Recently, my language learning efforts have been divided between Python and Elixir on the computer side, and the Indo-Iranian languages on the human language side. The Indo-Iranians provide the basis for getting pretty close to the Indo-Europeans – the Rg Veda is the oldest lengthy religious text in an Indo-European language and it seems to feature some of the same gods as the older portions of the Avesta. Likewise, there’s a lot in common between the two languages. In a way, then, reading the Avesta and the Rg Veda and imagining the language and thoughts that would have been shared in common before the two split apart takes you way back into the past, into a time where the gods were everywhere and involved in everything, though not quite in the way of pantheism or animism.
While I’ve been looking back to Avestan and Sanskrit, I’ve also started taking a look at Dari, the variant of Persian spoken in Afghanistan. I’ve done a bit of Farsi, and there’s a lot in common, though some forms are slightly different. That said,
Dari As A Second Langauge: Your First Dari Words, Conversation, Reading and Writing, Grammar, and Vocabulary makes for a thorough introduction, taking you through reading and writing as well as speaking. There’s no audio, so for self-study you’d need to supplement with something like
Pimsleur Dari Persian, Basic. If you’re interested in this variant of Persian, this is a great way to start.