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The letter is the indefinite article of Afrikaans, and is pronounced the same as the English indefinite article a, or perhaps the i in "sit". The symbol itself came about as a contraction of een meaning "one" (just as English an comes from Anglo-Saxon ān, also meaning "one").
- Dit is ŉ boom.
- [dət əs ə buəm]
- This is a tree.
When ŉ comes before a vowel, it may be pronounced the same as English an. This pronunciation is not common at all and may be limited to older speakers - in general, the pronunciation mentioned above is used in all cases.
- Dit is ŉ appel.
- [dət əs n ɑpəl] (also [ɦn])
- This is an apple.
In Afrikaans, ŉ is never capitalised in standard texts. Instead, the first letter of the following word is capitalised.
- ŉ Mens is hier.
- A man is here.
An exception to this rule is in newspaper headlines, or sentences and phrases where all the letters are capitalised.
- ’N NASIONALE NOODTOESTAND
- A NATIONAL EMERGENCY SITUATION
On standard non South African keyboards in Windows, ŉ can be obtained by keeping the Alt key down and pressing the digits 0329. The upper case, or majuscule form has never been included in any international keyboards Therefore, it is decomposable by simply combining ʼ (U+02BC) and N. 〔ʼN〕
It is also a legacy compatibility character for the ISO/IEC 6937.
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