Khamenei is a fluent speaker of both Farsi and Arabic. He has translated several books into Persian from Arabic, including the works of the famous Egyptian Islamist theoretician Sayyid Qutb. He is a less fluent speaker of the Azeri language, his father’s mother language and has some understanding of English.
In Persian, he likes poetry. In his analysis of the Persian poetry of Allameh Muhammad Iqbal, he states that “Iqbal was not acquainted with Persian idiom, as he spoke Urdu at home and talked to his friends in Urdu or English. He did not know the rules of Persian prose writing.” Nevertheless, he admires Iqbal.
Like many other politically active clerics at the time, Khamenei was far more involved with politics than religious scholarship.