The Persian, also known as Farsi, program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an academic resource for studying and appreciating Persian language and culture. Through studying the Persian language, students become familiar with its literature, history, geography, arts, and develop an understanding of its culture.
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students can study beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in Persian language, as well as courses in Iranian culture and literature. Students may minor in Persian, study Persian as their required Asian language for the interdisciplinary major in Asian Studies, or use Persian language courses to fulfill their foreign language requirement.
There are numerous reasons to study Persian: for one thing, Persian is an important language of the Middle East and Central Asia, spoken by approximately 70 million native speakers and roughly 110 million people worldwide. It is the official language of Iran. It also includes Persian Dari spoken in Afghanistan, and Tajik in Tajikistan. Studying Persian will also introduce you to the rich and diverse culture that produced major epic poets such as Ferdowsi, Sufi poets such as Rumi and Hafez, magnificent miniature paintings, fine carpets, and much more.
Persian is easy to learn! Since Persian has not changed significantly in over a millennium, the classical and modern forms of the language have virtually the same basic grammar, and so it is relatively easy to learn. Most importantly, Persian speakers are already in high demand among US universities, consulting firms, and other businesses. Governmental offices and the US military are also on the lookout for US citizens with critical-need linguistic skills —Americans who are able to communicate with people in Iran, Afghanistan, and other countries who speak Persian— and the competition for these jobs is not as great as it is for jobs requiring knowledge of a more commonly taught language.