A New Language-Exchange Partner

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One of my problems as a language learner is that I really like reading books about language and at times have trouble making myself go out in the world.</p>
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I am reading some eight different books about Persian right now. I'm not kidding.</p>
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<img alt="My Oldest Book" src="/assets/images/uploads/Persian_Grammar_Lambton.jpeg" style="width: 900px; height: 672px;" /></p>
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My Oldest Book</p>
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<img alt="My Newest Book" src="/assets/images/uploads/Essentials_of_Persian_Grammar_Bahar_Books.jpeg" style="width: 900px; height: 672px;" /></p>
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My Newest Book</p>
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They include&nbsp;<em>Basic Persian</em> (Routledge), <em>Persisch für Anfänger</em> (Buske, which is a German publisher), <em>Le Persan</em> (Assimil), <em>Persian Grammar</em> (Cambridge University Press), <em>Corso di lingua persiana</em> (which is in Italian, from Hoepli), and a brand new book from Bahar Books in New York called <em>Essentials of Persian Grammar: Concepts and Exercises</em>.</p>
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I should probably <em>finish</em> one.</p>
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Anyway, because I'm not talking enough, my speaking progress is negligible. I posted something on ConversationExchange.com months ago, indicating I was looking for a conversation partner here in New York. The offer was my English for their Persian.</p>
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Over a couple of months I received about 25-30 messages offering help. Not one of the people actually lived here. Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I finally heard from a charming young student who was in fact here! In the city!</p>
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I like talking in person more than electronically, is the thing. I don't much enjoy Skype.</p>
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<img alt="This Persian Cucumber Was Recently for Sale at My Local Grocery Store. I Bought It and Ate It." src="/assets/images/uploads/Persian_Cucumber.JPG" style="width: 640px; height: 478px;" /></p>
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This Persian Cucumber Was Recently for Sale at My Local Grocery Store. I Bought It and Ate It.</p>
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Anyway, the student and I exchanged messages and arranged to meet on a Friday. I was waiting for him in a café when he materialized.</p>
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Surprise! It wasn't a he. It was a she!</p>
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It is hard to recognize the gender of names in other languages.</p>
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Our sessions so far have been extremely helpful. I have a children's book from Bahar Books, called <em>Our Earth</em>, and we started reading it together.</p>
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I read about clouds, and wind, and sun, and light, and no light. It was fantastic.</p>
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When I am studying a language very different from my native English, human interaction is extremely helpful. Otherwise I can end up doing crazily wrong things, in terms of pronunciation, or writing, or vocabulary. And there will be no one around to tell me.</p>

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