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Avesta Pronunciation and Writing

NOTE: You will need Avestan fonts in order to read this text.
aa as in German, or as a in 'father'aaa
AA as a in 'father' only lengtheneda-macronAâ
LL as 'an' in French enfant, a nasalized 'a'a-tildeLã
ll as aw in 'saw'a-ringlå
bb as in Englishbbb
cc as ch in 'church'ccc
dd as in Englishddd
DD as th in 'that', a voiced thdelta (or eth=ð)Ddh (or eth=ð)
vv as u in 'but'schwave
VV as u in 'but', only lengthenedschwa-macronVê
ee as in German, or e in 'bed'eee
EE as in German only lengthened or a in 'made'e-macronEê
ff as in Englishfff
gg as in Englishggg
GG voiced x (often transcribed gh)gammaGkh
hh as in Englishhhh
FF as h, possibly stronger (before y)h-ogonekFh'
ii as in German, or i in 'it'iii
II as i in 'it' only lengthenedi-macronIî
jj as in Englishjjj
kk as in Englishkkk
-- as in English (not used in Avesta)l-l
mm as in Englishmmm
mm as in Englishmmm
nn as in Englishnnn
MM nh (gutteral nasal) before stopsn-long-tailedMng
NN as n (used before stopped consonents)n-tildeNñ
?? as nhn-ogonek?ng
oo as in German, or o in 'rope'ooo
OO as o in 'rope' only lengthened (or o in 'Minnesota')o-macronOô
pp as in Englishppp
rr as in Englishrrr
ss as in Englishsss
SS as sh in 'show' (palatal)s-hacekSsh
CC as sh in 'show' only more retroflexs-hacek-ogonekCsh
KK as sh in 'show' (used before y)s-hacek-cedillaKsh
tt as in French 'tout' (dental, i.e. with tongue at same position as for English th in 'thin') ttt
TT as t in 'try't-ogonekTt
qq as th in 'thing'thetaqth
uu as in German, or u in 'put'uuu
UU as oo in 'book'u-macronUû
ww as w in Dutch water (a bilabial semivowel similar to Engl. v but not a fricative) (Humbach transcribes 'uu') vwv
WW as w above (used initially with a few exceptions) v-acuteWv
BB as w in EnglishwBw
xx as German ch, or ch in Scottish 'loch'xxx
XX as x (as above) with v immediately followingx-superscript-vXxv
yy as in English (Humbach transcribes 'ii')yyy
YY as y above (used initially)y-acuteYý
zz as in Englishzzz
ZZ as z in 'azure'z-hacekZzh


HTML does not currently allow for the accurate representation of all Avesta graphemes. In particular, the shwa, and different forms of "n", "sh", and "t" are not distinguished. Thus the ASCII-encoded versions are preferred for accuracy.

Not used:
  M      hm            hm-ligature    m which has become voiceless after h

Other notes on pronunciation

Ea aE as bite
oa ao as out
vrv vrv much like 'pretty' (when pronounced 'peretty') e.g. peresat

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