This grammar collection focuses on Iranian Persian. However, Persian dialects are widely intelligible and knowing one of them, you can communicate well with Persian speakers of other countries.
Iranian Persian has six vowel sounds. The column IPA shows their phonetic value in International Phonetic Alphabet:
Diphthongs are formed by the combination of different vowels with i and u. The diphthongs that exist in Iranian Persian are:
|â + i||ây||/ɒ:j/||ice||چای |
|e + i||ey||/ej/||case||سیل |
|o + i||oy||/oj/||boy||هوی |
|u + i||uy||/u:j/||-||روی |
|o + u||ow||/oʊ/||bone||موز |
The classic diphthong ay (a + i) has transformed into ey in Iranian Persian but it has been preserved in Afghan Persian, Tajik Persian as well as many regional dialects of Iran. However, there are a few words that are still pronounced as ay:
|ایوب||ayyub||Job (biblical name)|
There are 23 consonant sounds in Persian:
|ɣ||French rire||قورباغه |
|kh||خ||x||German Buch |
|r||ر||r||rug (thrilled as in Italian)||روز |
|zh||ژ||ʒ||s in measure |
|ʔ||glottal stop||معنی |
It is best to denote each consonant with a single letter and avoid a combination of two letters to represent one sound. Adjacent consonants do not always merge together to form a single sound. For example, in the word mazhab (مذهب), the consonants z and h are pronounced individually and do not represent the zh sound (/ʒ/): maz-hab, and not ma-zhab. I would rather use the following monographs …
… but they are only common in academic books. The average native speaker does not know these letters and would not feel the necessity to adopt them. The digraphs "ch, gh, kh, sh, zh" are what Persian speakers use in everyday life. Accordingly, I use them here and in my other learner-oriented works, such as Persian vocabulary and Persian verb conjugator.
In academic books, غ is denoted with ɣ and sometimes with q. However, the letter ɣ belongs to Greek alphabet. Furthermore, the letter q denotes ق in dialects that differentiate between غ and ق, including Afghan and Tajik Persian. Therefore, q should not be sued for غ. My proposition is ğ. It is both a Latin-based character and also, in harmony with the digraph-monograph pattern of other letters: sh-š, zh-ž and gh-ğ.
The letter c does not represent any sound per se. Therefore, both c and č can be used in lieu of ch. The latter is what usually used in academic books.
The letter ø, or any other letter to denote glottal stop, is the sole letter I consider essential to be added to what used by native speakers (explanation here).