Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Persian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is linked to from Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Persian)

This page proposes a guideline regarding the Persian transliteration from the Persian alphabet to Roman letters in the English Wikipedia. The discussion is ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Persian).


The Persian language has been written with a number of different scripts, including Avestan, Old-Persian, Partho-Sasanian Pahlavi (Middle-Persian) and Aramaic. After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Sassanian Empire in 651 AD, Arabic replaced Middle-Persian the language of government, culture and especially religion for the next two centuries.

Modern Persian appeared during the 9th century. It is written in a modified version of the Arabic script and contains large number of Arabic lexical. There are also two methods of writing Persian with the Latin alphabet.

Under Mongolian and Turkish rulers, Persian was adopted as the language of government in Turkey, central Asia and India, where it was used for centuries, and until after 1900 in Kashmir.

Persian is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. There are a number of closely related varieties of Persian, including:

  • Farsi (فارسی), is spoken by about 40 million people, mainly in central and south central Iran. There are a further 2.5 million speakers in many other countries including Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Yemen, the UAE and the USA.
  • Dari (دری) is spoken by more than 7 million people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ / Tojiki / تاجیکی) is spoken by in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan by about 4.4 million people.

Standard transliteration[edit]

Printability - use of the unicode template[edit]

Note that several letters proposed in the strict transliteration system below are non-printable in several hardware/software/settings combinations, e.g. ḥ, ṣ, ḍ, ṭ, ṛ, ẓ and ṁ. These letters can be made visible on most systems by enclosing them in the {{unicode}} template, like this: {{unicode|ḥ, ṣ, ḍ, ṭ, ṛ, ẓ and ṁ}}, which results in: ḥ, ṣ, ḍ, ṭ, ṛ, ẓ and ṁ. This template should be used for most expressions using strict transliteration.

Similarly ʾ, ʿ, ᾿ and ῾ can only be used when "unicodified": {{unicode|ʾ, ʿ, ᾿ and ῾}} → ʾ, ʿ, ᾿ and ῾

The {{PerTranslit}} template includes this "unicodifying" of characters that have this printability issue.


Persian Primary translit. Standard translit. Strict translit.
عباس کیارستمی Abbas Kiarostami Abbas Kiarostami `Abbās Kiyārostamī
فردوسی Firdawsi Ferdawsi Ferdowsī
مولانا Rumi Molana Mowlānā
تهران Tehran Tehran Tehrān
اصفهان Isfahan Isfahan Eṣfahān
بلخ Balkh Balkh Balx
بُخارا‎ Bukhara Bokhara Boxārā
ژاله آموزگار Jaleh Amouzgar Jaleh Amouzgar Žālé Āmūzgār
چابهار Chabahar Chabahar Čābahār
شیراز Shiraz Shiraz Šīrāz
قومس Qumis Qumis Qomes
غزالی Ghazali Ghazali Ghazzālī

See also[edit]

Proposed standard[edit]

Article titles[edit]

See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Persian)

Lead paragraphs[edit]

All Persian articles should have a lead paragraph which includes the article title, along with the original Persian script and the strict transliteration in parenthesis, preferably in the lead sentence. The article title, the Persian script, and the transliteration should all be in boldface.

This is in accordance with the official Wikipedia policy at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). Many articles that are missing this information are listed at Category:Articles needing Persian script.

The standard format is as in the following examples:

Some cases will require variations on this format. If the name is extremely long, the first appearance of the name is suitable to provide the strict transliteration. Likewise, if a strict transliteration appears overly repetitious, it should be in place of the page title in the lead paragraph.


  • Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā Khwārizmī (Persian: ابوعبدالله محمد بن موسی خوارزمی‎‎) ‎ ...


All common transliterations should redirect to the article. There will often be many redirects, but this is intentional and does not represent a problem.


  • Alphabetize by family name in modern cases where there is one, otherwise by the first component in the commonly used name
  • For alphabetization, the definite article "al-" and its variants (ash-, ad-, etc.) should be ignored, unless the primary transliteration makes the prefix a part of the name (such as Mohamed ElBaradei).
    • Example: Al-Qaeda should be alphabetized as "Qaeda".
  • For alphabetization, the family name designators "bin", "ibn", and "bint" should be ignored, unless the primary transliteration makes it a part of the name (as in the Saudi Binladin Group).
  • For alphabetization, the apostrophe (representing hamza) should be ignored, and letters with diacriticals should be alphabetized as if they did not have their diacriticals.
    • Example: Ibn Sa'ūd should be alphabetized as "Saud".


The current proposal for the strict transliteration is based on the ALA-LC Romanization method (1997), and standards from the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. The standard transliteration is the same, without accents, underscores and underdots.


Persian Name Standard translit. Strict translit. Notes
ب b b
پ p p
ت t t
ث th θ in Avestan Zaraθuštra.
ج j j
چ ch č
ح h also h
خ kh x in خوب is written xūb
خ khw in خواهر is written xʷāhar, or خواجه is written xʷājé
د d d
ذ dh also z δ in ذات is written δāt
ر r r
ز z z
ژ dz / zh ž
س s s
ش sh š in شیر is written šīr
ص s also s
ض d
ط t also t
ظ z also z
ع ` also a also a Different from hamza
غ gh gh, also ɤ
ف f f
ق q q
ك k k
گ g g
ل l l
م m m
ن n n
و v v See also long vowels
ه h h
ی y y See also short vowels
  1. ^ "In initial position, whether at the beginning of a word, following a prefixed preposition or conjunction, or following the definite article, hamza is not represented in romanization. When medial or final, hamza is romanized."


Short vowels[edit]

Persian Standard translit. Strict translit. Examples
اَ a a in استراباد, Astarābād
اِ e e also ə in اصفهان, Esfahān / Әsfahān
اُ o o like خورشید - Xoršīd
ی i ī like این - In

Long vowels[edit]

Persian Standard translit. Strict translit. Examples
آ a ā in استراباد, Astarābād
اُ i ō like امید, ōmid
و u ū like کوروش Kūroš
ی i ī like ایران, Īrān

Ending of -eh[edit]

After the Arab invasion of Iran, the Middle-Persian ending of -i was replaced with ه (-eh), which sounds like -e, such as 'شاهنانه' (Shahnameh → Šāhnāmé), ژاله (Dzaleh or Jaleh → Žālé) or خانه, (Khaneh → Xāné) the modern Persian transliteration (including Encyclopædia Iranica) uses for -eh ending.

However, in Dari (the variety of Persian spoken in Afghanistan), the ending -ه- is pronounced and transliterated as -ah: Shahnamah → Šāhnāma, Zhalah → Žāla, Khanah → Khāna, etc. The usage of -ah is also supported in ALA-LC standards for the Persian language.


The standard transliteration of Persian names im middle-Ages was used a single "ibn" or "bint" father's name when known and appropriate, and a family name at the end. Note that these terms are abandoned in modern-Persian.

  • Example: "Abū ‘Alī al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā "
  • Counter-example (Modern Persian): "Abu Ali Sina", "Ebn-e Sina" or "Pur Sina".
  • Example: "Abu Hāmed Mohammad al-Ghazālī"
  • Counter-example (Modern Persian): "Emām Ghazali".

When the Arabic script was adopted for the Persian language, there were letters pronounced in Persian which did not have a representation in the Arabic alphabet, and vice versa. The Persian alphabet adds letters to the Arabic alphabet, and changes the pronunciation of some Arabic letters which are not pronounced in Persian. In addition, Persian does not use a definite article ("al-"). Some of the vowels, long or short, remain transliterated the same as in Arabic.


Script Arabic Transli. / pronunciation
Persian pronunciation
(standard translit.)
Strict Persian translit.


Transliteration standards for the Tajik alphabet in Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet. The acronyms stand for the following:

Cyrillic ISO 9 (1995) KNAB (1981) WWS (1996) ALA-LC Allworth (1971) BGN/PCGN
А а a a a a /a/ a a
Б б b b b b /b/ b b
В в v v v v /v/ v v
Г г g g g g /ɡ/ g g
Ғ ғ ġ gh gh /ɣ/ gh gh
Д д d d d d /d/ d d
Е е e e, ye e e /je, e/ ye‐, ‐e‐ e
Ё ё ë yo ë ë /jɒ/ yo yo
Ж ж ž zh zh ž /ʒ/ zh zh
З з z z z z /z/ z z
И и i i i i /i/ i i
Ӣ ӣ ī ī ī ī /i/ ī í
Й й j y ĭ j /j/ y y
К к k k k k /k/ k k
Қ қ ķ q q ķ /q/ q q
Л л l l l l /l/ l l
М м m m m m /m/ m m
Н н n n n n /n/ n n
О о o o o o /ɒ/ o o
П п p p p p /p/ p p
Р р r r r r /r/ r r
С с s s s s /s/ s s
Т т t t t t /t/ t t
У у u u u u /u/ u u
Ӯ ӯ ū ū ū ū /ø/ ū ŭ
Ф ф f f f f /f/ f f
Х х h kh kh x /χ/ kh kh
Ҳ ҳ h, h x ̦ /h/ h h
Ч ч č ch ch č /ʧ/ ch ch
Ҷ ҷ c, j j ̦ č, /ʤ/ j j
Ш ш š sh sh š /ʃ/ sh sh
Ъ ъ ʺ ʻ ʺ ʺ /ʔ/ " ʼ
Э э è è, e ė è /e/ ë ė
Ю ю û yu iu͡ ju /ju/ yu yu
Я я â ya ia ͡ ja /ja/ ya ya

External links[edit]