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Persian Phonetics (Farsi Phonetics) and Vowels (Short & Long)

Mona Kiani

Persian Phonetics [Farsi vowels], Persian Vowels [Farsi Vowels] including short and long vowels. as well as Intonation and consonants all contribute to the meaning and structure of the Persian words. 


Persian phonetics is the study of the sounds and sound patterns used in the Persian language. The Persian language has a rich and complex phonetic system that includes a variety of vowels, consonants, and other sounds that are used to convey meaning and convey emotion. We want to explore the key features of Persian phonetics and how they are used in the language.


Vowels: Persian has six vowel sounds, which are pronounced as short or long vowels depending on the word and context.

The short vowels are "a," "e," "o,"


اَ  = a as in ant (  َ  )

اِ  = e as in end ِ(  ِ   )

اُ = o as in on (  ُ  )

Long vowels are "á, "í, "ú."

آ = á as in arm

ی = í as in meet

و = ú as in moon

The pronunciation of these vowels can vary depending on the position of the vowel in the word and the presence of other sounds around it. As you may already be aware, the Persian alphabet shape shifts depending on whether it is at the beginning, middle, end or stand along positions of a word (see below for examples of the Letter "Ghayn" & and letter "Te" respectively. 

Persian Phonetics

Short vowels are usually omitted in the persian literature. This can make it challenging for the beginning learner especially when they are not fluent enough to guess the word and have to substitute different short vowels into each word to sound it out. 

Consonants: Persian has a relatively simple consonant system, with 23 consonant sounds. The pronunciation of these consonants can also vary depending on the position of the consonant in the word and the presence of other sounds around it.

Intonation: Persian has a rising intonation at the end of statements and a falling intonation at the end of questions. This intonation pattern is used to signal the end of a sentence and to convey a sense of finality or uncertainty. In addition, intonation can also be used to convey emotions such as surprise, excitement, or disappointment.

In conclusion, Persian phonetics is a fascinating field of study that plays a crucial role in understanding the Persian language. The complex system of vowels, consonants, stress, and intonation used in Persian allows speakers to convey a wide range of meanings and emotions. Whether you are a native speaker or a learner of Persian, understanding the basics of Persian phonetics can help you to improve your pronunciation and to communicate more effectively in the language. 

If you are interested in learning the letters each of our books has a coveted User guide, Pronunciation Guide and Letter guide. Alternatively you can download our signature cheat sheet (developed over several years) as a two page quick reference poster to hang in your home for repeated exposure and memorisation. It features the Persian letter name, Colour coordinated letter positioning, and its corresponding English letter sound (see image below as a sample page). 

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