How to Learn Persian Calligraphy

Written by pamela ann ludwig
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How to Learn Persian Calligraphy
You can find examples of stylised calligraphy on Persian mosques. (Richard Ross/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Persian, an Indo-European language, is also referred to as Farsi. Persian is spoken in Iran, which until 1935 was known as Persia. The Persian language, though different from the Arabic language, is written with the Arabic script. You can find examples of various styles of calligraphy in this script in both Arabic and Persian. Learn the basics of the classical style of Persian calligraphy, and then use your creativity and imagination to make your own works of art.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Learn the Persian alphabet. Find a chart or learning resource that will teach you the script as it is used for Persian, not Arabic. The Persian language has sounds not found in the Arabic language, so the alphabet includes extra letters to represent such sounds. You can find a chart of the Persian alphabet on a website such as Omniglot. The section dedicated to Persian/Farsi explains the alphabet and its sounds, and features links to several online resources for learning Persian and Persian script.

  2. 2

    Learn to write in Persian. Once you are familiar with the alphabet and know the names of the letters, learn to write the letters properly before you start to formally study calligraphy. The letters in the Persian alphabet go from right to left, and the letters connect to one another when they form words. The shape of the letter changes depending on whether it is at the beginning, middle or end of the word. Find charts, online tutorials or a Persian-speaking partner to help you through this step of the learning process.

  3. 3

    Take a class in Persian calligraphy. If you are not interested in learning the spoken language or the meanings of words, you can take a class simply to learn the art of calligraphy. Classes are offered at cultural centres, adult education centres and private language schools. You can also study online. The website Persian Calligraphy offers interactive courses in which you can receive live online instruction from an experienced calligraphy instructor. Classes include information on the history of calligraphy in Persian culture and the various types of calligraphy from ancient and modern Persia.

Tips and warnings

  • You will need the proper tools to practice Persian calligraphy. Look on the website Persian Calligraphy for a list and description of the tools you will need and why they are important to your studies.
  • Though you don't need to know the Persian language to create beautiful calligraphy, studying the language will enhance your experience. An introductory level of Farsi will help you understand basic calligraphic works, while a more advanced familiarity with the language can enable you to read calligraphic poems.

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