Akbari fluently speaks Farsi, Russian, along with English


Courtesy of Omid Akbari

Sophomore Omid Akbari visits the Caspian sea in Azerbaijan. Akbari learned Farsi back in Azerbaijan and later became fluent in two other languages.


Coming to the United States when he was six years old with the knowledge of only knowing Russian and Farsi, sophomore Omid Akbari found that to be a challenge. Back in Akbari’s country, Azerbaijan, Akbari learned Farsi when his parents fluently spoke it to him.

“I speak it at home, but it’s not really common for me to speak it at home…I mainly speak Russian. [My favorite thing about speaking another language is] I get to know more people and communicate [better],” Akbari said. “[I don’t feel like a different person when speaking Farsi]. I’m just who I am, I don’t think it’s different.”

Akbari doesn’t consider knowing and applying three languages much more difficult than one.

“[Speaking Russian and Farsi wasn’t difficult] not really, I just got used to it because my parents spoke it a lot at home. [They would switch on and off between the two languages],” Akbari said.

Pronouncing the wrong vowels in Farsi can create a barrier between other words, which was a difficulty for Akbari to learn.

“The hardest language I had to learn was Farsi, because it’s just the language itself that’s difficult and the pronunciation. You have to be accurate or otherwise you’ll say something else. Russian and English weren’t that difficult, because it was easy to pronounce. The only thing that was difficult in Russian was rolling the r’s,” Akbari said.

Farsi, also known as the Persian language, is mostly spoken in the Persian Gulf states and Iran.

“Many people that are Muslim speak languages that are related to Farsi in some origin. It could be Arabic. [So] they all have relationship to each other in languages,” Akbari said.

Being able to speak three languages is beneficial to Akbari. In reality, being able to speak another language has the ability to help anyone in future instances.

“[Speaking another language is important because] it enhances your cognitive [functions] and mindset,” Akbari said. “It improves memory and allows you to be more social with other people.”

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