Farsi Phonetics Transcription

Note: This Article is about writing system (Farsi Phonetics) in Iran and Afghanistan. In Tajikistan, people use Cyrillic writing system.

Persian Sounds, Letters and Alphabet

For many people, who are interested in Farsi, learning Persian writing system is usually considered as an obstacle, especially when they figure out that the majority of course books are written in Persian Alphabet and there is no way to avoid learning how to read in Farsi in the first step. However, in Farsimonde group, we have a new perspective on teaching Persian. In our website, Instagram page and our lessons on YouTube, all phrases are written in Persian Alphabet, transcribed into Latin Alphabet including some IPA symbols, and finally translated into English. In our fundamental sourcebook, the lessons are all transcribed according to the same system, but in each lesson, you will learn 3-4 Persian letters based on the words you are learning in each unit. So, you can start learning Farsi right now, without being worried about how to read in Persian. First, you just need to learn Farsimond group’s transcribing protocol.

Most of the sounds in Farsi have an equivalent in other languages. There are a few exceptions that you need to add to the sounds you already know because of your own language. In this page, you can listen to the sounds and examples, see each letter and its allocated symbol in our transcribing system and get familiar with each sound’s pronunciation place by checking the pictures and videos for each sound. But before going through the letters and sounds, there are a few facts about Persian writing system that might be useful to know.

Persian Alphabet is very similar to Arabic writing system, but believe us, Persian and Arabic are two different languages with different grammar and background. If your first language is Arabic or you have learnt it as a second language, you will not have difficulty reading in Farsi. You need to add 4 letters to Arabic writing system “p, g, č, ž”. One of the important facts to know about Persian and Arabic writing is that the number and position of dots play a very important role to change the pronunciation. Take a look at following examples to see what it means:

  • t → (two dots on top) ت
  • b → ( one dot under) ب
  • p → (three dots under) پ

Persian has 23 sounds, including six vowels and 17 consonants. The vowels are categorized into two groups of short and long vowels, which are “a, e, o” and “â, i, u”, respectively. In Persian writing, we do not usually show the short vowels, unless not writing them leads to misunderstanding. For instance, if you are supposed to write “zan”, woman, in Farsi what you see would be two letters “zn”, “زن”. Moreover, some sounds, such as “s” or “z”, are denoted with more than one letter. However, the pronunciations of these letters are the same in Farsi, so on this website transcribing symbols are allocated to Persian sounds not letters.

Persian Alphabet has 32 letters. In reality, you need to learn almost 60 various shapes. In Persian writing system, there are no capital and lowercase letters, but for most of the letters, their shapes change based on their positions in words because letters can connect to each other. Let’s see an example here:

  • The Farsi word “sib”, apple, consists of three letters “س، ی، ب” but if you write these letters separately, nobody will understand what you mean. You should connect the letters to form “سیب”.

Some of these 32 letters cannot be attached to any letter after them, including “â, r, ž, v”, but for the rest of them you should learn how to attach every letter to their previous or coming letters. In the phonetic table below, you can see which letters should attach and how they change. This means some letters have three or four shapes depending on their position in a word, so a beginning letter differs from the same letter when it comes in the middle or at the end of the word.

Moreover, you cannot attach two words together, unless they are always used as one word. Take “ketâbxâne(h)”, library, as an example. It contains two free morphemes “ketâb”, book, and “xâne(h)”, house. Since these two words formed a new one, you can write them as one word.

Finally, in addition to letters, there are four symbols which you have to learn to be able to read without any problems, hamze(h), tašdid, tanvin, x â. You can find them at the end of the phonetic table in this section. In new Persian writing system (Farsi phonetics), especially for instant messaging, tašdid and xâ are rarely used.

All these explanations may frighten you, but do not let this complication disappoints you to learn Persian. There are many videos, lessons and instructions for you to start reading in Farsi. Do not hesitate and start now, we are here with you in Farsimonde.

آ = â

  • Title in Persian: Aleph اَلِف
  • Example: Arm
01 1 1 - Farsi Phonetics

اَ = a

  • Title in Persian: Aleph الف
  • Example: Cat
02 1 - Farsi Phonetics

اِ = e

  • Title in Persian: Aleph الف
  • Example: bed
03 1 - Farsi Phonetics

اُ = o

  • Title in Persian: Aleph الف
  • Example: bold
04 1 - Farsi Phonetics

او = u

  • Title in Persian: Aleph الف
  • Example: noon
05 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ایـ = i

  • Title in Persian: Aleph الف
  • Example: sit
06 2 - Farsi Phonetics

ب = b

  • Title in Persian: ب
  • Example: Bed
06 1 - Farsi Phonetics

پ = p

  • Title in Persian: پ
  • Example: Pet
07 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ت = t

  • Title in Persian: ت
  • Example: Table
08 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ث = s

  • Title in Persian: ث
  • Example: Sun
09 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ج = j

  • Title in Persian: جیم
  • Example: Jungle
10 1 - Farsi Phonetics

چ = č

  • Title in Persian: چ
  • Example: Church
11 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ح = h

  • Title in Persian: ح
  • Example: Hello
12 1 - Farsi Phonetics

خ = x

  • Title in Persian: خ
  • Example: SheiKH
13 1 - Farsi Phonetics

د = d

  • Title in Persian: دال
  • Example: Door
14 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ذ = z

  • Title in Persian: ذال
  • Example: Zero
15 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ر = r

  • Title in Persian: ر
  • Example: Red
16 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ز = z

  • Title in Persian: ز
  • Example: Zero
17 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ژ = ž

  • Title in Persian: ژ
  • Example: Pleasure
18 1 - Farsi Phonetics

س = s

  • Title in Persian: سین
  • Example: Sun
19 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ش = š

  • Title in Persian: شین
  • Example: SHine
20 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ص = s

  • Title in Persian: صاد
  • Example: Sun
21 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ض = z

  • Title in Persian: ضاد
  • Example: Zero
22 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ط = t

  • Title in Persian: طا
  • Example: Table
23 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ظ = z

  • Title in Persian: ظا
  • Example: Zero
24 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ع = ‘

  • Title in Persian: عین
  • Example: ?!
25 1 - Farsi Phonetics

غ = q

  • Title in Persian: غین
  • Example: ?!
26 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ف = f

  • Title in Persian: ف
  • Example: Fish
27 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ق = q

  • Title in Persian: قاف
  • Example: ?!
28 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ک = k

  • Title in Persian: کاف
  • Example: black
29 1 - Farsi Phonetics

گ = g

  • Title in Persian: گاف
  • Example: Good
30 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ل = l

  • Title in Persian: لام
  • Example: Late
31 1 - Farsi Phonetics

م = m

  • Title in Persian: میم
  • Example: Mother
32 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ن = n

  • Title in Persian: نون
  • Example: Noon
33 1 - Farsi Phonetics

و = v

  • Title in Persian: و
  • Example: Valid
34 1 - Farsi Phonetics

هـ = h

  • Title in Persian: هـ
  • Example: Hello
35 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ی = y

  • Title in Persian: ی
  • Example: Year
36 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ئ = ‘

  • Title in Persian: همزه
  • Example: ?!
40 1 - Farsi Phonetics

ّ = writing a consonant twice

  • Titel in Persian: Tashdid تشدید
  • Example: bella
37 1 - Farsi Phonetics

اً = an

  • Title in Persian: Tanvin تنوین
  • Example: ??
39 1 - Farsi Phonetics

خوا = xâ

  • Title in Persian: ?!
  • Example: ?!
38 1 - Farsi Phonetics

Learning the Farsi phonetics or Persian phonetics is necessary because its structure is used in every day conversation. Below is a table showing the Persian alphabet (Farsi phonetics) and how it is pronounced in English..

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