dicey wrote:Any opinions on whether or not Tajikistan would be a good (intentionally left undefined) place to study (in terms of dialect, scripts, etc.)? University recommendations? Living in Dushanbe?
Tajikistan has a pretty weird accent and unusual slang as compared to Kabul standard Dari. It's even weirder and stranger than Iranian farsi, or what they speak in Herat, which is heavily Iranian farsi influenced and accented.
As a comparison: Tajikistan Persian is as different from Tehran-standard Farsi as... The Scottish English language & slang they speak in some small village in Scotland compared to the english they speak in Birmingham, Alabama.
Another thing to consider is that educated Tajiks generally write their language using Cyrillic script, you will only find the Persian character set used in religious settings and for poetry. The Russians forcibly converted the Tajiks to write in Cyrillic more than 80 years ago through the Russian education system. So you may learn Tajik-accented Persian language but you'll be screwed for reading or writing in Iranian-standard script unless you study in Iran itself or somewhere in Afghanistan.
If you want someplace relatively cheap & safe to study that is not in Iran itself I would recommend Herat.