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Tehrani accent (Persian: لهجهٔ تهرانی‎) is a dialect of modern Persian language spoken in Tehran Province, and the most common colloquial variant of the modern Persian language. Compared to literary standard Persian, the Tehrani dialect lacks original Persian diphthongs and tends to fuse certain sounds. The Tehrani accent of Persian language should not be confused with the Old Tehrani dialect, which was a northwestern Iranian dialect, belonging to the central group.

Differences from Standard PersianEdit

Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehrani accent during second Khutbah of Tehran Friday Prayer, 18 February 1994.

Here are some of the main differences between Colloquial Tehrani Persian and Standard Iranian Persian:

  • Standard Persian /ɒːn, ɒːm/ ↔ Tehrani /uːn, uːm/. Example: بادام /bɒːdɒːm/ ↔ /bɒːduːm/
  • Standard Persian /ou̯/ ↔ Tehrani [oː]. Examples: برو /borou̯/ ↔ [boroː]; نوروز /nou̯ruːz/ ↔ [noːruːz]
  • Standard Persian /zd/ ↔ Tehrani /zː/. Example: دزدى /dozdi/ ↔ /dozːi/
  • Standard Persian /st/ ↔ Tehrani /sː/. Examples: دسته /dæste/ ↔ /dæsːe/; پسته /peste/ ↔ /pesːe/
  • Standard Persian /e/ ↔ Tehrani [i]. Examples: جگر /dʒegær/ ↔ [dʒigær]; شکار /ʃekɒːr/ ↔ [ʃikɒːr]; کشمش /keʃmeʃ/ ↔ [kiʃmiʃ]
  • غ and ق denoted the original Arabic phonemes in Classical Persian, the voiced velar fricative [ɣ] and the voiceless uvular stop [q] (pronounced in Persian as voiced uvular stop [ɢ]), respectively. In modern Tehrani Persian (which is used in the Iranian mass media, both colloquial and standard), there is no difference in the pronunciation of غ and ق. Both letters are pronounced as a voiced velar fricative [ɣ] when positioned intervocalically and unstressed, and as a voiced uvular stop [ɢ] otherwise.[1][2] [3] This allophony is probably influenced by Turkic languages like Azeri and Turkmen. The classic pronunciations of غ and ق are preserved in the eastern variants of Persian (i.e. Dari and Tajiki), as well as in the southern dialects of the modern Iranian variety (e.g. Yazdi and Kermani dialects). Example: دقيقه [dæɢiːˈɢæ] ↔ [dæɣiːˈɣe].
  • The word-final /æ/ in Classical Persian became [e] in modern Tehrani Persian, both colloquial and standard dialects (often romanized as "eh", meaning [e] is also an allophone of /æ/ in word-final position in modern Tehrani Persian) except for نه [] ('no'), but is preserved in the Dari dialects.
  • -e as the 3rd person singular suffix for verbs instead of Standard Persian -ad: می‌راوه ['mi:rɒve] ↔ می‌راود ['mi:rɒ:væd]
  • Use of verbal person suffixes on nominals for the verb بودن [bu:dæn]

Note that Iranians can interchange colloquial Tehrani and standard Iranian Persian sociolects in conversational speech.


  1. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-521-63751-0.
  2. ^ Jahani, Carina (2005). "The Glottal Plosive: A Phoneme in Spoken Modern Persian or Not?". In Éva Ágnes Csató; Bo Isaksson; Carina Jahani (eds.). Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion: Case studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic. London: RoutledgeCurzon. pp. 79–96. ISBN 0-415-30804-6.
  3. ^ Thackston, W. M. (1993-05-01). "The Phonology of Persian". An Introduction to Persian (3rd Rev ed.). Ibex Publishers. p. xvii. ISBN 0-936347-29-5.