David Pierce // Matematik Bölümü (Mathematics Department) // Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University)


Persian letters and numerals

The contents of this page are taken from two Wikipedia articles: Persian alphabet and Eastern Arabic numerals, on August 24, 2012.


Below are the 32 letters of the modern Persian alphabet. Since the script is cursive, the appearance of a letter changes depending on its position: isolated, beginning (joined on the left), middle (joined on both sides), and end (joined on the right) of a word.

The letter names are mostly identical to the ones used in Arabic, except for the Persian pronunciation of the consonants. The only ambiguous name is he used for both and ه. For clarification, these are often called ḥe-ye jimi (literally "jim-like ḥe" after jim, the name for the letter ج that uses the same base form) and he-ye do-češm (literally "two-eyed he", after the contextual middle letterform ), respectively.

Name DIN 31635 IPA Contextual forms
End Middle Beginning Isolated
ʾalef ā / ʾ [ɒ], [ʔ] ـا ـا * آ / ا *
be b [b] ـب ـبـ ب
pe p [p] ـپ ـپـ پ
te t [t] ـت ـتـ
s̱e [s] ـث ـثـ
jim j [d͡ʒ] ـجـ
če č [t͡ʃ] ـچـ
ḥe(-ye jimi) [h] ـحـ
ḫe [x] ـخـ
dāl d [d] ـد ـد* *
ẕāl [z] ـذ ـذ* *
re r [ɾ] ـر ـر* *
ze z [z] ـز ـز* *
že ž [ʒ] ـژ ـژ* ژ* ژ
sin s [s] ـس ـسـ
šin š [ʃ] ـش ـشـ
ṣād [s] ـص ـصـ
z̤ād [z] ـض ـضـ ﺿ
ṭā [t] ـط ـطـ
ẓā [z] ـظ ـظـ
ʿeyn ʿ [ʔ] ـع ـعـ
ġeyn ġ [ɣ] / [ɢ] ـغ ـغـ
fe f [f] ـف ـفـ
qāf q [ɢ] / [ɣ] / [q] (in some dialects) ـق ـقـ
kāf k [k] ـک ـکـ ک
gāf g [ɡ] ـگ ـگـ گ
lām l [l] ـل ـلـ
mim m [m] ـم ـمـ
nun n [n] ـن ـنـ
wāw w / ū / ow [v] / [uː] / [o] / [ow] / [oː] (in Dari) ـو ـو* و* و
he(-ye do-češm) h [h] ـه ـهـ هـ
ye y / ī / á [j] / [i] / [ɒː] / [eː] (in Dari) ـیـ


There are seven letters (وژ) in the Persian alphabet that do not connect to other letters like the rest of the letters in the alphabet. These seven letters do not have distinctive initial or medial forms but the isolated and the final forms are used instead because they do not allow for a connection to be made on the left hand side to the other letters in the word. For example, when the letter ا "alef" is at the beginning of a word such as اینجا "injā" (here), the initial/isolated form of "alef" is used. Or in the case of امروز "emruz" (today) the letter re is the final form and the letter و vāv is the initial/isolated form, although they are in the middle of the word; is the initial/isolated form, although it is at the end of the word.


There is substantial variation in usage of glyphs for the Eastern Arabic–Indic digits, especially for the digits four, five, and six.

Each number in the Persian variant has a different unicode point even if it looks identical to the Eastern Arabic numeral counterpart.

Western Arabic 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Eastern Arabic ٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩
Perso-Arabic variant ۰ ۱ ۲ ۳ ۴ ۵ ۶ ۷ ۸ ۹


Numbers are traditionally read with the smallest element first (e.g., "four-and-twenty" instead of "twenty-four") although in Modern Standard Arabic the order is: thousand-hundred-unit-decimal (e.g., 21353 is read: one and twenty thousand and three hundred and three and fifty). Written numerals are arranged with their lowest-value digit to the right, with higher value positions added to the left. This is identical to the arrangement used by Western texts using Western Arabic numerals, even though Arabic script is read from right to left. There is no conflict unless numerical layout is necessary, as is the case for arithmetic problems (as in simple addition or multiplication) and lists of numbers, which tend to be justified at the decimal point/comma.

Son değişiklik: Friday, 24 August 2012, 12:00:28 EEST