Appendix:Persian pronunciation

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View Persian phonology for more general information. Also see Dari#Phonology and Tajik language#Phonology.

Read foot notes for the pronunciation information below for additional pronunciation information.


IPA Persian[1] Cyrillic
Iran Dari Classical + ENP Tajik
ɒː[2] ɑː ɑː, aː[3] ɔː[4] آ, ـَا О, о
æ[5] ä[6] a ä[6] اَ، ◌َ А, а
ای، ـیـ، ـی Е, е
i[7][8] اِی، ـِیـ، ـِی И, и, Ӣ, ӣ,
e ɪ[7][8] i اِ، ◌ِ И, и
ɵː[9] او، ـو Ӯ, ӯ
u[10] اُو، ـُو У, у
o ʊ[10] u اُ، ◌ُ
  1. ^ Diacritics are based on Classical Persian. Due to phonemic mergers in Iranian Persian, the diacritic usage here may not be reflective of how diacritics are used in contemporary Iranian Persian.
  2. ^ In colloquial speech, frequently raised to /uː/ before nasals.
  3. ^ Exact quality uncertain.
  4. ^ variously described as [o̞], [ɒ], [ɔ] and [ɔː], some level of free variation is likely.
  5. ^ Typically raised to /e/ in the word final position. Occasionally raised elsewhere, particularly before a syllable with a high vowel.
  6. 6.0 6.1 In Dari and Tajik, ä is often realized as /æ/ in the word final position. I'm Dari this vowel may also be realize as ɑː before a glottal consonant.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Often lowered to [e̞] before the glottal consonants /h/ or /ʔ/
  8. 8.0 8.1 Many linguists have reported phonetic instability of this vowel. According to SIL International's phonological report for Dari, this phoneme randomly varies between [ɪ] or [e̞]~[ɛ] and it is not possible to predict pronunciation. The University of Maryland and Encyclopedia Iranica report a combination of free variation and dialectal factors, with Iranica reporting that urban speakers in Kabul tend to realize this phoneme as /ɪ/. Wiktionary uses this analysis based on urban speakers in Kabul, this analysis is also more neutral to dialects such as Hazaragi and northern dialects that predominantly realize this vowel as a high or near-high vowel. However phonetic transcriptions should use [e̞] in cases where the vowel always or predominately lowered. Such as before glottal consonants and some loanwords.
    Linguists at Georgetown Univeristy report some Tajik dialects have some variation between [i] and [ɛ] similarly to Dari, but not to the same extent.
  9. ^ Free variation with o and ʉ, interpreded by Wiktionary as ɵː
  10. 10.0 10.1 Often lowered to [o̞] before the glottal consonants /h/ or /ʔ/

Schwa and Epenthetic short vowels[edit]

  • In Dari and Tajik, particularly in colloquial speech, a short vowel in an unstressed syllable may be produced as a schwa ([ə]) or even as another short vowel. This occurs randomly and causes unstressed short vowels in these varieties to be unstable.
    • In Dari /ä/ frequently is realized as [ə] or sometimes as [ʊ] after the accented/stressed syllable. Since the accented syllable is typically the last syllable of the lemma form, this only commonly occurs in inflicted forms.
      Example: خوَاهَم (xāham /⁠xā́ham⁠/) (formal) -> خوَاهُم (xāhum /⁠xā́jəm, xā́jʊm⁠/) (colloquial).
  • In Dari and Tajik, syllabic consonants are forbidden in the coda, being replaced by -[əC].
    Example: Classical Persian شِکْل (šikl /⁠ʃikl̩⁠/) and Iranian Persian شِکْل (šekl /⁠ʃekl̩⁠/) vs Dari شِکْل (šikl /⁠ʃɪkəl⁠/) and Tajik шикл (šikl /⁠ʃikəl⁠/).
  • In colloquial Dari an epenthetic short vowel may be randomly inserted in consonant clusters. In rare instances, short vowel may also be deleted between two open syllables.
    • Dari does not forbid multi-consonant onsets like other dialects and as such epenthetic vowels do not always appear here. Though multi-consonant onsets are rare and only happen word initially.


IPA Persian Cyrillic
Western Persian Classical + ENP Eastern Persian
ʔ[1] ا، ء N/A or Ъ, ъ
b b~β b[2] ب Б, б
p[3] پ П, п
t[3] ت، ط Т, т
d͡ʒ ج Ҷ, ҷ
t͡ʃ[3] چ Ч, ч
x[1] خ Х, х
d d~ð d د Д, д
z z ذ З, з
ɾ[4] ر Р, р
z ز، ض، ظ З, з
ʒ ژ Ж, ж
s س С, с
ʃ ش Ш, ш
ʔ[1] ع، ء Ъ, ъ
ɣ غ Ғ, ғ
f ف Ф, ф
ɣ q[3] ق Қ, қ
k[3][5] ک К, к
ɡ[5] گ Г, г
l ل Л, л
m م М, м
h[1] ه، ح Ҳ, ҳ
n[6] ن Н, н
v w[7] w, v[8] و В, в
j ی Й, й
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The glottal consonats /h/ and /ʔ/ are almost never pronounced in colloquial Dari. While these consonants are frequently droped in other colloquial dialects, they are not dropped near universally as they are in Dari
  2. ^ In some words, may also be realized as /w/ in colloquial speech. In Tajik the realizations [v] and [β] are also common.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 In Dari, Iranian and Tajik Persian, and presumably Classical Persian, all voiceless stops are aspirated.
  4. ^ In Eastern dialects the phoneme ɾ tends to be dropped before dental consonants. Though not in formal speech.
  5. 5.0 5.1 (In Iranian Persian) May be palatized before a front vowel.
  6. ^ In Eastern dialects, morpheme-terminal n is ommitted in some high frequency words. Though in Tajik this only occurs in southern dialects.
  7. ^ Linguist Daniel A. Rees at Georgetown University argues that this phoneme was realized as /ʋ/ in Classical/Early New Persian, and the modern /w/ - /v/ split comes from a former /w/ - /v/ free variation.
  8. ^ In Tajik, [v] appears in proximity to unrounded vowels and [w] appears in proximity to rounded vowels. This phoneme is never realized as [v] in Dari, however.

Dialectal consonants[edit]

Also see Hazaragi dialect#Phonology

IPA Persian
Hazaragi Standard Dari Non-Standard[1] Standard
ʈ t ٹ، ٹـ، ـٹـ، ـٹ

ټ، ټـ، ـټـ، ـټ

ت، تـ، ـتـ، ـت
ɖ d ڈ، ـڈ

ډ، ـډ

د، ـد
  1. ^ Characters from Urdu and Pashto are sometimes used by Hazargi linguists to denote retroflex consonants, but retroflex consonants are not typically denoted by speakers