persian script

Problem people say u will have with German: Cases

Problem u actually have with German: Prefixes and compound words make words look similar and vocab hard to memorize. Also adjectives.

Problem people say u will have with Mandarin: Tones

Problem u actually have with Mandarin: LITeraCY

Problem people say u will have with Persian: Finding native speakers

Problem u actually have with Persian: ABJAD FckIGN ScRIpT DOESn’T WRiTe VowEls

Problem people say u will have with French: Pronunciation

Problem u actually have with French: Native speakers do not enunciate like at all it is a language of mumbles

Problem people say u will have with Spanish: People talk too fast!!!

Problem u actually have with Spanish: Ok so I take this ending and put that here but only if this word is over here and wait is this Argentina bc then it’s the opposite also el Athento de Ethpaña

Problem people say u will have with Swedish: They all speak English

Problem u actually have with Swedish: ^ That’s it actually 


This is the best method I’ve found so far for learning Farsi (Persian) letters!

There are a lot of videos online that simply present a long list of letters and tell you how they sound. Some will show you their initial, middle, and final position, and even present you with a few words to practice reading, but both of these methods are really overwhelming! This guy has a simple way of teaching a few letters at a time and connecting them with others one by one, again and again, like a “memory game.” If you follow along with a pen and a notebook, you can learn to write without too much effort.

The video above is the first in a series.

Persian Lesson 1: Alphabet

Welcome to the first Farsi/Persian lesson! We’re gonna be kicking it off with the script and spending a good bit of time on that. Throughout there’ll be a lot of example words to demonstrate the script: don’t feel obligated to memorize any of these yet, but you can pick some of the important ones and try to learn them as you go. Also, note any pronunciation approximations I give will be according to American English, not British English. Anyways, onto the actual lesson.


While we tend to use the term “alphabet” to refer to any system of writing, it also has a more specific meaning, which is a system in which both consonant and vowel sounds are written with separate individual letters. Persian, however, is an abjad, a writing system vowels are either not written at all or optionally indicated. That would be a pure abjad, one where all vowels truly could be left out. However, all abjads in use today are impure abjads, meaning that there are some vowels that must be indicated. There are 2 more things to know about the Persian script: it is written right to left rather than left to right, and letters connect with each other much like English cursive.

To start off, we’re going to learn the first 5 letters. Here are those letters in alphabetical order:

ا ب پ ت ث

We’re going to begin with the second letter of the alphabet, ب, called “beh” /be/. It makes the same sound as the English letter “b”. And now, the first letter of the alphabet: ا, called “alef” /ælef/. This generally makes the sound â /ɒ/, much like the “a” in “father”. Since we have our first consonant and our first vowel, we can combine them together and make a syllable. So, ب + ا gives you this:


Remember how I said Persian works like English cursive? The form that I just taught you for those 2 letters is called isolated form, referring to the letter standing alone. There are 3 more forms, however: the initial form (coming at the beginning of a word), the medial form (coming in the middle), and the final form (coming at the end). In the word above, we only see the initial and final forms on display: ب has the initial form بـ, and ا has the final form ـا. Combine them together, you get با bâ, which means “with”.

Now it’s time for your third letter of the alphabet, پ “peh” /pe/. This is pronounced just like the English “p”, and is very similar to the previous letter except that it has 3 dots at the bottom instead of one. This goes for all its forms, too; the only difference between the various forms is that پ has 3 dots. So, this means that combining پ and ا gives you پا pâ “foot”.

Then there’s the third letter, ت teh /te/, which makes the sound “t”. By now you’ve probably noticed a pattern, and have assumed that this letter has the exact same forms as the previous two besides the number and location of the dots. That’s actually correct by the way, I wasn’t trying to lead up to some sarcastic surprise reveal. So yeah, your example word is تا tâ “until”. Then you have ث “seh” /se/, making the “s” sound.* You get the drill by now, and the word ثا doesn’t exist.

Now, what if I told you I could teach you 3 more vowels without showing you another letter? You may think I’m crazy, but let’s go back to what I said about vowels being optional: some vowels, such as alef which I showed you above, are mandatory. You can’t just write ت and hope people read it as tâ “until”. The vowels that are optional are indicated by diacritics rather than by separate letters, and I’m going to teach you the 3 main ones.

First, there’s the diacritic representing the “a” in the word “bat” (/æ/). It’s written like so, as a horizontal line slanted to the top-right above the letter:


This is read as “ba” /æ/, which isn’t a word. But we can actually make a word if we put this together with what we just learned! Now that you know this vowel marker, you can read the word for “fever”:


There are 2 more of these vowel diacritics I want to teach, representing the sounds “e” in “bed” and something similar to the sound “o” in “toe” respectively (with the “something similar” part: if you say the word “toe” to yourself, you’ll notice that there are actually 2 vowel sounds. In Persian, however, this “o” sound doesn’t glide into another vowel at all).

بِ بُ

(In case it isn’t clear: the one below the ب is “e”, the weird squiggly one above is “o”) Now that you know these all, there’s one more rule to cover: you know how I said alef generally corresponds to the sound â? Well you see, at the beginning of the word it’s actually silent and essentially a placeholder for these vowel markers. This is because in Arabic, it’s not a pure vowel marker and in fact stands for the glottal stop /ʔ/. Anyways, if you want to represent the vowel sounds “a”, “e”, and “o” at the beginning of a word, you write them as

اَ اِ اُ

respectively. If you want to actually represent the sound â at the beginning of a word, you add a little doo-dad to the top of alef and get آ, this special new alef being called “alef madd”.

Remember that these vowel diacritics are optional: they are mainly used in children’s books and materials for learners, and in actual native text you have to know from context which vowel sound is meant. It’s a pain in the ass, but you get used to it.

But anyways, now that we have our 3 vowel diacritics, alef, and a couple of consonants, I can talk about the medial forms that I forgot to explain. For this, we only really need to look at ب:


You can see the ب has the medial form ـبـ. Seeing as we know the other letters are formed simply by substituting the dots, I trust you to figure out the medial forms of them yourself. And with that, the first lesson is over! Don’t relax though, make sure to quiz yourself on all this.

READING PRACTICE: transliterate these gibberish words

بُث، تات، تِب، بات، ثَت، آثِت پُت، پُبَت، بِاپَتِب

*This is just one letter of multiple that represents the sound “s” and is not in fact that one that’s used when adapting foreign words to Persian; you’ll learn 2 more later. The reason that there are 3 letters for the “s” sound is that 2 of them actually represented different sounds in Arabic that Persians just pronounced as an “s” to make life easier. ث happens to be one of those letters with a different sound in Arabic (that being the “th” in “thick”).

Non-white passing half-Iranian

My mom is from Mazandaran (a province in northern Iran) and my dad is swiss; we are living in Switzerland.

I was born here, I grew up here, I’ve never known another home and growing up I had always thought of myself as swiss (well, that changed a bit lately, but anyway). The only difference between me and my white friends was the way I looked and my ~foreign~ name.

So naturally it bothered me that it always had to be me who was asked where I was from, or what language I spoke and where my parents were from. It confused me. Could I not be as swiss as my friends, just because I’m overall darker? I already was more of a shy kid, but always being singled out for being ~different~ made me really self conscious. When I started Elementary School, I had already stopped speaking persian and over the years I almost completely unlearned it.

Beauty Standards 

Though by now I am kinda pale-ish (but still not white passing lol), I tan quickly and as a child I spent a lot of time outside, so I had pretty dark skin. Which I didn’t like back then. My other concerns were mostly how hairy I was compared to others. Having very thick hair with a tendency to fluff out, I liked to wear it short during summer so I didn’t get to hot. But combine that with thick eyebrows and my older brother’s clothes I wore (what, they were spacey!), and I often got asked wether I was a girl or a boy, which made me even more insecure, because all my friends just naturally looked ‘girly’ with their long hair and thin eyebrows and light skin.

I still sometimes feel bad because of my ‘middle-eastern’ nose, although it’s actually kinda small? It’s just the hook that throws me off. But I’ve made my peace with it, on good days I even love this hook.


Being asked multiple times in stores if I work here; from age 14 onwards.

Butchered spellings/pronouncing of my name with people not even trying to get it right, like, it’s not that hard. My name already is spelled as phonetically as possible.

‘O.M.G. you don’t even have an accent!!!!1!’

‘Say smth in your language!!!’

‘Oh so you speak arabic?’ please don’t

'Doesn’t your religion say (insert idiotic thing)??’ Um, my religion? I’m (technically) christian?

Culture and Identity

Growing up in Switzerland, I am well acquainted with our customs here. But since most of my maternal relatives live in Iran and my mom and I aren’t really close, I’ve been distanced from her culture.  I’m still in the process of finding my identity but I’m pretty sure I won’t identify as swiss anymore, or at least only as half-swiss. I’m relearning persian and I’m informing myself about my mother’s culture -my culture- and I’m also hoping to go to Iran one day soon. I never really was accepted as swiss, I guess I was kind of the only one who thought of myself as swiss, because everyone else, including my own parents (my mom hoping I’d show more interest in her culture and my dad often being asked where I was from or even if I was his child) had always seen me as  a foreigner to some degree. But that doesn’t really bother me anymore. Maybe I’ve really never been swiss, but being persian is more than okay with me now.

I am however very grateful that the fact that I’m not straight (at least I don’t think I am? I’m kinda undecided) is not and will probably never be a problem, as many of my friends aren’t either and my parents are pretty accepting.

Family Issues

My mom and I not getting along all too well sometimes makes reconnecting to persian (and mazandarani) culture hard. I learned the arabic/persian script by myself and I’m doing most of my research alone too. The few times my mother’s relatives come to visit were fun, but the communication was kinda hard with my very limited persian skills. I do enjoy family get-togethers though; my relatives are mostly nice and fun, the food is amazing and i love hearing persian spoken around me; it reminds me of my early childhood, when my brother, my cousins and I used to all sleep together in my room on the floor when they visited.

But I don’t want to deny my swiss family either; which is the main reasons I’m not sure whether I still kinda want to identify as swiss or not. I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents, and though I think they weren’t all too happy at first when their son (my dad) married a foreigner (my mom), they do love having me and my brother around. They also helped me feel better about myself through my childhood, with my grandma always telling me how pretty my dark eyes were, and how lucky I was to have naturally curly hair and stuff. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel sad that I never really got to meet my maternal grandparents.


Persian food definitively beats swiss food. I literally can’t live without rice and ghormeh sabzi. Also the sweets, oh my god. Every time my mom’s relatives come to visit I go up one clothing size and it’s so worth it.

What I’d like to see more of:

Real, diverse  and most importantly, positive representation of ME people!

ME LGBT+ people! Yes, we exist!

ME representation in children’s media!! This is so important!!!

What I’d like to never ever ever see again:

Terrorist jokes.

Fantasy-Villains that are very obviously inspired by Middle Eastern cultures, or rather, by stereotypes about those cultures.

Exotifying us.

Using ME people as barbaric idiots who all die at the hands of the ’“’”“heroic”“’”’ whites in movies.

Illegal immigrant jokes

White people making fun of the misogyny in ME countries when it’s literally just as bad in their own.

ME people being racist towards other POC. Like… why. Esp all this anti-blackness is so sad. Can’t we just collectively decide to dislike the west, instead of each other?

Read more POC Profiles here.


From a series of 31 paintings by Ghulam Ali Khan (fl. 1817-55), consisting of views of monuments in and around Delhi.

Watercolour and gold on paper, black margin rules, three title pages, three sheets of portraits, all with identifying inscriptions in English and in Persian in nasta'liq script in black ink, the portraits with further inscriptions in nasta'liq script with the date November 1852 (Christian date written in Arabic). 

1. The Peacock Throne in the Dewan-i- Khas of the Red Fort.

2. The Chhutta within the Lahore Gate of the Palace in Delhi.

3.  Two views: The warm or inner room of the Bath; the cold or outer room of the Bath in the Red Fort.

4. The interior of the Dewan Khas - and the Tusbee Khana in the Red Fort.

5. The Zuffer Muhul in the Red Fort.


A Coin Minted by Jahangir

India (Agra), Mughal, 1624


This coin bears a Leo symbol found on the other objects in the collection, but it was not created for talismanic purposes. This sign instead corresponds to the month in which it was minted. In his memoirs, the Mughal emperor Jahangir recorded his inspired idea for the unusual design of this and other coins depicting the signs of the zodiac.

Inscription: Inscription in Persian in nasta‘liq script on obverse:

یافت در اگره روی زر زیور از جهانگیر شاه، شاه اکبر

The face of gold was decorated in Agra by Jahangir Shah, [son of ] Shah Akbar.

Lions are particularly emblematic of the Mughal Empire, appearing in various contexts, like the flag and various paintings, so it’s no surprise that lions would appear on currency.

Here are the rest of the Zodiac coins:

External image


[29 October, 2016] 009/100 Days of Productivity

At home today. It’s pretty cold and rainy here in Oregon, and since I don’t have a car it’s too much of a pain to haul ass to campus. I don’t mind though, I’m in my comfy clothes ☺️
I have things to do for ES, but my Spanish composition is worth more (points wise, long-term, etc.) I also did my Persian script work sheet. When I’m not studying today, I’m doing laundry and cleaning around the house.
It’s wild y'all


((mun is in Ecuador right now, as you’ve noticed from my absence! But here’s something mildly relevant to post here on ask-Iran! In a tiny town in Ecuador called Vilcabamba, there’s a Persian restaurant here run by a kinda hippie-ish Persian man from Tehran! (I originally thought he was from kermanshah bc of all the post cards of Sassanid relics in kermanshah all over the place haha) Iran’s diaspora spreads far!

It’s an interesting space, there’s old Persian music playing in the place and there are only Persian carpets to act as tables, where you eat the “sofreh” [spread (of food)]. There’s a faravahar painted on the wall with the Zoroastrian doctrine of “good thoughts, good words, good actions” in Persian script!

while I miss good ol’ Iranian non-vegetarian kebabs and koobideh, the saffron rice and spicy chai here are delicious! I was definitely surprised when my friend found the place.))