Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Mohammad: Hi everyone. Mohammad here.
Becky: Hi everyone, I’m Becky, and welcome back to PersianPod101.com! This is All About, Lesson 4 - Persian Pronunciation Made Easy.
Mohammad: In this lesson, we'll show you how easy it is to start speaking Persian.

Lesson focus

Becky: Persian pronunciation is based on vowels, syllables, and stress. These three are connected to each other because a syllable needs a vowel to be formed, and the stress we put on the right syllables, makes the right pronunciation. So we'll need to study Persian vowels. But before that, let's do a quick review of the alphabet and consonants.
Mohammad: There are 32 letters in the Persian alphabet.
Becky: OK. Let’s start with the consonant sounds first. Sometimes there is more than one letter for the same sound. Mohammad, would you tell our listeners which letters they are ?
Mohammad: Yes. There are six groups of them - the GH, EA, Z, H, S, and T sounds. Let me introduce them one by one. The letters "Ghein" and "Ghaf" both sound like GH. "Ein" and "Hamze" both have a silent EA sound. "Zal", "Ze", "Zad", and "Za" all sound like Z. "He", and "He" known as "Jimi He" as in “He jimi” and "2 eyed He" as in “He do cheshm” have the sounds of H. "Se", "Sin", and "Sad" are 3 letters that sound like S. And "Te" and "Ta" sound like T.
Becky: There are no rules about which letter to use for the same sound - only practice will help you memorize the words that contain each one, right? And what about the letters with no equivalent sounds in English?
Mohammad: There are 3 sounds from Persian that cannot be found in English, but we have heard them all, more or less. One is "KH" like the CH in LOCH. The second is "ZH" like S in MEASURE, and the third is "GH", like the R in French.
Becky: Great. Now let's talk a little about vowels. As you know, they are an important part of Persian pronunciation - 3 short vowels, 3 long vowels, and 2 diphthongs. First, let’s go over the short vowels.
Mohammad: There are three short vowels - AA, E, and the O sound. Short vowels are all forms of "Alef', and their medial forms in words become little removable marks, above or below letters. Fathe or Zebar is pronounced "AA". It becomes a little diagonal stroke above letters. For example par, which means “wing” [pause], and abr which means “cloud” [pause].
Becky: Ok, and what about the next short vowel?
Mohammad: Let’s see the short vowel sounding ‘E.’ Kasre or Zir is pronounced "E". It is a diagonal little stroke below other letters, when written in the middle of a word. For example, teshne, which means [pause] “thirsty” , and gel which means [pause] “mud”.
Becky: Okay. Now what about the O sound?
Mohammad: Zammeh is pronounced "O". It becomes like a little apostrophe or a small "Vav" above other letters. For example, solh which means [pause] “peace”, and konj which means [pause] “corner”.
Becky: Okay. Let’s move to the long vowels. There are three long vowels, right?
Mohammad: Yes. The long vowels are the A, OO, and EE sounds. First, "Alef" is pronounced "A". For example, baaraan which means [pause] “rain”, and kaar which means [pause] “job”.
Becky: What about the second one?
Mohammad: It’s the word "Vav", which is pronounced as "OO". For example, the words kooh which means “mountain” [pause], and noor which means “light” [pause] have ‘OO’ sounds.
Becky: Ok, and what about the last long vowel, EE?
Mohammad: "Ye" is pronounced as "EE” or “I". For example, jib which means [pause] “pocket”, and shirin which means [pause] “sweet”.
Becky: And finally Diphthongs are a combination of two letters that together create one vowel sound. There are two diphthongs in Persian.
Mohammad: They are "EY" and "OW". The words Key which means [pause] “where” , and peyghaam which means “message” [pause] have the diphthongs ‘EY’. And owj meaning [pause] “the highest” and showraa meaning “gathering” [pause] have the diphthong ‘OW.’
Becky: So these are the vowels that make syllables. But how about syllables? Now listeners, you don’t pronounce all syllables the same way. You emphasize some syllables more than others. If you know to put stress on some common sounds, it will help your pronunciation become closer to the standard. Firstly, you have to know that in most words, the stress falls on the last syllable. In one-syllable words, the whole word is stressed.
Mohammad: Let me read one by one. Please repeat out loud after me. maadar, [pause] maar, [pause] daryaa. [pause] These mean “mother”, “snake” and “sea” respectively.
Becky: There are some exceptions, like interjections and vocatives.
Mohammad: Right. For example, "bale" meaning "Yes", has the stress on its first syllable.
Becky: Secondly, in verbs the stress usually falls on the first syllable of the word, unless it’s a 3-syllable past form of a verb.
Mohammad: Like for example: mikhoram, bebinid, naraft. These mean “I am eating”, “look at (command)” and “didn`t go” respectively.
Becky: In 3-syllable past forms, the stress falls on the middle syllable.
Mohammad: For example: "davidam" meaning "I ran", and "khaandim" meaning "I have read".
Becky: Listeners, remember to check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson.


Becky: Thank you for listening, everyone. Until next time, bye!
Mohammad: Bye.