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As a volunteer at Preptorial and the Conterro Project, I teach foreign service classes cultural aspects of Persian and Arabic, and have used the prior edition of this book extensively. This book is NOT intended (and thankfully not promoted by the publisher to be) a Farsi or Persian language "learning" text. Like the other fine examples in the Lonely Planet series, it uses extensive examples, and now many updated and topic organized dictionary entries, to cover many "travel" topics like food, culture, geography, etc. as well as "daily living" topics. This makes a handy adjunct to more technical root oriented dictionaries out there.
My reviews normally recommend (which publishers hate) that you get less expensive prior editions whenever they are little altered in more expensive nexts. That is NOT true in this case, as this new edition is less expensive, available in Prime, and has MUCH more material, including some entries root organized in "dictionary" form (to look up words and phrases like "where is the men's room?" NOT passages from the Quran)!
We also teach classical Persian and Farsi (as well as traditional Quranic Arabic) at Conterro, and one of the strange things is that, frankly, the best Persian learning book is still the now very ancient and dated Modern Persian: Complete Course (Teach Yourself Books), which is now hard to find in good condition. Although there are many fine Arabic courses at relatively good prices (eg. Living Language Arabic, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, Arabic script guide, and free online learning) the same is unfortunately less true of Persian, although the Pimsleur course is the closest to Mace in quality, but not as inexpensive (when you add up the individual discs) as Living (Pims: Farsi Persian, Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand Farsi Persian with Pimsleur Language Programs).
In a famous quote, John Mace quips that learning Arabic to help with Persian is like learning Latin to help with French! A Persian scholar, he admitted that he didn't understand a word of Arabic, and went on to explain that Persian is Indo European, and a LOT easier to teach and learn than Arabic, even though the two share an alphabet. Since I teach both, that statement from 1971 is a "little" dated due to the many new cognates in both languages from English technology (words that use Arabic and Persian letters and sounds but mean and are pronounced like English, such as Iphone, guitar and giraffe). Initially having the least cognate pairs of any translational pairing (English/Arabic), this has changed and grown with many years of new planetary technologies like cell phones. Of course he's right when it comes to verbs and conjugations as well as the many dialects, if you're studying the cultural and everyday rather than strictly Quranic sides of Arabic!
On errata: some of the more obvious errors of the last edition HAVE been corrected, especially the somewhat (frankly) annoying verb conjugations from Arabic. Arabic grammar and VSO vs. Persian SVO have also been updated, and errors in Arabic plurals that crept in have been edited or deleted. As per Mace, when it comes to grammar (and these travel guides are an excellent way to see grammar in practice, not just theory), Persian is MUCH easier, especially in verb forms. Also, although traditional Arabic is used worldwide for the Quran (2,000 words repeating to create the 80,000 word total), and that uniformity is in journalism, when it comes to conversation, there are thousands of variations. Persian is much more consistent in writing and speech than the numerous Arabic dialects outside of the Quran and Hadith, although many native Persian speakers who don't use Arabic at all conversationally, still learn the Quran in Arabic.
An additional technical note: because this tiny book is so up to date, it also is of value as a corpus. On the software side, we develop machine learning and translation algorithms, and have entered this entire text in the corpora for those projects, because it is one of the rare few up to date editions. I mean, face it, how many regular folk are planning on vacationing in scenic Iran lately, especially from the West? It's a credit to the publisher that this edition is so painstakingly modern, and it deserves a place on the shelf not only of the few travelers today, but also anyone else working on the numerous other areas of East/West relations today. It shows the "human" side of culture in moderate civilizations who view ISIS as just as extreme and disturbed as the rest of the planet. In fact, there are many satiric Arabic publications we use in our classes that boldly make fun of crime and other problems in their own cultures.
Highly recommended as one of the few up to date travel/ culture/ phrase books, at a very reasonable price, that will enhance your conversational skills, including with Persian speaking friends here in the West.
SIZE NOTE: LIKE THE OTHERS, THIS THIRD EDITION IS POCKET SIZED! I just didn't want you ordering (how many of us look at trim in the description?) based on a "big" looking product photo, only to be disappointed to find it's the size of a 3x5 deck! This doesn't take away from the value for language students due to the many idioms you don't find in other books, but don't be surprised, ala the title of this review, as the intent is for travel in this series even though, IMHO, it has many other valuable applications. The price DOES reflect the size, not just the page count.