Free downloadable language flashcards

January 7, 2011

First, the flashcards.. details about the cards are further below

For the Afghanistan theater, including the countries that allow overland supply through the north

Pashto-English for Afghanistan from the Defense Language Institute (DLI)

Pashto-English for Afghanistan by Mr. Kelvin Garvanne

Pashto-English for Pakistan (DLI)

Persian Farsi-English (DLI)

Farsi-English from Commander Mike Beidler, USN

Dari-English for Afghanistan (DLI)

Dari-English from a sergeant in the Michigan Army National Guard

Baluchi-English for southern Afghanistan, SE Iran, SW Pakistan (DLI)

Kazakh-English (DLI)

Turkmen-English (DLI)

Uzbek-English (DLI)

East Africa

Amharic-English , spoken in Ethiopia (DLI)

Somali-English (DLI)

Swahili-English , spoken in Kenya (DLI)

Tigrinya-English, spoken in Eritrea (DLI)

Yemeni-English (DLI)

Hi Everyone,
Some of you may know The Wounded Artist Project from our mission to send art kits to war wounded, ill and injured recovering in military hospitals and other medical units and facilities. This posting is a kind of public service for those service men and women who are upstream of that, that is, the 100,000 currently in Afghanistan. I hope they don’t come downstream to use our services.

I started The Wounded Artist Project because of my lifelong love of drawing and painting and wanting to help the wounded this way. But it was my love of languages that helped pique my interest when I ran across a copy of “Reserve and National Guard” magazine with an article by Kelvin Garvanne of Los Angeles about the language spoken in Afghanistan, Pashto (I went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California while I was in the Army, and studied Czech). It was really a long list of words and phrases that a GI on the ground there might find helpful. Kelvin teaches an introductory course in Pashto to soldiers and Marines in California.

The list seemed to cry out to made into a set of flashcards that our GIs could easily pack with them and give them an excellent grounding in the language they really have to know in Afghanistan to make progress with its people.

I took the contents of his article and created an Excel worksheet of 175 flashcards of words, phrases and a few pronunciation tips. The phrases range from humanitarian (“Do you have food and water?”) to potentially life-saving (“Freeze!”).

These flashcards are free of charge and for those of you with family members, or know someone, in country, or if you are a member of unit getting ready to deploy, an employee at a defense contractor or someone who just wants to help out. You may contact a support group that sends care packages to the troops and may send a deck or two to them to include. If you volunteer at a military rest lounge at an airport you may want to put a few bags on a table as a take-away for those who are in-transit. You can access the files at our website:

Pashto cards – PDF file

Pashto cards – Excel file

Farsi-English flashcards courtesy Commander Mike Beidler, USN. Mike is a Naval Foreign Area Officer who went to the Defense Language Institute for Farsi.

Farsi cards – PDF file

Farsi cards – Excel file

NEW! Dari-English flashcards courtesy a sergeant in the Michigan Army National Guard.

Dari cards – PDF file

Dari cards – Excel file

In addition to these three sets I created others based on language materials that are published by the Defense Language Institute (all those noted as DLI). In 2011 I got a copy of “Pashto Basic” a Language Survival Guide published by DLI dated March 2005 from Matt O’Donoghue, a Reserve Navy Captain. I converted it over to a flashcard set and the rest followed.

Instructions for printing
Each card is numbered so you have a check to make sure that the right Pashto or Farsi entry matches up with its corresponding English entry.

These cards can be printed by you at home or taken to a local office supply store and have them print them. Instructions for printing them are on page 25 of the pdf file or on the right in the Excel file. Note only the first 24 pages have to be printed, and this will wind up being 12 sheets, printed front and back. If you do it yourself, I recommend using 64# card stock. This is available at an art supply store like Michael’s at $4 for 50 sheets. This might be the way to go if there are several families wanting to go in together to print them up for their service members. You should run a test with pages 1 and 13 first to get an idea of how to load them for two-sided printing. Print page 1 only and then load it in the printer and print page 13.

You can also send them or take them to an office supply store and have them printed as well. I was quoted 24 cents a sheet, front and back at Office Max. Call them first and ask if you can send the files directly to their print center. (This will also save you from printing the file yourself and bringing them a master to work from.) They will give you that store’s email address. The operator in the copy center may decide that the pdf file is the better file to use for sorting and printing the pages correctly double sided. Send the mail and then drop in on your way home from work to pick it up. You can also take the files in on a flash drive.

Once they are printed you can throw them into an envelope and include them in your next care package. One way to keep them together is to buy a 3-ring, plastic pencil carrier (59 cents at Office Max) or a pencil pouch at the local dollar store.

Important note: Do NOT send me money to print these up and forward on for you or return back to you. Our org unfortunately does not have the resources or network to do this for you.

We will update the list with suggestions we receive back from the front and create other sets to download in the future.

Thanks very much for your support.

Best regards,
Ray Bakerjian