Ă

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A with breve.svg

Ă (upper case) or ă (lower case), usually referred to in English as A-breve, is a letter used in standard Romanian language and Vietnamese language orthographies. In Romanian, it is used to represent the mid-central unrounded vowel, while in Vietnamese it represents the short a sound. It is the second letter of both the Romanian, Vietnamese, and the pre-1972 Malaysian alphabets, after A.

Ă/ă is also used in the transliteration of Bulgarian letter Ъ/ъ.

Romanian[edit]

The sound represented in Romanian by ă is a mid-central vowel /ə/, erroneously called schwa (misleadingly suggesting an unstressed lax sound). Unlike English, Catalan or French, but similar to Bulgarian and Afrikaans, it can be stressed. There are words in which it is the only vowel, such as "măr" /mər/ (apple) or "văd" /vəd/ (I see). Additionally, some words which also contain other vowels can have the stress on ă, like in the examples "cărțile" /ˈkərt͡sile/ (the books) and "odăi" /oˈdəj/ (rooms).

Vietnamese[edit]

Ă is the 2nd letter of the Vietnamese alphabet and represents /a/. Because Vietnamese is a tonal language this letter may optionally have any one of the 5 tonal symbols above or below it. See Vietnamese phonology.

  • Ằ ằ
  • Ắ ắ
  • Ẳ ẳ
  • Ẵ ẵ
  • Ặ ặ

Malay[edit]

The sound represented in pre-1972 Malaysian orthography by ă is a vowel. It only occurred in the final syllable of the root word such "mată" /matə/ (eye). The letter was replaced in 1972 with a in the Perfected Spelling System.

Pronunciation respelling for English[edit]

In some systems for Pronunciation respelling for English including American Heritage Dictionary notation, ă represents the so-called "short A" sound, /æ/.

Character mappings[edit]

Character ă Ă
Unicode name LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH BREVE LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH BREVE
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 259 U+0103 258 U+0102
UTF-8 196 131 C4 83 196 130 C4 82
Numeric character reference ă ă Ă Ă
ISO 8859-1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 259 103 258 102

See also[edit]

References[edit]