Persian: پائيز or پاییز

Haji Firouz

Senior Member
Good morning!

I found two ways to spell "autumn":

پائيز /pâiz/ (my learning Persian method)
پاییز /pâiz/ (in a dictionary)

The first one, as can be seen, has a "hamze". Which is the correct one and why, please?

PS. I know the "hamze" is equivalent to a glottal stop, similar to the letter "ع". But why are the two dots missing below /i/ when the hamze is added, in the first variant?

Many thanks & have a great day!

Best regards,
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  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi Haji Firouz. As you know, the Persian script for writing the Persian language (Farsi) is based on the Arabic script. In Arabic script the letter hamzah (pronounced hamze in Modern Persian) is a consonant letter in itself. In Arabic writing convention, no word or syllable should begin with a vowel but the vowel has to be preceded by a consonant. If we look at پائيز it is essentially paa + iiz. However, by Arabic reckoning we can't write it as پا اِیز but the second syllable has to begin with the consonant hamza. Now the vowel following the hamzah is a kasra (zer) and as this vowel "i" is linked to a "ye" [ just as "a" (fathah/zabar) is linked to an alif and "u" (Damma/pesh) is linked to a "vaa'o"] the "ye" is used as a "seat" for the hamzah and this ye is not given its customary two dots below it. One would expect پائيز to be written as پاءِیز but it is written as پائيز . In my view, پاییز which is how it is written in the modern Iranian convention is wrong but that is just my view.

    Another word for پائيز is خزان which I understand is not very common in Iran.
    I must add one more thing, listening to the people who knows how to pronounce the words or letters is very good way, but only people who knows how to do it! In other thread we had discussion about ع غ ق ...etc. some people give samples of pronunciations in Arabic or people are not qualified to do this. For example Mr. Hamidi Shirazi was Master of Masters in Persian language ( He is famous for his struggle regarding new modern style of poem in Farsi) but he cannot read his poems!!! a lot of mistake or lack of sense!!!


    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Brilliant. Thank you for your academic explanations! I just have one doubt now: is there any glottal stop in پاییز?
    The pronunciation in the recording is paa-iiz پائيز . There is no hamzah in پاییز and I would pronounce this as paa-yiiz where y is pronounced as in "yet". For this reason I consider the former to be a correct spelling and the latter incorrect.
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    There are some facts, I think we must consider:
    1. This is the way, we as Farsi native and the people who their mother language is Farsi say پاییز! If there is همزه or without it we say in this way!!! I think most important thing is how we pronounce it!!!!
    2. From our view, professional people who studied about this language and also فرهنگستان زبان فارسی, not common people or user of the language, the sounds of همزه and ی is one thing!!!! So فرهنگستان decided to change it to ی !!!! I must add this issue was not only in recent years but back to many years ago among our famous linguistic people and writers!!!

    The pronunciation in the recording is paa-iiz پائيز .
    Finally I must confess that your ear is very strong in distinguish between sounds, are you musician! as I know Beethoven was able to distinguish between a large variety of sounds! May I ask you what is your mother language?


    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    The important thing is, there’s only one correct pronunciation for this Persian word which means ‘autumn/fall’ & Qureshpor has already given the best guide for it, I will come back to this.

    Two spelling for this word or any other Persian word, suggests that we cannot fully represent the Persian sounds with Arabic letters, but as has been said پاییز is the current ‘correct’ spelling, as پائیز was a few decades ago.

    Back to the pronunciation, پا-ایز is the best way to pronounce this word, even with a tiny pause in between the sub parts. You can also try this technique with آیین and پایین.
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