1. Unlike western languages, Persian is written and read from right to left.
2. Persian consists of 32 letters. Some of them have small and big form like A / a in English while others have only one form. You don’t need to memorize all of them now. Just be patient enough to learn it one by one. In the end you’ll see your progress.
3. As you know, English words cannot be pronounced without these five letters: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y as in BY. These are called vowels. In Persian, however, there are no letters considered as vowels. Instead, we put some sounds on or under the letters to make them readable. There are six main sounds in Persian recognized as vowels, three short vowels and three long vowels. Remember that these are not letters. These are sounds that come with letters and make them pronounceable. Today we will learn short vowels.
The representatives (symbols) of these sounds (vowels) are as follows:
1- Do you see the small symbol on A? If this sign sits on a letter, the letter will be pronounced as /æ/ in dad.
2- If this sign, which is exactly written in the same way as in number one, sits under a letter, it will be pronounced as /e/ in set.
3- If this sign, which has a circle on his head, sits on a letter, it will be pronounced as /o/ in border.
Note: this sign sits on the letters only.
These three sounds are called short vowels.
Now that you are familiar with these three short vowels you are ready to learn a couple of letters to practice with these sounds.
Today we are going to learn three big letters as well as their small forms.
1- This is the big letter ‘B’ in Persian. In the meantime, you don’t need to learn how to write it. We are just trying to pronounce it with the help of those three short vowels above. Ready? Don’t worry. I’ll write it for you. All you have to do is pronounce it.
This is /bæ/ as in battery.
This one is /be/ as in bed.
This one is /bo/ as in border.
Try to repeat it for a couple of times.
2- This one is the small letter ‘b’ in Persian. Now try to pronounce this letter in the same way. Don’t forget to read from right to left. You will say.
Don’t be afraid! It’s not that much difficult. Don’t believe me? Click here to listen.
Note: big letters come at the end of the words and may stand either attached or separated from other letters (they are separable), while the small letters come at the beginning or in the middle of the words and are attached to some other letters (they are inseparable). There is only one exception that will be explained later.
3- This one is the big letter ‘P’ in Persian. Try to pronounce it with the short vowels.
as /pæ/ in pad.
as /pe/in pet.
as /po/in pork.
4- This one is the small letter ‘p’ in Persian. Try to pronounce it. Don’t forget to read from right to left. You will say:
Need help? Click here to listen.
5- This one is big letter ‘T’ in Persian. Try to pronounce it with the short vowels.
as /tæ/ in tab.
as /te/ in tennis.
as /to/ in torn.
6- This is the small letter ‘t’. Don’t forget to read from right to left. Try to pronounce it.