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Persian/Lesson 2

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Iran

Afghanistan

Tajikistan

فارسی (‹fârsi›, “Persian”)
Learn the Persian language
ContentsIntroduction
Persian Alphabet lessons: 1 ( ۱ )2 ( ۲ )3 ( ۳ )4 ( ۴ )
Elementary grammar: 5 ( ۵ )6 ( ۶ )7 ( ۷ )8 ( ۸ )9 ( ۹ )
10 ( ۱۰ )11 ( ۱۱ )12 ( ۱۲ )13 ( ۱۳ )14 ( ۱۴ )15 ( ۱۵ )
Intermediate: 16 ( ۱۶ )17 ( ۱۷ )18 ( ۱۸ )19 ( ۱۹ )20 ( ۲۰ )
21 ( ۲۱ )22 ( ۲۲ )23 ( ۲۳ )24 ( ۲۴ )25 ( ۲۵ )26 ( ۲۶ )
Advanced:
Appendix: AlphabetGlossaryHandwriting

Farsi

To continue, your computer must display Persian. The box below should show these Persian letters on the far right: Paa-individua.svgBaa-individua.svgAlif-individua.svg
ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن و ه ی

If they are different or in the wrong order, see Persian Computing.


In lesson 1, you learned some greetings, the first nine letters of the Persian Alphabet, and how to spell several words with those letters from right to left. You also learned that short vowels are usually not written, and that many letters change their shape depending on whether they connect with letters before or after them.

In this lesson, you will learn more formal greetings, the next eleven Persian letters and syllable stress.

Contents

Dialogue: ‹hâl-e šo cetor e?›Edit

Arash sees Peyman:

Arash : ‹salâm, âqâ-ye peymân. hâl-e šo cetor e?›
“Hello, Mr. Peyman. How are you?”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Peyman : ‹salâm, âraš. xubam, mersi. šo cetorin?›
“Hello Arash. I am well, thank you. How are you?”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Arash : ‹man xubam, mersi. xofez, âqâ-ye peymân.›
“I am well, thanks. Goodbye, Mr. Peyman!”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
Peyman : ‹xofez.›
“Goodbye.”

  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.

Explanation

Arash and Peyman are using a more formal style of speech typically used to show respect. That is why they use the formal pronoun ‹šo›    instead of the informal ‹tow›    used in lesson 1.

Vocabulary

  • hâl›      /ˈhɒːl/ — “health”
  • ‹šo›      /ʃoˈmɒː/ — “you” (formal, shows speaker's respect for listener)
  • ‹cetor›      /t͡ʃeˈtoɾ/ — “how” (the endings ‹e› and ‹-in› will be explained in Lesson 5)
  • ‹xofez›      /xoˈdɒː hɒːˈfez/ — “May God keep you” (similar to the literal meaning of “goodbye”, i.e. “May God be with you”)
Culture Point: Titles
Titles like آقا   ‹âqâ› (“sir, Mr.”) are used before or after the first name, before or after a last name, or before or after both names. In the dialogue above, it is used before the first name پيمان ‹peyman› .

The feminine version of آقا ‹âqâ› (“sir, Mr.”) is آغا ‹âqâ› (“madam, Miss”). The two words are pronounced the same way and are sometimes confused for each other as a misspelling, but آقا is the proper spelling for use with male names and آغا for female names.

Family names are a relatively new aspect of Persian culture, having been introduced in Iran in 1912.


Syllable stress
In most Persian words, the stress falls on the last syllable of the stem.

For example, in the following words from the dialogue, the stress is on the last syllable:

  • ‹šo
  • ‹cetor
  • ‹mamnun
  • ‹xo
  • ‹hâfez

When suffixes and enclitics are added to Persian words and word stems, the stress usually does not move:

  • ‹cetor› + ‹-in› → ‹cetorin›
  • hast› + ‹-am› → ‹hastam›
  • hâl› + ‹-e› → ‹hâl-e›

A few prefixes and suffixes are stressed. Those details will be explained in the lessons for those suffixes and prefixes.

A limited set of Persian words (interjections, conjunctions and vocatives), however, has the stress on the first syllable:

  • mersi› — First syllable is stressed when used as in the conversation above, "Thanks!"
  • âqâ-ye› — First syllable is stressed when addressing someone by title as in the conversation above, but not when talking with someone else about ‹â-ye› so-and-so.
  • âraš› — First syllable is stressed when addressing Arash as in the conversation above, but the last syllable is stressed ‹âraš› when talking about him.
  • peymân› — First syllable is stressed when addressing Peyman as in the conversation above, but the last syllable is stressed ‹peyman› when talking with someone else about him.


د ‹dâl›, ذ ‹zâl›Edit

(read from right to left)
د ذ
‹dâl› ‹zâl›

The next two Persian letters, shown on the right, have the same basic form, but only second one has a dot. Like ا ‹alef›, these two letters do not connect with the letter that follows them.


‌د‌ ‌د‌‍ ‍‌د‌‍ ‍‌د‌ ‌د‌‌د‌‌د‌
  ‹dâl› does not connect with the following letter

The letter د   ‹dâl› represents the /d/ sound. It sits on the baseline and is written beginning at the top, ending at the bottom left. Its name sounds like the English word “doll”.


داد د ا د داد
  ‹dâd› ‹d› ‹â› ‹d›

The Persian word داد   ‹dâd› (“(he/she/it) gave”) is shown on the right. As shown, د does not join with the letter that follows it.


‌ذ‌ ‌ذ‌‍ ‍‌ذ‌‍ ‍‌ذ‌ ‌ذ‌‌ذ‌‌ذ‌
‹zâl› does not connect with the following letter

The letter ذ   ‹zâl› is one of the “foreign” letters in Persian. In Arabic, it represents the consonant [ð], but Persian does not have that sound, so it is pronounced as the closest Persian sound. Thus, ذ ‹zâl› is one of four Persian letters pronounced /z/.


ذات ذ ا ت ذات
‹zât› ‹z› ‹â› ‹t›

As shown in ذات   ‹zât› (“essence”) on the right, the letter ذ also does not join with the letter that follows it.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing د ‹dâl› and ذ ‹zâl›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

د ددد ذ ذذذ    
د ددد ذ ذذذ    

         


ر ‹re›, ز ‹ze›, ژ ‹že›Edit

ر ز ژ
‹re› ‹ze› ‹že›

The next three Persian letters, also have the same basic form except for the dots. They are all written with a tail that drops well below the baseline. Like ا ‹alef›, د ‹dâl›, and ذ ‹zâl›, these three letters do not connect with the letter that follows them.


‌ر‌ ‌ر‌‍ ‍‌ر‌‍ ‍‌ر‌ ‌ر‌‌ر‌‌ر‌
  ‹re› does not connect with the following letter

The letter ر   ‹re› is pronounced as [ɾ], that is, it is produced by striking the tongue against the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth, then expelling air over the middle of the tongue, similar to the r in the Scottish English pronunciation of free or the tt in the American English and Australian English better. Between vowels, it is often trilled like rr in the Spanish word perro. Its name, ‹re›, sounds similar to a quick pronunciation of the English word "ray".


در د ر در
  ‹dar› ‹d› ‹r›

As shown below the word در   ‹dar› (“door”), the letter ر does not join with the letter that follows it.


چرا چ‍ ‍ر ا چرا
‹cerâ› ‹c› ‹r› ‹â›

چ followed by ر and ا spells the word چرا   ‹cerâ› (“why”). Recall that ‹e›, like other short vowels, is not usually written in Persian.


‌ز‌ ‌ز‌‍ ‍‌ز‌‍ ‍‌ز‌ ‌ز‌‌ز‌‌ز‌
  ‹ze› does not connect with the following letter

The letter ز   ‹ze› is the most common of the four ‹z› letters in Persian.


رز ر ز رز
‹roz› ‹r› ‹z›

The word رز   ‹roz› (“rose”) is shown on the right. Recall that ‹o› is usually not spelled in Persian words. Like ر, ز does not join with the letter that follows it.


‌ژ‌ ‌ژ‌‍ ‍‌ژ‌‍ ‍‌ژ‌ ‌ژ‌‌ژ‌‌ژ‌
  ‹že› does not connect with the following letter

The letter ژ   ‹že› is transcribed in UniPers and here as ‹ž› and is pronounced as [ʒ], i.e. like the "g" in "mirage" or the s in measure and Persian. If you open your Persian-English dictionary at the letter ژ , you can see that it is not used in very many words. It occurs in many loanwords of French origin.


ژخ ژ خ ژخ
‹žax› ‹ž› ‹x›

As shown in the word ژخ    ‹zhakh› (“wart”), ژ does not join with the letter that follows it.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ر ‹re›, ز ‹ze› and ژ ‹že›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

           

ر ررر ز ززز ژ ژژژ  
ر ررر ز ززز ژ ژژژ  

              


س ‹sin›, ش ‹šin›Edit

س ش
‹sin› ‹šin›

The next two Persian letters have the same shape, but one of them has no dots and the other has three.


س س‍ ‍س‍ ‍س سسس
  ‹sin› connecting forms

The letter س   ‹sin› is the usual Persian letter for /s/. Its name sounds like the English word "seen".


سر س‍ ‍ر سر
‹sar› ‹s› ‹r›

As shown in the word سر   ‹sar› (“head”) on the right, the letter س joins with the letter that follows it.


ش ش‍ ‍ش‍ ‍ش ششش
  ‹šin› connecting forms

The letter ش   ‹šin› is pronounced as [ʃ], that is, like "sh" in English. It is transcribed in UniPers as ‹š›, but in other literature it may be transcribed as sh, sch, ʃ, or ş. Its name sounds like the English word “sheen”.


شب ش‍ ‍ب شب
‹šab› ‹š› ‹b›

As shown in the word شب   ‹šab› (“evening”), the letter ش joins with the letter that follows it.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing س ‹sin› and ش ‹šin›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

س سسس ش ششش    
س سسس ش ششش    

         


ص ‹sâd›, ض ‹zâd›Edit

ص ض
‹sâd› ‹zâd›

The next two Persian letters have the same shape, but only one has a dot.


ص ص‍ ‍ص‍ ‍ص صصص
  ‹sâd› connecting forms

The letter ص   ‹sâd› is the third Persian letter for the sound /s/.


صد ص‍ ‍د صد
‹sad› ‹s› ‹d›

As shown in the word صد   ‹sad› (“hundred”), on the right, the letter ص joins with the letter that follows it.


ض ض‍ ‍ض‍ ‍ض ضضض
  ‹zâd› connecting forms

The letter ض   ‹zâd› is another Persian letter for the sound /z/.


ضد ض‍ ‍د ضد
‹zed› ‹z› ‹d›

As shown in the word ضد   ‹zed› (“opposite”) on the right, the letter ض joins with the letter that follows it.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ص ‹sâd› and ض ‹zâd›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

ص صصص ض ضضض    
ص صصص ض ضضض    

         


ط ‹tâ›, ظ ‹zâ›Edit

ط ظ
‹tâ› ‹zâ›

The next two Persian letters have the same shape, but only one has a dot.


ط ط‍ ‍ط‍ ‍ط ططط
  ‹tâ› connecting forms

The letter ط   ‹tâ› is another Persian letter for the sound /t/.


طاس ط‍ ‍ا س طاس
‹tâs› ‹s› ‹â› ‹s›

As shown in the word طاس    ‹tâs› (“bald”) on the right, the letter ط joins with the letter that follows it.


ظ ظ‍ ‍ظ‍ ‍ظ ظظظ
‹zâ› connecting forms

The letter ظ   ‹zâ› is another Persian letter for the sound /z/. It is rare and only appears in words of Arabic origin.

ظ joins with the letter that follows it.

  Writing practice

Get out a pen and paper and practice writing ط ‹tâ› and ظ ‹zâ›. Remember to write from right to left and to keep the base lines even.

       

ط ططط ظ ظظظ    
ط ططط ظ ظظظ    

         

ExercisesEdit

  Recognizing letters:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
What are the names of and sounds represented by the following letters?

The letter ‹šin›, which represents the sound ‹š› (IPA: [ʃ]).

The letter ‹dâl›, which represents the sound ‹d›.

The letter ‹sin›, which represents the sound ‹s›.

ژ

The letter ‹že›, which represents the sound ‹ž› (IPA: [ʒ]).

The letter ‹zâ›, which represents the sound ‹z›.

The letter ‹zâl›, which represents the sound ‹z›.

The letter ‹sâd›, which represents the sound ‹s›.

The letter ‹zâd›, which represents the sound ‹z›.

The letter ‹ze›, which represents the sound ‹z›.

The letter ‹tâ›, which represents the sound ‹t›.

The letter ‹re›, which represents the sound ‹r›.

  Reading words:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
Read these words by breaking them down into their component parts.
چرا

‹čerâ›: چ‍ ‍ر ا

صبح

‹sobh›: ص‍ ‍ب‍ ‍ح

بابا

‹bâbâ›: ب‍ ا‍ ب‍ ‍ا

اسم
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
چرا

‹čerâ›: ج‍ ‍ر ا

اثاث

‹asâs›: ا‍ ث‍ ا‍ ث

توت
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
  Word recognition.:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
See if you can recognize these familiar words:
ژاكت

ژاكت   ‹žâkat› (“jacket”)

بازار

بازار   ‹bâzâr› (“bazar, marketplace”)

بد

بد   ‹bad› (“bad (not good)”)

ReviewEdit

In this lesson, you learned some greetings, the first nine letters of the Persian Alphabet, and how to spell several words with those letters from right to left. You also learned that short vowels are usually not written, and that many letters change their shape depending on whether they connect with letters before or after them.

Core vocabulary:
  • hâl›      /ˈhɒːl/ — “health”
  • ‹šo›      /ʃoˈmɒː/ — “you” (formal, shows speaker's respect for listener)
  • ‹cetor›      /t͡ʃeˈtoɾ/ — “how”
  • ‹xofez›      /xoˈdɒː hɒːˈfez/ — “May God keep you” (similar to “goodbye”, “God be with you”)
  • hâl-e šo cetor e?› — "How is your health?"
  • ‹man xub hastam.› — “I am well.”
  • ‹šo cetorin?› — “How are you?” (formal)
Letters:
  • د   ‹dâl›
  • ذ   ‹zâl›
  • ر   ‹re›
  • ز   ‹ze›
  • ژ   ‹že›
  • س   ‹sin›
  • ش   ‹šin›
  • ص   ‹sâd›
  • ض   ‹zâd›
  • ط   ‹tâ›
  • ظ   ‹zâ›
Bonus words:
  • داد   ‹dâd› — “(he/she/it) gave”
  • ذات   ‹zât› — “essence”
  • در   ‹dar› — “to, for, at”
  • رز   ‹roz› — “rose”
  • چرا   ‹ce› — “why”
  • ژخ   ‹žax› — “wart”
  • سر   ‹sar› — “head”
  • شب   ‹šab› — “evening”
  • صد   ‹sad› — “hundred”
  • ضد   ‹zed› — “opposite”
  • طاس   ‹tâs› — “bald”

Below are all the core vocabulary words from lessons 1 and 2. The far right column shows the words in Persian script. Don't worry if you can't yet read the Persian script:

All vocabulary Lessons 1 - 2   edit
English gloss Notes ‹fârsi› فارسی
Letter: [ɒː], [æ], [e], [o]   Lesson 1 ‹alef ا
Noun: gentleman, sir, Mr.   Lesson 2 âqâ› آقا
Letter: [b]   Lesson 1 ‹be› ب
Letter: [p]   Lesson 1 ‹pe› پ
Letter: [t]   Lesson 1 ‹te› ت
Pronoun: you (singular, informal)   Lesson 1 ‹tow› تو
Letter: [s]   Lesson 1 ‹se› ث
Letter: [dʒ]   Lesson 1 ‹jim› ج
Letter: [tʃ]   Lesson 1 ‹ce› چ
Adjective: how   Lesson 2 ‹cetor چطور
Phrase: How are you? (informal)   Lesson 1 ‹cetori?› چطوری؟
Letter: [h]   Lesson 1 ‹he› ح
Noun: health   Lesson 2 ‹hâl› حال
Letter: [x]   Lesson 1 ‹xe› خ
Phrase: May God keep you. (Goodbye.)   Lesson 2 ‹xofez.› خداحافظ.
Phrase: I’m fine.   Lesson 1 ‹(man) xubam.› (من) خوبم.
Letter: [d]   Lesson 2 ‹dâ› د
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ذ
Letter: [ɾ]   Lesson 2 ‹re› ر
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹ze› ز
Letter: [ʒ]   Lesson 2 ‹že› ژ
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sin› س
Phrase: Peace (hello)!   Lesson 1 ‹salâm!› سلام!
Letter: [ʃ]   Lesson 2 ‹šin› ش
Pronoun: you (plural or polite singular)   Lesson 2 ‹šomâ› شما
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sâd› ص
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâd› ض
Letter: [t]   Lesson 2 ‹tâ› ط
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ظ
Interjection: thanks   Lesson 1 mersi› مرسی
Pronoun: I, me   Lesson 1 ‹man› من

Next: Lesson 3 ( ۳ ), The alphabet (continued)