I thought that knowing the Arabic alphabet would be helpful for learning Farsi. I was partially right. I found that the alphabet “fits” Arabic better.
Arabic uses letters mostly consistently. The main exception is that the “waw” can be consonantal (/w/) or vocalic (long /u/). Consonants mark long vowels, and optional diacritics mark short vowels. While this may seem confusing, one can often predict the value and the vowel from context. For example, the first syllable of a participle is often “mu”.
Farsi does not use this system, so the vowels are not predictable. Moreover, it seems that the optional diacritics are used less often!
I will have to correct my first batch of flash cards. I assumed that remembering the vowels would be easy. I was wrong. So I will leave the Farsi word on the one side, then add the Latin transliteration next to the definition. The bad part of this is that the cards will not be so useful in learning English to Farsi, so maybe I’ll put the transliteration off to the side or something. We’ll see if it becomes a problem.