Persian Script

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modified arabic alphabet used for writing persian.

As a result of Arab expansion, the Middle Persian, or Pahlavi, script (developed from Aramaic) was replaced by the Arabic script during the ninth century. Despite changes in vocabulary and in the script, the Persian language has remained largely intact for centuries. The Persian script, while mainly the same as modern Arabic, contains changes, such as extra markings on the Arabic ba (Roman B) to create the Persian pe (Roman P), on the Arabic ghayn (Roman Gh) to create a Persian che (Roman Ch) and on the Arabic ra (Roman R) to create the Persian zhe (Roman Zh), none of which exist in Arabic. Arabic calligraphy, primarily used to write the Quʾran, also changed as a result of Persian influence. The Arab styles of taliq and naskh combined to form the Persian nastaliq style. From nastaliq comes shekasteh, broken script allowing greater speed; with shifih the letters are farther apart but conjoined in a "lover's embrace." Persian calligraphy was not confined to the Quʾran, and became most popular during medieval times through Persian court and mystical poetry.

see also arabic; arabic script; persian.


"Persian." Omniglot: A Guide to Writing Systems. Available from <>.

roxanne varzi