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The Perso-Arabic Alphabet: Template:Persian/text[edit]

The six vowels and 23 consonants of Persian are written using a modified version of the Arabic alphabet with four extra Persian letters to represent sounds which do not exist in Arabic. Its Persian name is Template:Persian/text, which is the equivalent of the English “ABCs”.

Isolated Initial Middle End Pronunciation, ‹UniPers›, [IPA] Name
ا ‹â› [ɒː] as in North American English caught, Received Pronunciation father, South African English park,

‹a› [æ] as in cat, ‹o› [o] as in soap or ‹e› [e] as in well

‹b› [b] as in big ‹be›
‹p› [p] as in park ‹pe›
‹t› [t] as in tea ‹te›
‹s› [s] as in salad ‹se›
‹j› [d͡ʒ] as in jade ‹jim›
‹c› [t͡ʃ] as in cheese ‹ce›
‹h› [h] as in house ‹he›
‹x› [x] as in Bach or Loch ‹xe›
‹d› [d] as in dog ‹dâl›
‹z› [z] as in zoo ‹zâl›
‹r› [ɾ] as in rain ‹re›
‹z› [z] as in zoo ‹ze›
‹ž› [ʒ] as in mirage or French je ‹že›
‹s› [s] as in sand ‹sin›
‹š› [ʃ] as in sugar ‹šin›
‹s› [s] as in sand ‹sâd›
ﺿ ‹z› [z] as in zoo ‹zâd›
‹t› [t] as in tiger ‹tâ›
‹z› [z] as in zoo ‹zâ›
‹'› [ʔ] as in uh-oh ‹'eyn›
‹q› [ɣ] About this sound Voiced velar fricative.ogg  or [ɢ], About this sound Voiced uvular stop.oga  ‹qeyn›
‹f› [f] as in France ‹fe›
‹q› [ɣ] About this sound Voiced velar fricative.ogg  or [ɢ], About this sound Voiced uvular stop.oga  ‹qâf›
ک ک ‹k› [k] as in kid ‹kâf›
‹g› [g] as in golf ‹gâf›
‹l› [l] as in love ‹lâm›
‹m› [m] as in music ‹mim›
‹n› [n] as in new ‹nun›
‹w›, ‹u›, ‹o› and ‹v› as in ‹vâv›
‹h› [h] as in horse ‹he›
ى ى ‹y› [j] as in year or ‹i› [iː] as in free ‹ye›


UniPers is used as a guide to pronunciation in this book: Template:Persian/Transcription key


Most letters in this system of transcription can be pronounced like their English equivalents, but some deserve special attention.

Differing Systems of Transcription[edit]

There are several different systems of transcription in use for Persian, and no one official system. This can cause difficulties when more than one textbook is consulted, and may lead an absolute beginner to confuse the different letters. There are too many differences to be listed here, but it is useful to be familiar with the most significant examples:

Some common differences include:‎

Duplicate Letters[edit]


Diacritical Markings[edit]

Name Pronunciation Symbol
Hamze ء
Alef hamze أ
Vâv hamze ؤ
Alef Tanvin اً
Tashdid ً
Short "a" ـَ
Short "o" ـُ
Short "e" ـِ


Learning Persian from English with Rumi[edit]

Dīwān-i Shams[edit]

  • Dīwān-e Kabīr, Dīwān-e Šams-e Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz) (Persian: دیوان شمس تبریزی) or Dīwān-e Šams
  • I sourced this from Scribd and though the Persian is not in Unicode it has attendant English translation.
  • "The Diwan, which was written over a thirty-year time span, is thought to have been started after Shams's arrival in Konya in 1244. Comprising approximately 40,000 verses, it contains poems which focus mainly on various mystical states, such as spiritual intoxication and ecstatic love. Scholars believe that many of the poems in the Diwan were composed spontaneously by Rumi while engaged in mystical dancing."



"He believed one had to go beyond the forms of religious rites to reach divine reality."