These are narrated slide presentations about language learning. There are references to IAM-specific practices, but the information should be applicable to most learners.
- Nine Assumptions About Language and Culture Learning (PDF; 10.7MB) — introduces and applies nine assumptions that guide LCP’s thinking about language and culture learning. There is a handout to go along with this, and the text of the narration is also available if you prefer it that way
- Proficiency, Competence, & Planning (PDF; 14.7MB) — a follow-up to the above presentation, describing the ideas of proficiency and proficiency-oriented language-learning, various types of communicative competence, and some tools for planning lessons. There is a handout and the text of the narration for this as well
These are how-to guides for learning from various Dari media.
- Learn from the TV show Hai Maidan wa Tai Maidan (PDF; 66kb; 2pp) — Develop a variety of vocabulary from a show where the host tours different provinces of Afghanistan talking to people. (video & audio based)
- Learn from children’s school books (PDF; 57kb; 2pp) — Learn more about Afghan culture using the school books you can purchase in the bazaar. (print based)
- Learn to speak Dari with subtlety (PDF; 112kb; 16pp) — Develop your ability to talk about abstract concepts (advantages, disadvantages, causes of things, etc.) using this collection of sentences as a guide. (print based)
- Learning Kinship Terms (Names for Relatives) (PDF; 62 kb; 2pp) — Use family trees to learn the kinship terms for any language. There are two family trees that accompany the activity, one with a large nuclear family and one with a larger extended family.
- Interlinear texts (PDF; 70kb; 3pp) — This is a general resource for helping you to make the most of interlinear texts, which are made use of in several LCP resources.
- Flashcards for language learning (on this site) — Some recommendations and resources for using flashcards in your language study.
- Massaging a text (on this site) — A description of how to massage a text, arguably the fundamental activity of most learning that goes on at LCP.
Reading and writing
- A workbook for reading and writing Dari, Second Edition (PDF; 1MB; 79pp) — a workbook that introduces the Dari alphabet, intended as a ten-week course. You can self-study or work through this with a teacher. This second edition (July 2015) fixes many errors from the first edition, and includes improved letter shapes. Click here to download the listening exercises (zipped MP3 files; 9.1MB)
- A guide for expatriates learning to read Dari, Second Edition (PDF; 143kb; 16pp) — a brief guide providing basic information about how Dari is written, explaining the most common conventions and providing intuition for some of the more opaque practices. Use this guide to give yourself a general overview of the Dari alphabet, before either striking out on your own, or using the workbook above
- A guide for expatriates learning to read Pashto (PDF; 149kb; 17pp) — a brief guide providing basic idea about how Pashto is written, following the pattern of the Dari guide above. This guide is a work in progress and we value your feedback.
- Play Sudoku with local numbers (PDF; 10kb; 1pp) — silly as it sounds, actually using the numbers and thinking about them is the best way to learn
- Dari letter flashcards (PDF; 56kb; 5pp) — print and cut out these flashcards to learn your Dari alphabet with the help of a language helper. The letters are shown in isolation, and in all three positions in a word.
Each of these requires about 65 MB of space on a Windows computer, or about 30 MB of space on an Apple computer. Once you’ve run the installation, you can delete the installer files.
- Dari-English Dictionary (Windows installer; 30 MB) (Apple installer; 15MB) —The latest version of the Dari-English dictionary program. You can look up words by their English meaning, International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciation, or Glassman script pronunciation.
- Typing Tutor (Windows installer; 30 MB) (Apple installer; 10 MB) — Learn to type with the Persian keyboard. After installing it, run the program and do File | Open course… and then select “persian-typing.xml.” This program assumes the Iranian Standard Keyboard layout, which for Windows users is an extra download. There is also a version with a larger font size if you prefer that.
There are plenty of freely available Anki flashcard decks at this web site (Anki is described here). If you have Anki installed, you can just download the these files and double-click on them; the deck will appear in Anki automatically. Do not be put off by the terns “Persian” and “Farsi”—the differences between Iranian Farsi and Afghan Dari are not great, especially with more abstract vocabulary.
- Vocabulary from “An Introduction to Persian, 3rd ed.” by Wheeler M. Thackston (1911 cards) — pronunciation is indicated by a custom phonetic script (not IPA and not Glassman), which you can probably figure out; this is a good deck to start with
- Routledge Introductory Persian Course (3465 cards) — pronunciation is only indicated by the vowel diacritics, so you need to be able to read Dari to use these; this is not an original LOP work, but is a revision of a deck of flash cards that was previously available online
- Persian Farsi Flashcards (4602 cards) — pronunciation is only indicated by the vowel diacritics, so you need to be able to read Dari to use these; this is not an original LOP work, but is a revision of a deck of flash cards that was previously available online
- Persian Months of the Year Flashcards (12 cards) — you can go years without learning these if you don’t make a point of it! You’re presented with the Dari script word and IPA transcription, and on the back side you have the approximate first day of the month, its season, and its zodiac symbol
- Flashcards for the LCP News Collection (1273 cards) — These cover all the words from the LCP News Collection resource, minus the less relevant proper names. (Revised December 10, 2016.)
- Practice the provinces of Afghanistan with this fillable map; there is an answer key as well.
- Scans of Afghan banknotes (PDF; 457 kb; 3pp) — For practicing using money in a lesson.
- Migrating to IPA from Glassman (PDF; 49kb; 3pp) — IAM used the Glassman script to represent Dari pronunciation for more than forty years; in April 2015 we adopted the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). This is an introduction to the IPA for people who are used to Glassman.