Iranian Persian has 3 long vowels, and 3 short vowels:
In academic books, long vowels are marked by placing a macron over vowels: ā, ē, ī, ō, ū. But in common alphabets, the circumflex is usually used to mark long vowels: â, ê, î, ô, û. For example, in French and in the Latin alphabet used for writing Kurdish. I will also use the circumflex to denote Persian's long vowels e.g. â instead of ā.
Regarding the long vowels î and û, since their short variant does not exist in modern Iranian Persian, they can be simply written as i and u.
Classically, Persian has 5 long vowels, and 3 short vowels:
These vowels have been preserved in many regional dialects of Persian in Iran as well as in Afghan Persian and Tajik Persian. Modern and classic vowels are regularly mappable onto each other:
|Classic Persian||Modern Persian|
As is evident from the above table:
- Classic Persian does not have short o and short e. These vowels are only found in the standard form of Iranian Persian.
- Modern Iranian Persian has lost long e, short i, long o and short u.
Read more on Persian phonology in the following pages: