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Not to be confused with Cyrillic Yo (Ё).

Ë, ë (e-diaeresis) is a letter in the Albanian, Kashubian and Ladin alphabets. This letter also appears in Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Abruzzese dialect (especially its version Ascolano) and Luxembourgish as a variant of letter e. The letter is used in Seneca, in Taiwanese Hokkien, in Turoyo and in Uyghur when written in Latin script.

Usage in various languages[edit]


In Afrikaans, the trema (Afrikaans: deelteken) is mostly used to indicate that the vowel should not be diphthongised, for example geër ("giver") is pronounced [χeər], whilst geer (a wedge-shaped piece of fabric) is pronounced [χiːr]. There are some cases where the deelteken does nothing to the pronunciation, like in reën ("rain"), which is pronounced [reən], but reen (no meaning) would be pronounced the same. The only reason for the deelteken in this case is for traditional reasons, because the archaic form of reën is regen and the deelteken just indicates that the g was removed. Some older people do pronounce reën in two syllables ([ˈreː.ən]).

The deelteken does exactly what it says (deelteken being Afrikaans for "separation mark"). It separates syllables, as it indicates the start of a new one. An example of this is the word voël ("bird"). It gets pronounced in two syllables. Without it the word becomes voel ("feel"), pronounced in one syllable.


Ë is the 8th letter of the Albanian alphabet and represents the vowel /ə/. It is the most commonly used letter of the language comprising 10 percent of all writings.


Ë is a phonetic symbol also used in the transcription of Abruzzese dialects, especially in its northern variant in the Province of Ascoli Piceno and it's called "mute E": sounds like an é but just hummed. It's important for the prosody of the dialect itself.


Use of the character Ë in the English language is relatively rare. Some publications, such as the American magazine The New Yorker, use it more often than others.[1] It is used to indicate that the e is to be pronounced: separately from the preceding vowel (e.g. in the word "reëntry", the girl's name "Chloë" or in the boy's name "Raphaël"), or at all - like in the name of the Brontë sisters, where without diaeresis the final e would be mute.

French and Dutch[edit]

Ë appears in words like French Noël and Dutch koloniën. This so-called trema is used to indicate that the vowel should not be diphthonged. For example, Noël is pronounced [nɔɛl], whilst Noel would be pronounced [nœl]. Likewise, "koloniën" is pronounced [koːˈloːniən], whilst "kolonien" would be pronounced [koːˈloːnin].


Ë is the 9th letter of the Kashubian alphabet and represents /ə/.


Although not used in standard Ladin, Ë is used in some local dialects. It represents /ɜ/.


In many editions of Latin texts, the diaeresis is used to indicate that ae and oe form a hiatus, not a diphthong (in the Classical pronunciation) or a monophthong (in traditional pronunciations). Examples: aër "air", poëta "poet", coërcere "to coerce".


In Luxembourgish, ë is used for stressed schwa /ə/ like in the word ëmmer ("always"). It is also used to indicate a morphological plural ending after two ee such as in eeër ("eggs") or leeën ("lay").

Mayan languages[edit]

In the modern orthography of Mayan languages, the letter Ë represents /ə/, as in Albanian.


In some Latin transliterations of Russian, Ë is used to represent its homoglyph, representing a stressed /jo/, as in Potëmkin to render the Cyrillic Потёмкин.


In Seneca the letter Ë is used to represent /ẽ/, a close-mid front unrounded nasalized vowel.


In Tagalog, Ë is used to represent the schwa, particularly in words originating from other Philippine languages.[2]


In Latin-script Turoyo (Syriac) the letter Ë gives a schwa. In grammar, sometimes it is a replacement for the other, original vowels (a, o, e, i, u). Example words that have Ë: knoţër ("he is waiting"), krëhţi ("they are running"), krëqdo ("she is dancing"), sxërla ("she has closed"), gfolëḥ ("he will work"), madënḥo ("east"), mën ("what"), ašër ("believe").


Ë is the 6th letter of the Uyghur Latin alphabet and represents close-mid front unrounded vowel /e/.

Character mappings[edit]

Character Ë ë
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 203 U+00CB 235 U+00EB
UTF-8 195 139 C3 8B 195 171 C3 AB
Numeric character reference Ë Ë ë ë
Named character reference Ë ë
ISO 8859-1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 203 CB 235 EB

See also[edit]