Urdu, Persian: Qaf - Khey/Ghayn

Kahaani

Senior Member
Hi,

I often hear a switch in Persian (Tehraani) speech from qaf to Khey/Ghayn (I'm not sure which one it would classify as).

You can see this in;
Ishq/Eshq - Ishgh/Eshgh
Waqt - Waght
Talaq - Talagh

I was wondering if this is also present in Urdu? Would it be acceptable to say waght instead of waqt?

Thank you,
 
  • sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Hi,

    the name of “ق” is “qaaf”.
    the name of “غ” is “ghain” in Urdu and “gheyn” in Persian.
    the name of “ک” is “kaaf”/“key”.

    We don’t pronounce [ɣ] in Persian (Tehraani). We always pronounce [q] for both “ق”(qaaf) and “غ”(Ur: ghain, Per: gheyn).
    In Urdu, “ق” is pronounced [q] and “غ” is pronounced [ɣ].
    “ک” (kaaf/key) is pronounced [k] in both Persian and Urdu.

    In writing “عشق” with Latin letters, “eshq” and “eshgh” both are correct in Persian, but we always pronounce this word as [eʃq] not [eʃɣ], it means we always pronounce “eshq”, but “ق”(qaaf) can be written as “q” and “gh” in Persian (In writing with Latin letters of course).

    In Urdu, the correct pronunciation of “ق”(qaaf) is [q]. It means “عشق” is pronounced [ɪʃq] in Urdu (This word (عشق), can be written as “इश्क” and “इश्क़” in Hindi and it can be pronounced [ɪʃk] and [ɪʃq] both in Hindi).


    Now look at “غم” which has “غ”:
    Persian Pronunciation: [qam]
    Urdu Pronunciation: [ɣəm]


    There is no difference between Pronunciation of “ق” and “غ” in Persian, both are pronounced [q], because of this, “q” and “gh” both can be shown “ق” in writing Persian with Latin letters.

    There is a difference between Pronunciation of “ق” and “غ” in Urdu, “ق” is pronounced [q] and “غ” is pronounced [ɣ], because of this, “q” is shown “ق” and “gh” is shown “غ” in writing Urdu with Latin letters.


    These are right in writing Persian with Latin letters:
    “عشق”: eshq, eshgh
    “وقت”: vaqt (or maybe waqt), vaght/ waght
    “طلاق”: talaaq/talaq, talaagh/talagh

    These are right in writing Urdu with Latin letters:
    “عشق”: ishq
    “وقت”: vaqt/ waqt
    “طلاق”: talaaq/talaq


    “k” can be written instead of “q” in writing Hindi with Latin letters, I don't know whether it can be acceptable in writing Urdu with Latin letters or not
     
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    ihaveacomputer

    Member
    Canadian English
    In some circumstances, I believe the pronunciation [ɢ] may be used, as well. It's just like [q] but it's voiced, just like the contrast between [g]/گ and [k]/ک .
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    From what little I know, there are certain places..I mean juxtaposed with certain consonants where the q has a sound somewhat akin to Ghain but not 3ain Ghain (i.e not exactly Ghain. By the way, in Urdu if some one is 3ain-Ghain, s/he has only one eye!)
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    sapnachaandni khanum's information is not correct. Tehrani Persian does not have [q] at all, which is a slightly harder sound than how we pronounce qaaf. You can hear a true [q] in careful Urdu speech, in formal Arabic, and in some regional variants of Persian but not in Tehrani Persian.

    Instead of [q] what is present in Tehrani Persian is [ɢ] ~ [ɣ]. [ɢ] is very similar to [q] with the only difference being that it is voiced whereas [q] is unvoiced. You can compare the difference by listening to audio samples on Wikipedia for [q] or [ɢ]. In Tehrani Persian [ɢ] is the default realization (I think this is what sapnachaandni khanum meant by [q] actually) but it is also inaccurate to say that [ɣ] is never heard. Though I wouldn't normally cite Wikipedia, the article on Persian phonology is accurate and well-sourced and explains the issue well:
    In Classical Persian, غ and ق denoted the original Arabic phonemes, 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, and they are both normally pronounced as a voiced uvular stop [ɢ]; however, when they are positioned intervocalically and unstressed, lenition occurs and they tend to be pronounced more like a voiced velar fricative [ɣ]. This allophone 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).
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Instead of [q] what is present in Tehrani Persian is [ɢ] ~ [ɣ]. [ɢ] is very similar to [q] with the only difference being that it is voiced whereas [q] is unvoiced. You can compare the difference by listening to audio samples on Wikipedia for [q] or [ɢ].
    Very interesting. They are very similar. I had to listen several times to discern the difference: [q] is slightly closer to [k], while [ɢ] is slightly closer to [g]. Also, [ɢ] is much more similar to [q] than it is to [ɣ]. I can see why Sapna jii considered the Tehrani pronunciation to be [q].
     

    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    sapnachaandni khanum's information is not correct. Tehrani Persian does not have [q] at all, which is a slightly harder sound than how we pronounce qaaf. You can hear a true [q] in careful Urdu speech, in formal Arabic, and in some regional variants of Persian but not in Tehrani Persian.

    Instead of [q] what is present in Tehrani Persian is [ɢ] ~ [ɣ]. [ɢ] is very similar to [q] with the only difference being that it is voiced whereas [q] is unvoiced. You can compare the difference by listening to audio samples on Wikipedia for [q] or [ɢ]. In Tehrani Persian [ɢ] is the default realization (I think this is what sapnachaandni khanum meant by [q] actually) but it is also inaccurate to say that [ɣ] is never heard. Though I wouldn't normally cite Wikipedia, the article on Persian phonology is accurate and well-sourced and explains the issue well:
    Aaqaaye eskandar, The information on Wikipedia is not correct. Please check these books which are about Persian phonetics:
    (The information on these books is based on Tehrani Persian.)

    "تاریخ زبان فارسی" (جلد اول)، از پرویز ناتل خانلری، فرهنگ نشر نو ---> ص 53
    "مبانی زبان شناسی و کاربرد آن در زبان فارسی" از ابوالحسن نجفی، انتشارات نیلوفر ---> ص 56
    "آواشناسی زبان فارسی، آواها و ساخت آوایی هجا"(ویرایش دوم)، از یدالله ثمره، مرکز نشر دانشگاهی ---> ص 48-49 و 80




    Edit: In Tehrani Persian, /q/ is voiced, but we don't pronounce [ɣ]. /q/ can be devoiced, For example, /q/ is devoiced at the end of the word, but it is not like that audio sample of [q] which is on Wikipedia. By the way, the audio sample of [ɢ] on Wikipedia is not the exact pronunciation of "ق، غ" in Tehrani Persian.
    In all Persian phonetics books, <q> is used for representing the pronunciation of "ق، غ", and it has been mentioned that /q/ is voiced in Tehrani Persian.
     
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    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Very interesting. They are very similar. I had to listen several times to discern the difference: [q] is slightly closer to [k], while [ɢ] is slightly closer to [g]. Also, [ɢ] is much more similar to [q] than it is to [ɣ]. I can see why Sapna jii considered the Tehrani pronunciation to be [q].
    What I said is based on phonetics books.
    By the way, I don't pronounce [ɣ] in Persian.
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    Aaqaaye eskandar, The information on Wikipedia is not correct. Please check these books which are about Persian phonetics:
    (The information on these books is based on Tehrani Persian.)

    "تاریخ زبان فارسی" (جلد اول)، از پرویز ناتل خانلری، فرهنگ نشر نو ---> ص 53
    "مبانی زبان شناسی و کاربرد آن در زبان فارسی" از ابوالحسن نجفی، انتشارات نیلوفر ---> ص 56
    "آواشناسی زبان فارسی، آواها و ساخت آوایی هجا"(ویرایش دوم)، از یدالله ثمره، مرکز نشر دانشگاهی ---> ص 48-49 و 80




    Edit: In Tehrani Persian, /q/ is Voiced, but we don't pronounce [ɣ]. /q/ can be devoiced, For example, /q/ is devoiced at the end of the word, but it is not like that audio sample of [q] which is on Wikipedia. By the way, the audio sample of [ɢ] on Wikipedia is not the exact pronunciation of "ق، غ" in Tehrani Persian.
    I don't have access to those books right now but I suggest the following sources which attest to what I posted above:

    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.
    Jahani, Carina (2005). "The Glottal Plosive: A Phoneme in Spoken Modern Persian or Not?". In Éva Ágnes Csató, Bo Isaksson, and Carina Jahani. Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion: Case studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic. London: RoutledgeCurzon. pp. 79–96.
    Thackston, W. M. (1993-05-01). "The Phonology of Persian". An Introduction to Persian (3rd Rev ed.). Ibex Publishers. p. xvii.

    What I said is based on phonetics books.
    By the way, I don't pronounce [ɣ] in Persian.
    So is what I said. And since you are a sample size of one, your personal idiolect is statistically irrelevant. ;) Perhaps some people may not pronounce [ɣ] (or maybe you just don't realize that you do it), but others certainly do. Just for example, you can clearly hear [ɣ] and not [ɢ] or [q] in plenty of recordings from various Persian speakers on Forvo.com - cf. چراغ زرد and حاج آقا and many more.
     

    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    So is what I said. And since you are a sample size of one, your personal idiolect is statistically irrelevant. ;) Perhaps some people may not pronounce [ɣ] (or maybe you just don't realize that you do it), but others certainly do. Just for example, you can clearly hear [ɣ] and not [ɢ] or [q] in plenty of recordings from various Persian speakers on Forvo.com - cf. چراغ زرد and حاج آقا and many more.
    I didn't say [ɣ] is not pronounced in Persian. I said [ɣ] is not pronounced in Tehrani Persian. It is not my idea and it is not about my personal idiolect. It's the information which has been written in phonetics books.
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Sapna jii, if you know of any online audio samples of the correct Tehrani pronunciation, could you post them here? I would like to listen. Do you feel the Tehrani Persian [q] is just like the (proper) Urdu [q]?
     

    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Sapna jii, if you know of any online audio samples of the correct Tehrani pronunciation, could you post them here? I would like to listen.
    Mundiya jii, I don’t have sample, I should search.

    Do you feel the Tehrani Persian [q] is just like the (proper) Urdu [q]?
    They are sometimes very similar (maybe just like each other), sometimes totally different, because /q/ has allophones in Persian.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    For me it is different. By the way, I'm wondering why this thread is titled "Urdu". It's all about Persian, sholdnt it be Persian (and Urdu)?
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    I didn't say [ɣ] is not pronounced in Persian. I said [ɣ] is not pronounced in Tehrani Persian. It is not my idea and it is not about my personal idiolect. It's the information which has been written in phonetics books.
    If it's not about your personal idiolect then why did you bother to say "I don't pronounce [ɣ] in Persian" (emphasis added)? What I am arguing is also backed up by the phonetics books I cited. More to the point, there is a plethora of evidence that contradicts your point. If you don't like the Forvo.com links I provided, you can refer to Youtube as well. You can hear [ɣ] in this BBC Persian report (/watch?v=HPg_MhNaU2s) at 0:04-0:06 (دقایق) and pretty consistently throughout this song by the formerly Tehran-based band Kiosk (/watch?v=6al6Z6hF48E), for example at 0:40-0:48 (قدرت and عشق), at 1:20 (قرمه سبزی), and so on. (Append youtube.com to the beginning of those URLs to access them). This is clear evidence that contradicts your claim that [ɣ] is not pronounced in Tehrani Persian. Meanwhile, I challenge you to find one audio recording of someone pronouncing [q] (not [ɢ]) in Tehrani Persian.

    marrish SaaHib, I agree on both counts (that Persian and Urdu pronunciation of qaaf are quite distinct, and that the thread title should be changed to "Persian and Urdu"!)
     

    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    There is no difference between the pronunciation s of غ and ق in most of Iranian genuine Persian accents (by genuine, I mean the accents of first-language speakers of Persian). In genuine Tehrani accent, they are both pronounced close to [ɢ] in my opinion. By the way, I'm not also a Tehrani speaker. My dialect has both [q] and [ɣ] that, as I perceive, are both different to what is pronounced by local Tehrani speakers.

    If you don't like the Forvo.com links I provided, you can refer to Youtube as well. You can hear [ɣ] in this BBC Persian report (/watch?v=HPg_MhNaU2s) at 0:04-0:06 (دقایق) and pretty consistently throughout this song by the formerly Tehran-based band Kiosk (/watch?v=6al6Z6hF48E), for example at 0:40-0:48 (قدرت and عشق), at 1:20 (قرمه سبزی), and so on.
    I consider your examples more like [ɢ] than [ɣ].
     
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    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    If it's not about your personal idiolect then why did you bother to say "I don't pronounce [ɣ] in Persian" (emphasis added)? What I am arguing is also backed up by the phonetics books I cited. More to the point, there is a plethora of evidence that contradicts your point. If you don't like the Forvo.com links I provided, you can refer to Youtube as well. You can hear [ɣ] in this BBC Persian report (/watch?v=HPg_MhNaU2s) at 0:04-0:06 (دقایق) and pretty consistently throughout this song by the formerly Tehran-based band Kiosk (/watch?v=6al6Z6hF48E), for example at 0:40-0:48 (قدرت and عشق), at 1:20 (قرمه سبزی), and so on. (Append youtube.com to the beginning of those URLs to access them). This is clear evidence that contradicts your claim that [ɣ] is not pronounced in Tehrani Persian. Meanwhile, I challenge you to find one audio recording of someone pronouncing [q] (not [ɢ]) in Tehrani Persian.

    marrish SaaHib, I agree on both counts (that Persian and Urdu pronunciation of qaaf are quite distinct, and that the thread title should be changed to "Persian and Urdu"!)
    In Persian [ɣ] is pronounced and [ʁ] can be pronounced too.
    I told before, In all Persian phonetics books (actually I should say in many of them), <q> is used for showing the pronunciation of "ق، غ", and it has been mentioned that /q/ is voiced in Tehrani Persian.
    In Persian, /q/ is Voiced dorso-uvular (uvular) stop and it has allophones (then /q/ is sometimes like IPA [ɢ]). Apologise, I wrote [q] and [eʃq] instead of /eʃq/ and /q/ by mistake, because In phonetics books, <q> is used for showing the pronunciation of Persian "ق، غ".

    In Tehrani Persain "ق، غ" can be pronounced as a Voiced uvular stop and/or Voiced uvular fricative consonant.* (and it has allophones)


    *Samareh, Yadollah (1999/1378): Aavaashenaasi-ye zabaan-e faarsi: aavaahaa va saaxt-e aavaa’i-ye hejaa (Phonetics of Persian Language: Phones and Phonetics Structure of Syllable). Tehran: Markaz-e Nashr-e Daaneshgaahi. p. 62.


    According to phonetics books, [ʁ] is pronounced in Tehrani Persian not [ɣ].
     
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    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    According to phonetics books, [ʁ] is pronounced in Tehrani Persian not [ɣ].
    Well, now this is something different than your earlier claim. Had you worded it this way I might not have bothered to argue; similarly had you been clear that by [q] you actually meant IPA [ɢ] I would have had no disagreement. My point was really that the phoneme in question is often realized as a fricative in intervocalic conditions and is not always a stop. But I'll concede that the fricative may be uvular and not velar as I had claimed. And, for whatever it's worth, while I am not a native speaker of Persian, I learned the language from my family who are native Tehranis (not immigrants from another part of Iran) and native speakers of the Tehrani dialect.
     

    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Well, now this is something different than your earlier claim. Had you worded it this way I might not have bothered to argue; similarly had you been clear that by [q] you actually meant IPA [ɢ] I would have had no disagreement.
    I wrote what has been written in phonetics books.

    My point was really that the phoneme in question is often realized as a fricative in intervocalic conditions and is not always a stop. But I'll concede that the fricative may be uvular and not velar as I had claimed.
    Right, according to phonetics books, it sometimes can be pronounced as a voiced uvular fricative in intervocalic conditions. And I told before, it has allophones in Tehrani Persian.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Lady and Getleman, if a consensus has been reached between the two of you, is it possible to have a conclusion in lay person's language which all mortals can understand? It would be even more helpful if any sound files could be attached which contrast the real Arabic qaaf and Ghain with the Tehrani qaaf and Ghain. For example how would a Tehrani Persian speaker pronounce the following words:

    qariib (near) /Ghariib (stranger)

    Do the q/Gh sounds change depending on the their position in a word (intial, medial or final) and/or do they change depending on the proceding/following vowel or consonant?

    Thanking both of you in advance for your kind assistence.

    PS. eskandar SaaHib, one positive thing that has already come out of this discussion is some personal information about you!:)
     

    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    ^ There is no difference between pronouncing "قریب"(qariib) and "غریب"(Ghariib) in Tehrani Persian. They can be pronounced [ɢaɾiːb]*.

    * "zabar" (ــــــَـــ) is pronounced as an open front unrounded vowel ([a]) in Tehrani Persian and most of Iranian Persian accents, It means it is not a near-open front unrounded vowel ([æ]).
    In Tehrani Persian, "re"(ر) is pronounced as an alveolar flap consonant ([ɾ]) in intervocalic conditions. [ɾ] is one of the allophones of "re"(ر) in Tehrani Persian.
     
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    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Do the q/Gh sounds change depending on the their position in a word (intial, medial or final) and/or do they change depending on the proceding/following vowel or consonant?
    Yes, it has allophones*:
    It becomes semi-devoiced in the beginning of the word (after silence), like "قند" /qand/. It also becomes semi-devoiced in adjacent voiced consonants, like "نقض", "نغز" /naqz/.
    It becomes devoiced at the end of the word, like "مرغ" /morq/. It also becomes devoiced in adjacent voiceless consonants, like "نقطه" /noqte/.

    And, it sometimes can be pronounced as a voiced uvular fricative in intervocalic conditions in Tehrani Persian, for example, "آقا"/aaqaa/ can be pronounced as both [ʔɑɢɑ] and [ʔɑʁɑ]**.


    *Samareh, Yadollah (1999/1378): Aavaashenaasi-ye zabaan-e faarsi: aavaahaa va saaxt-e aavaa’i-ye hejaa (Phonetics of Persian Language: Phones and Phonetics Structure of Syllable). Tehran: Markaz-e Nashr-e Daaneshgaahi. p. 49.

    **Samareh, Yadollah (1999/1378): Aavaashenaasi-ye zabaan-e faarsi: aavaahaa va saaxt-e aavaa’i-ye hejaa (Phonetics of Persian Language: Phones and Phonetics Structure of Syllable). Tehran: Markaz-e Nashr-e Daaneshgaahi. p. 62.
     
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    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    It does sound like it to my ears.
    Thank you marrish jii, "ق،غ" can be pronounced like it in Tehrani Persian, because of this I told Persian "ق،غ" and Urdu "ق" are sometimes very similar, and sometimes totally different, because "ق،غ" has allophones in Persian and "ق،غ" can be pronounced as a voiced uvular fricative (as I said above).
     
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    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    ^ Lady and Getleman, if a consensus has been reached between the two of you, is it possible to have a conclusion in lay person's language which all mortals can understand? It would be even more helpful if any sound files could be attached which contrast the real Arabic qaaf and Ghain with the Tehrani qaaf and Ghain. For example how would a Tehrani Persian speaker pronounce the following words:

    qariib (near) /Ghariib (stranger)

    Do the q/Gh sounds change depending on the their position in a word (intial, medial or final) and/or do they change depending on the proceding/following vowel or consonant?
    In layman's terms: in Tehrani Persian, there is no difference in pronunciation between qaaf and ghayn; they are treated as exactly the same sound, just as siin and Saad. However, the pronunciation of that sound may differ depending on where it occurs in the word (for some speakers). Generally it sounds like what you hear in the links in post #26 above, but when it occurs in between two vowels (as in آقا or فغان) it may change to a sound something like the French 'R' which you can hear in the links in post #13.

    You can then compare these sounds with the Arabic qaaf (ie. here) which, to avoid technical vocabulary, differs from the sound found in Persian in that one's vocal cords do not vibrate while producing this sound, whereas the vocal cords do vibrate when producing the Persian qaaf. (The result is that the Arabic sounds 'harder' to my ears). The Arabic ghayn is also different, as you can hear here. It is pronounced with the tongue further forward in the mouth than the Persian equivalent: for the Arabic sound the tongue is against the back of the roof of the mouth, where kaaf and gaaf and Khaa are also produced, whereas for the Persian sound(s) the tongue is further back, against the uvula.

    Hopefully that make all of this more or less clear without resorting to linguistics jargon. (Sarkaar khaanuum sapnachaandni, shomaa ham baa towziih-e iin jaaneb movaafeqiin?)
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    To me the initial consonant in audio file 1 (of post 26) sounds slightly different than that in audio file 2. Did anyone else notice that?
     
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    sapnachaandni

    Senior Member
    Persian (فارسی)
    Hopefully that make all of this more or less clear without resorting to linguistics jargon. (Sarkaar khaanuum sapnachaandni, shomaa ham baa towziih-e iin jaaneb movaafeqiin?)
    There is more than one way to explain. I prefer using linguistics jargon.

    (jenaab aaqaaye eskandar, baa tozihaat-e shomaa movaafeqam va hamun tor ke moshaahede farmudid, mataalebi ke man dar post-haaye #24 va 25 neveshte budam baa tozihaat-e shomaa dar post-e #29 motaabeqat daare, tanhaa baa yek baxsh az soxanaan-e shomaa movaafeq nistam: "without resorting to linguistics jargon". :) Shomaa in tor pasandidid ke masalan be-jaaye [ʁ] yaa "voiced uvular fricative" befarmaayid "French 'R'", ammaa hamishe nemishe az in shive estefaade kard, mesl-e hengaami ke bexaaym dar baare-ye "vaaj-gune-haa" (allophones) sohbat konim. dar har haal man estelaahaat-e zabaan-shenaasi (linguistics) ro tarjih midam.)
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    Albatte manam baraa-ye in mowzu' tarjih midam az estelaahaat-e zabaanshenaasi estefaade konam! However I was responding to aaqaa-ye Qureshpor's request that we explain the issue in "lay person's language which all mortals can understand" and therefore avoided technical jargon. :)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    To me the initial consonant in audio file 1 (of post 26) sounds slightly different than that in audio file 2. Did anyone else notice that?
    Yes, they do differ a tad but I don't think it is of qualitative importance.
     

    Sibawayh

    Member
    French
    Hello all,

    I had noticed this difference a long time ago, but Tehrani speakers usually couldn't even understand there were two different sounds when I had asked them about it.

    I won't bring much novelty to what has already been posted, but maybe wording it differently can make it clearer for readers. Also I want to you to confirm/validate what I understood.

    In Tehrani Persian, the letters ق and غ are the same phonem. However, they will either sound like a uvular stop [ɢ] or like a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ], depending on the sounds that precede and follow it.

    The [ʁ] is the most common prononciation of the french R and the arabic غ. There are more than one way to pronounce these letters in French and Arabic, but the Parisian R and the normative tajweed غ are the same as far as I know. The Persian sound is undoubtly very close but I'm not 100% sure it is exactly the same.

    The [ɢ] doesn't exist in any regional accents in French as far as I know, nor in traditional Arabic for that matter. It sounds to me as something between Arabic ق and Persian گ (= French G), much less stressed than the unvoiced arabic ق which has a hard and muffled sound.

    I will now post what two foreign experts of the Persian language have to say about it.

    Ann Lambton said in her Persian Grammar:

    "غ and ق are not differentiated by most speakers. Both are pronounced as a voiceless uvular plosive (formed by the back of the tongue coming into contact with the rearmost part of the soft palate), unless between two back vowels when they tend to be pronounced as a voiced uvular plosive."

    Gilbert Lazard said in his Grammaire du persan contemporain:

    "ق/غ is a post-velar consonant, fricative or occlusive, and generally voiced, at least in part. Between two vowels, it is usually uttered as a voiced fricative, quite close to regular French R ("grasseyé"), but sometimes as a voiced occlusive or semi-occlusive:
    EX. باقی bâqi (remaining), شغال shoqâl (jackal)
    The same goes in final position and before a voiced consonant:
    EX. باغ bâq (garden), عقد aqd (marriage contract), نقره noqre (silver)
    Before an unvoiced consonant, this consonant is pronounced, in literary language, as a voiced occlusive or semi-occlusive (but in colloquial language it is often confused with خ):
    EX. وقت vaqt (time), تقصیر taqsir (fault)
    In initial position and when it is geminate, this consonant is most of the time occlusive and partially unvoiced:
    EX. قالی qâli (carpet), بقال baqqâl (grocer), دقت deqqat (attention)
    REMARK: Historically this consonant represents either the voiced velar fricative ɣ (written as غ) or, in Arabic and Turkish loan words, the unvoiced post-velar occlusive q (written as ق). In the contemporary Farsi from Tehran, whatever the origin, it is undoubtly the same single phonem."
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Before an unvoiced consonant, this consonant is pronounced, in literary language, as a voiced occlusive or semi-occlusive (but in colloquial language it is often confused with خ):
    EX. وقت vaqt (time), تقصیر taqsir (fault)
    Hey, I noticed this on my recent trip to Iran, but I was trying to convince myself that I had misheard. :D
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hey, I noticed this on my recent trip to Iran, but I was trying to convince myself that I had misheard. :D
    You did n't have to go all the way to Iran to hear this. Hyderabad would have been much closer!:)
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    That I had already heard.
    Btw, look at my present location. You'll realize Iran was actually closer. :p
     

    Cilquiestsuens

    Senior Member
    French
    By the way, the wakht pronounciation for what should theoretically be waqt, is also a very regular pronunciation in Dari (Afghanistan); despite a very distinctive qaaf being the norm in Dari in other contexts (intial, intervocalic, final).
     
    I heard that ق and غ in Dari and Tajik Persian, have different pronunciation. In most of Iran also include Kerman and Yazd, as I am from that areas and based of my knowledge, there is no differ. Only in Yazd both ق and غ has a emphasis on that word. For example تغار or اقرار. Most common problem of children in Iran is how to pass the dictation lesson. We see this problem in.... س and ص.... or.... ط and ت......or.....ظ and ز and ذ.
    Is that true, children in the school as Arab people know how to write the words with correct spelling?
    Thanks for your information in advanced
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Yes, they are differentiated as /ɣ/ and /q/, as in Arabic.

    /q/: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Voiceless_uvular_plosive.ogg

    /ɣ/: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Voiced_velar_fricative.ogg

    In most of southern Iran (Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Yazd) and in Kurdish and Balochi, they are traditionally differentiated. So چاق would be /tʃaq/ and داغ would be /daɣ/. (Actually, in parts of Fars and in Hormozgan, we would pronounce ق as /k/, and sometimes غ as /x/, but in our "formal" accent they are still differentiated as /q/ and /ɣ/, like in Arabic/Afghani/Tajik).

    If you're not noticing this in speakers from these areas, I guess it's due to influence from Standard Iranian Persian, and the media which is all in Tehrani, especially in younger generations. Or maybe some people imitate a more standard dialect, while at home speaking their native dialect. Maybe if you go to more rural areas you can hear it.
     
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    Yes, they are differentiated as /ɣ/ and /q/, as in Arabic.

    /q/: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Voiceless_uvular_plosive.ogg

    /ɣ/: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Voiced_velar_fricative.ogg

    In most of southern Iran (Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Yazd) and in Kurdish and Balochi, they are traditionally differentiated. So چاق would be /tʃaq/ and داغ would be /daɣ/. (Actually, in parts of Fars and in Hormozgan, we would pronounce ق as /k/, and sometimes غ as /x/, but in our "formal" accent they are still differentiated as /q/ and /ɣ/, like in Arabic/Afghani/Tajik).

    If you're not noticing this in speakers from these areas, I guess it's due to influence from Standard Iranian Persian, and the media which is all in Tehrani, especially in younger generations. Or maybe some people imitate a more standard dialect, while at home speaking their native dialect. Maybe if you go to more rural areas you can hear it.
    Thanks!
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    OK, so I've gathered that initial and final غ-ق is pronounced [ɢ] while intervocalic is [ɣ]. But I keep finding exceptions to these "rules".

    Thankfully this website (forvo.com) has audio files of native speakers pronouncing words.

    Now listen to these four Iranian pronunciations of قورباغه:

    قورباغه pronunciation: How to pronounce قورباغه in Persian

    The first and third say: [ɢurbaɢe]

    But the second and fourth say: [ɢurbaɣe] !

    Here is one of لاغر, clearly [laɢær]:

    لاغر pronunciation: How to pronounce لاغر in Persian, Kurdish

    But these two or چاقو are clearly [tʃaɣu]:

    چاقو pronunciation: How to pronounce چاقو in Persian, Urdu

    These for باقی are [baɣi]:

    باقی pronunciation: How to pronounce باقی in Persian, Urdu, Kurdish
    باقی مانده pronunciation: How to pronounce باقی مانده in Persian

    Both of these for آقا are [aɢa]:

    آقا pronunciation: How to pronounce آقا in Persian, Urdu

    And then this one for آغاز, which you would expect to be the same as آقا, but its actually [aɣaz]!

    بی آغاز pronunciation: How to pronounce بی آغاز in Persian

    So how do we explain all of this? It seems intervocalic pronunciation can be either, depending on the speaker. Or is there some convoluted rule for some of these words?
     
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    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Yes, they are differentiated as /ɣ/ and /q/, as in Arabic.

    If you're not noticing this in speakers from these areas, I guess it's due to influence from Standard Iranian Persian,
    Let me expand on this a bit more for those that say they dont hear a غ - ق distinction in Iranian dialects:

    When people from different provinces converse with eachother nowadays, they just emulate a Tehrani accent, either partially or completely, especially if they are youths or if they have spent time outside their region. So you are not likely to hear the ق غ distinction even from people whose dialect has it.

    Before media like TV, radio etc were widespread and centralized, this probably wasn't the case.

    I remember when my grandparents would speak Persian (rather than our local dialect) to Iranians from different provinces, they spoke a version that was rather different from mainstream Iranian Persian of today, and rather closer to Classical Persian:

    - final -e of nouns pronounced -a (e.g. hāmela, baranda)
    - negator ne- for present tense pronounced na-
    - diphthong ow/aw preserved (e.g. chetowr, showhar)
    - fathe pronunciation of certain verbs like رسیدن = rasidan, کشیدن = kashidan
    - ق and غ distinguished

    This is also how they would read classical poetry, etc.

    Probably, in the age before modern mass communication/media and centralization (I mean mainly the 1st half of the 20th century), Persian was taught in schools with the features of the local dialect, so if the local dialect had the features I listed above, that's how it was taught.

    Nowadays Persian is taught in the mainstream accent, and the media is in Tehrani, so if you speak Persian to a youth from almost any region, and they are aware that you're not from their region, they will emulate a Tehrani accent as much as they can. And the dialects themselves are being affected; I notice that some youths from my region have stopped differentiating ق from غ in certain common words, so they say /vāɣean/ rather than /vāqean/ for واقعا, and /moɣeye/ instead of /mowqaye/ for موقعِ, even when talking with family.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Very interesting Derakhshan. May I ask what dialect of Persian your parents spoke?
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    It's rather a different but closely related language (Larestani). But neighboring varieties such as rural Fars dialects and Bandari also have the features I mentioned.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    If you want to hear distinguishing of ق and غ in Iranian Persian. It was clearly evident in Qasem Soleimani's speech (he was originally from Kerman):
    [Check Youtube the video entitled: خاطرات جالب حاج قاسم سليماني ]

    For example he pronounces غیرت /ɣeyræt/, غرق /ɣærq/, but قطعات /qætæʔat/.

    If you are familiar with the غ - ق distinction, then you will hear it very clearly.
     
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