Persian: the pronunciation of final ه



I'd like to ask if the letter ه (which represents the sound /h/) at the end of a word or a syllable (for example, تهران ,کهگیلویه ,ارومیه ,بوشهر) is pronounced of not in the standard usage. I have seen some names phonetically transcribed with /h/, such as تهران /tehˈrɒːn/, کرمانشاه /kermɑnˈʃɑːh/; but some names without /h/, such as ارومیه /oɾumiˈje/; and some names with and without /h/ in the same name, such as شاهنامه‎ /ʃɒːhnɒːˈme/.

Thank you in advance.
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    Relevant thread: Persian: Pronunciation of words ending in ﻩ (he)

    Brief summary: The terminal h is pronounced in certain words, but it is silent in others.


    • شاہ، ماہ، گناہ، تباہ، پناہ، وغیرہ - shaah, maah, gunaah, tabaah, panaah, etc.
    • نامه، افسانه، پیمانه، پروانه، وغیرہ - naame/naama, afsaane/afsaana, pemaane/paimaana, parvaane/parvaana, etc.
      • (Irani pronunciation/Afghani, Tajiki, Classical pronunciation)


    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    ه is ALWAYS pronounced, the exception is when ه is the final letter and these are in two groups:

    1- When ه is preceded by the long vowels ا (ā) or و (ū) it is ALWAYS pronounced e.g. ماه/māh (moon), kuh/کوه?(mountain)

    2- When ه is preceded by a short vowels a & e, it is NOT always pronounced:

    2.1 NOT PRONOUNCED, نامه/nāmé/nāma, there are hundreds of these.

    2.2 PRONOUNCED: به/beh (quince, well, good), مه/meh (fog), ده/deh (village), ده/dah (ten) there no more than 10-15 of these.

    If you are learning Persian the best rule is, memorise those in group 2.2 and DON’T pronounce the final ه for all in group 2.1, If in doubt don’t pronounce any in group 2.
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