Duolingo Farsi

Updated December 18, 2023

Farsi (also known as Persian) is a beautiful language with a long and rich history. If you’ve decided to learn Farsi, then naturally you thought you would take the Farsi Duolingo course. There’s just one small problem:

There is no Duolingo Farsi course. 

There’s not even a Persian course in the Duolingo incubator (this is where Duolingo plans and develops its new language courses). There tons of people on the app’s forum asking for a Duolingo Persian course, but the company has remained silent. 

Why won’t Duolingo make a course for Farsi?

There are over 100 million Persian speakers across the Middle East and Central Asian. In fact, Persian is one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet. So it can’t be that Duolingo hasn’t made a Persian course because not enough people speak the language. 

Interestingly enough Duolingo has made courses for several minority languages including Navajo, Welsh, and Irish. There’s even a course for Duolingo Klingon! 

So why is there no Duolingo Persian course?

Less popular foreign language

I’m guessing here, but perhaps one reason Duolingo hasn’t made a Persian course is because Farsi isn’t as popular of a foreign language to learn for native English speakers. Though I have a hard time believing more people are interested in learning Klingon than Farsi, but I digress.

Different alphabet

 Perhaps one reason Duolingo hasn’t started a Farsi course is because Farsi uses a completely different alphabet than English. Teaching a foreign language on an app is always more difficult if a language uses a different writing system. 

That being said Duolingo does offer many languages which have different writing systems from English, most notably Japanese, Mandarin, and Arabic (note that the Persian alphabet is derived from Arabic). But again these languages are more commonly studied by native English speakers than Farsi. 

Alternatives to Duolingo Farsi

Don’t let the absence of a Duolingo Farsi course keep you from your language learning goals. Here are some effective alternatives you can use to start learning Farsi today. 


Persianpod101 is a Farsi Persian course with podcast lessons. Each lesson uses an actual conversation between two Farsi speakers to teach you grammar and vocabulary. The podcast hosts act as your personal teachers. They do a great job of explaining difficult concepts and sharing insights into Persian culture. 

Persianpod101 also has a ton of resources for learning Farsi such as an English-Farsi dictionary, essential phrase lists (with audio), bonus video lessons, pronunciation trainers, and more. 

Most podcast lessons are only available with a premium (paid) account, which starts at $4 per month. However, Persianpod101 also offers a free lifetime account which gives you access to some of the podcast episodes and a lot of the bonus resources. 

Pimsleur Farsi

Pimsleur Farsi is an audio course designed to teach you how to speak Farsi conversationally. The course puts a big emphasis on listening comprehension, and speaking spontaneously (both skills you’ll need to talk in Farsi). The audio lessons use a question-recall-response technique to train your brain how to think in Farsi without translating from English back into Farsi (or vice versa). 

There is no other Persian audio course I know of that prepares you for real conversations as well as Pimsleur does. 

You will also learn good pronunciation with Pimsleur. Each Farsi phrase is broken down into words, and from words into individual syllables so that you can hear and master the Persian sound system. 

While Pimsleur Farsi is great for learning how to speak, it doesn't offer much to teach you how to read or write. Still if your goal is to speak Farsi conversationally, then Pimsleur might be worth checking out. 


Italki is a global marketplace where language learners can connect with language teachers, and book one on one video lessons. Italki offers teachers for almost any language you can think of, and currently there are 40 available on the site. 

Each teacher uses his or her own method, and supplies students with all necessary learning materials including videos, audio, pdfs, class notes, and more. 

Italki also lets you search the profiles of other users so that you can find a native Farsi speaker who is interested in learning English. 

*With purchase of $20 or more. After you complete your first lesson 10 free credits will be added to your account

Ling App

Simya Solution’s Ling app is the closest you will get to a Duolingo-like method for learning Farsi. This app focuses primarily on Asian, Indian, and “less popular” languages, and it offers tons of content specific to Farsi.

Like Duolingo, Ling offers a somewhat gamified structure with lots of chances for you to earn rewards and track your progress. It also covers quite a lot of ground--unlike Duolingo, it features material ranging from beginner to what it terms “expert” level. All told the app includes 200 lessons per language, with each lesson including multiple activities and a quiz.

Another good thing about Ling is that it uses native Farsi speakers for the recorded audio segments. This will help you develop a natural-sounding accent. Plus, it offers voice recognition software so you can practice speaking as part of each lesson.

Unfortunately, Ling has not yet developed its writing lessons for Farsi. The app offers a writing and literacy component for many languages, so hopefully, this will change soon! This is especially important for a language like Farsi, which uses an alphabet derived from Arabic rather than an alphabet similar to the Romanized English alphabet.

As a total beginner, you could use Ling as an introduction to Farsi, so long as you pair it with another source to learn the alphabet and the basics of reading, But like most apps, Ling will do you the most good if you pair it with other resources like iTalki, a textbook, or a conversation tool like HelloTalk


The Drops app advertises the ability to teach you Persian in just five minutes a day. While that may be a bit of a reach, the app (made by Kahoot) can do a lot to boost your Farsi vocabulary with very little effort.

Actually, you can even use the app for free for that promised five minutes a day! However, if you want to dive deeper into the vocabulary-building tool, you do have to subscribe to gain access to the rest of the app.

The basic premise behind the Drops app is that it pairs new words in your target language with a memorable image. Then it takes things a step further and uses Spaced Repetition Theory to circle those new words into your learning rotation just often enough to help you permanently remember them.

Each brief lesson uses a number of different swiping-style activities to help you remember the word-and-image pairing. For example, you might drag your finger through a word search to find the correct letters to spell a word in one activity and drag images to the right word in another. Many of the activities include cute animations, too!

You can also review vocabulary with a handy word list feature to see how many words you have learned. Plus, the app offers hundreds of different topics, like sports vs greetings, so you can explore vocabulary thematically if you prefer, too.

That said, Drops would not work well as a core learning program for Farsi because it doesn’t offer structured lessons focused on all aspects of the language. You won't find grammar explanations or speaking practice here. But you may find that the Drops app works perfectly to boost your vocabulary if you use it as a supplement to another learning program.

Final thoughts

Don’t wait on Duolingo to start learning Farsi. Use one of the resources listed in this post and jump start your Farsi learning today!


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