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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Persian language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-fa}} and Resource: Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Persian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Persian.

IPA Consonants[1]
Persian letter Cyrillic letter Examples (Persian script) Examples (Cyrillic script) English approximation
b ? ? ? beet[2] - boy
d ? ? ? den - Daniel
d? ? ? ? jazz - joy
f ? ? ? fast - festival
? ? ? ? gate[3] - gooseberry
? , q


? ?
? No English equivalent; like gate but pronounced low in the throat, similar to French Paris
q ? ?
h ?
? ? hat
j ? ? ? yard
k ? ? ? cat[6]
l ? ? land
m ? ? ? man[7]
n ? ? neck
p ? pen[6]
? ? ? ? water in American English[8]
? ring
s ?
? ? ? sock
? ? shake
t ?
? tall[6]
t? ? ? chip[6]
v w v ? ? ? ? oven[9][10]
x ? ? ? ? loch (Scottish)
z ?
? ? ? jazz[11]
? ? ? ? ? vision[12]
? ?
? ? As in water, better, Let's go! (Cockney); button (GA and RP; see T-glottalization)
Marginal consonants
? ? sing[13]
' [14]
? about
IPA Vowels
Persian letter Cyrillic letter Examples (Persian script) Examples (Cyrillic script) English approximation
æ[15] ?   ?[16] ? bat
?:[17] ? ? ,? ? Like the o of not in Received Pronunciation
e[15][18] i ?   ?[16] ? between bate and bet[19]
i: e: e ? ? beat
i: i ? ? beat
o[15] u ?   ?   ?[16] ? short version of boat (GA); sort (RP and Australian)
u: o: ? ? ? boot
u: u ? ? boot
ej[21] æj ? bay, they
ow[21][22] æw æw, æv ? flow; in early New Persian as well as in modern eastern dialects, pronounced as in flower or loud


  1. ^ Persian consonants can be geminated (doubled), especially in words from Arabic. This is represented in IPA by doubling the consonant: [sejjed].
  2. ^ Also an allophone of /p/ before voiced consonants.
  3. ^ Also an allophone of /k/ before voiced consonants.
  4. ^ Also an allophone of /x/ before voiced consonants.
  5. ^ ? and ? denoted the original Arabic phonemes in Classical Persian, the voiced velar fricative [?] and the voiceless uvular stop [q] (pronounced in Persian as voiced uvular stop [?]), respectively. In the modern Tehrani accent (both colloquial and standard dialects), the phonemes of ? and ? are allophones; when /?/ (spelled either ? or ?) occurs at the beginning or the end of a word, after a consonant and at the end of a syllable, it is realized as a voiced uvular plosive [?]. When /?/ (also spelled either ? or ?) occurs intervocalically, it is realized as a voiced velar fricative [?]. The allophone is probably influenced by Turkic languages like Azeri and Turkmen. The sounds remain distinct in Persian dialects of southern Iran and Eastern Persian dialects (Dari and Tajik).
  6. ^ a b c d The unvoiced stops /p, t, t?, k/ are aspirated much like their English counterparts: they become aspirated when they begin a syllable, but aspiration is not contrastive.
  7. ^ Also an allophone of /n/ before bilabial consonants.
  8. ^ A trilled allophone occurs word-initially (Spanish, Italian, or Russian r; it can be in free variation between a trill [r] and a flap [?]); trill as a separate phoneme occurs word-medially especially in loanwords of Arabic origin as a result of gemination (doubling) of [?].
  9. ^ While ? is pronounced [v] in Iranian Persian, it is pronounced as [w] in Dari.
  10. ^ [v] is also an allophone of [f] before voiced consonants.
  11. ^ Also an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants.
  12. ^ Also an allophone of /?/ before voiced consonants.
  13. ^ Velar nasal [?] is an allophone of /n/ before [g], [k], [?], [?], and [x] in native vocabulary.
  14. ^ Stress falls on the last stem syllable of most words. For the various exceptions and other clarifications, see Persian phonology § Word accent.
  15. ^ a b c The three short or unstable vowels are actually short only in open, non-final syllables. In other environments, their length is equal to the long vowels (Toosarvandani, Maziar Doustdar (9 November 2004). "Vowel Length in Modern Farsi" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 14 (03): 241-251. doi:10.1017/S1356186304004079.).
  16. ^ a b c In the modern Persian script, the "short" vowels /æ/, /e/, /o/ are usually not written, like in the Arabic alphabet; only the long vowels /?:/, /i:/, /u:/ are represented in the text. That, of course, creates certain ambiguities.
  17. ^ The level of roundedness may vary. Campbell (1995) writes simply /?:/, but Majidi & Ternes (1999) describe it as "underrounded" but write /?/ anyway. The vowel may be written as /?/ as well.[1][2]
  18. ^ [e] is also a word-final allophone of /æ/ in contemporary Iranian Persian.
  19. ^ The Persian /e/ is different from any English vowel, but the nearest equivalents are the vowel of bate (for most English dialects) and the vowel of bet; the Persian vowel is usually between the two.
  20. ^ The existence and the number of diphthongs in Perisan are disputed (Alamolhoda, Seyyed Morleza (2000). "Phonostatistics and Phonotactics of the Syllable in Modern Persian". Studia Orientalia. 89: 14-15. ISSN 0039-3282.).
  21. ^ a b /aj/ and /aw/ in Dari.
  22. ^ /ou/ becomes [o] in the colloquial Tehrani dialect but is preserved in other Western dialects and standard Eastern Persian.


  • Campbell, George L. (1995). "Persian". Concise compendium of the world's languages (1st ed.). London: Routledge. p. 385. ISBN 0415160499.
  • Majidi, Mohammad-Reza; Ternes, Elmar (1999). "Persian (Farsi)". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124-125.

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