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- For A. E. van Vogt's novel, see The World of Null-A.
In some languages Ā is used to denote a long A. Examples are the Baltic languages, including Latvian, Samogitian, and Polynesian languages, including Māori, Pashto, some romanizations of Japanese (rōmaji), Persian, and Arabic, and some Latin texts (especially for learners). In Romanised Mandarin Chinese (pinyin) it is used to represent A spoken with a level high tone (first tone). It is used in some orthography-based transcriptions of English to represent the diphthong //, and also in commercial names such as Drāno and Powerāde.
In the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, Ā represents the open back unrounded vowel, आ, not to be confused with the similar Devanagari character for the mid central vowel, अ.
In the languages other than Sanskrit, Ā is sorted with other As and is not considered a separate letter. The macron is only considered when sorting words that are otherwise identical. For example, in Māori, tāu (meaning your) comes after tau (meaning year), but before taumata (hill).
Letter A with diacritics
Letters using macron sign ( ◌̄ )