Wiktionary:Persian transliteration/Classical

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These are the rules concerning transliteration of Classical Persian, Dari and Tajik in Persian entries. This is the transliteration scheme used by the {{fa-IPA}} template to convert Classical Persian to modern varieties of Persian.


No. Letter Name of letter Transcription IPA
1 ا alif ā, ∅(see below) /ʔ/, /aː/, [ɑː]
1b آ ā, 'ā /ʔaː/, [ʔɑː]
2 ب b /b/
3 پ p /p/
4 ت t /t/
5 ث s /s/
6 ج jīm j /d͡ʒ/
7 چ čē č /t͡ʃ/
8 ح h /h/
9 خ x /x/
10 د dāl d /d/
11 ذ zāl z /z/
12 ر r /r/
13 ز z /z/
14 ژ žē ž /ʒ/
15 س sīn s /s/
16 ش šīn š /ʃ/
17 ص sād or swād s /s/
18 ض zād or zwād z /z/
19 ط or tōy t /t/
20 ظ or zōy z /z/
21 ع 'ayn ' /ʔ/
22 غ ğayn ğ /ɣ/
23 ف f /f/
24 ق qāf q /q/
25 ک kāf k /k/
26 گ gāf g /ɡ/
27 ل lām l /l/
28 م mīm m /m/
29 ن nūn n /n/, [n], [ŋ], [ɴ]
30 و wāw (ma'rūf) w, ū /w/, /uː/
wāw (majhūl) ō /oː/
31 ه h, ∅(see below) /h/
32 ی (ma'rūf) y, ī /j/, /iː/
(majhūl) ē /eː/
0 ء hamza ', – /ʔ/
  • Dental, labial and velar stops are always aspirated, with few exceptions.
  • /t/ and /d/ are phonetically dental in nearly all varieties. Though they are also phonemically dental in Hazaragi and some other varieties of Dari.
  • Alif is, with few exceptions, only a glottal stop in word initial positions
  • Geminated consonants are shown with the consonant diacritic tashdid (ـّ). Geminated consonants are transliterated with doubled letters, both in IPA and in transliterations.
  • hē (ه) in word final positions may act as a placeholder for any short vowel instead of a consonant. Most commonly the short vowel /a/.

About retroflex forms


Some regional dialects in Afghanistan, such as Hazaragi, have the retroflex consonants /ʈ/ and /ɖ/ as distinct phonemes. However, Hazaragi is treated by its speakers as a spoken form of Dari so it does not have a standardized written form. As these phonemes are not present in standard Dari, their standardized forms are always written with tē (ت) and dāl (د) respectively.

Occasionally the nonstandard characters ٹ, ڈ or ټ, ډ are used by Hazaragi speakers. But there is no consensus on how these forms should be treated.



The vocalization used by Classical Persian and Dari differs slightly from the vocalization used by Iranian Persian. The table below shows the vocalization used by Classical Persian and Dari.

Romanization IPA Final Medial Initial
a /a/ ـَ اَ
ā /aː/, [ɑː] ـا,ـیٰ ـا آ
i /i/ ـِ اِ
ī /iː/ ـِى ـِیـ اِیـ
ē /eː/ ـی ـیـ ایـ
u /u/ ـُ اُ
ū /uː/ ـُو اُو
ō /oː/ ـو او
  • Word final short vowels are usually shown proceeding a ه ()
  • The diacritic zēr is often realized as [ɛ] in many nonstandard dialects outside of Kabul, such as the Herati dialect. However, it is /ɪ/ in standard pronunciation and in the Kabuli dialect.


Romanization IPA Final Medial Initial
ay /aj/ ـَىْ ـَیْـ اَیْـ
āy /aːj/ ـَاىْ ـَایْـ آیْـ
aw /aw/ ـَوْ اَوْ
āw /aːw/ ـَاوْ آوْ
ūy /uːj/ ـُوىْ ـُویْـ اُویْـ
ōy /oːj/ ـوىْ ـویْـ اویْـ
  • All diphthongs are interpreted as being a phonemic sequence of a vowel + semi-vowel. Subsequently, if there are two adjacent vowels, at least one should become a semi-vowel (Such that there should never be two Adjacent vowels.)

Vowel diacritics

Vowel Name Transcription IPA Notes
zabar a /a/, [ä], [æ]
zēr i /i/ May also be called zēr-i ma'rūf
zēr-i majhūl [e̞] Only appears before glottal consonants, technically an allophone.
pēš u /u/ May also be called pēš-i ma'rūf
pēš-i majhūl [o̞] Only appears before glottal consonants, technically an allophone.
jazm N/A none Vowel killer / zero-vowel diacritic.
  • before a word-final ه, ma'rūf and majhūl diacritics are not clearly distinguished.
  • Though short vowels also have ma'rūf-majhūl variants, majhūl short vowels likely will not be included in romanizations. Unlike the majhūl long vowels, which can appear anywhere, the majhūl short vowels only appear before glottal consonants, and are technically allophones.

Additional information

  1. ـًا, ـاً, ءً (always word-final) – an
    For modern varieties ـاً is preferred. For classical Persian, both ـًا and ـاً are acceptable.
  2. All forms of hamza, including ء, ؤ and ئ are transliterated as '
  3. The (izāfa) vowel is transcribed differently depending on context:
    • ـِ (always word-final, after consonants) – -i
    • یِ (after the long vowels ا (ā) or و (ū, ō)) - -yi
      آفریقایِ جنوبیāfrīqā-yi janūbīSouth Africa
    • یِّ (always word-final after ی) - ī-yi
      جَمْهُوریِّ کورِیاjamhūrī-yi kōriyāRepublic of Korea
    • ـهٔ, the form ـه‌ی is treated as a variant – a-yi.
      خانهٔ کلان (spelled with a hamza diacritic)xāna-yi kalāna big house
      In spoken Dari هٔ may reduce to a short e (or i). So خانهٔ کلان may be pronounced as xāne kalān. It is not known if this will be included since this is the only Izāfa vowel with which this occurs.
    • خانه‌ی کلان (spelled with a a non-connecting ye)xāna-yi kalāna big house
  4. ـِیِّـ is transliterated as iyyi, the only exception being for Izāfa when it is transliterated as ī-yi.
  5. ـّ (tašdīd) – geminate consonant (Arabic shadda)
  6. Al- assimilation الـ
    • Only occurs in loaned compound terms from Arabic, as the article الـ is typically dropped from the lemma form of all Arabic loanwords.
    • if الـ is followed by one of the 'sun letters' of Arabic, the lām ل will assimilate with the following letter.
    • if الـ is part of a conjugation where the alif is silent, the alif is lam is transliterated as l- (or -l- if there is a ZWNJ)
      حَبْلُ المَتِین (hablu l-matīn)
      حَبْلُ‌المَتِین (hablu-l-matīn) (word with ZWNJ)
      فِالْحَال (fi-l-hāl) (example within a single word)
  7. ـه - when used as a colloquial copula in the 3rd person singular (he/she/it is) - -a (with a hyphen)
    تَهْران پایتَخْتِ ایرانه. (colloquial)ta(h)rān pāytaxt-i ērān-a.Tehran is the capital of Iran.
  8. ZWNJ – - (hyphen)
  9. Various governments of Afghanistan have recommended that the suffix ـگی have a space or ZWNJ when added to a word ending in ـه. This suggestion is not always observed, even in academic settings and by media broadcasters in Afghanistan. These spellings may be included as alternative forms.
    زنده‌گی (recommended spelling)zinda-gī
    زندگی (common spelling)zindagī