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Ř in upper- and lowercase

The grapheme Ř, ř (R with háček, example of Czech pronunciation: About this sound"řeka" ) is a letter used in alphabets of the Czech and Upper Sorbian languages. It was also used in a proposed orthography for the Silesian language. A similar consonant can also be found in some Norwegian dialects (around Narvik) and in Berber (especially in its Rif variety).

The Unicode glyphs are U+0158 Ř and U+0159 ř . Either can also be represented using the combining character U+030C  ̌  COMBINING CARON.

History of Ř in Czech[edit]

In Czech, the phoneme ř originated in Old Czech in the 13th century. The oldest written documents from which it can be inferred date to 1237[1]. Three theories exist explaining the origin of the phoneme. First, it could have arisen from the consonant r preceding the vowels e, í, i. The second theory posits that ř evolved from the phoneme r followed by the Proto-Slavic vowel yer (ь). Finally, it is possible that the phoneme evolved from the Proto-Slavic combination of r and the nasal ę, or from the cluster rj. For example, r’epa > řepa, r’ěka > řěka > řeka, tr’i > tři, zvěr’ь > zvěr’ > zvěř, kur’ę > kur’ě > kuřě > kuře, morje > mor’e > moře[2].


In Czech it is used to denote [r̝], a raised alveolar non-sonorant trill. Its manner of articulation is similar to other alveolar trills but the tongue is raised; it is partially fricative. It is usually voiced, [r̝], but it also has a voiceless allophone [r̝̊] occurring in the vicinity of voiceless consonants or at the end of a word.

In Upper Sorbian, it denotes the voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ].

In Rif-Berber, it is used for a sound between /l/ and /r/.

Tongue twister[edit]

Czech: “Třista třicet tři stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes třista třicet tři stříbrných střech.”

Phonetically: [ˈtr̝̊ɪsta ˈtr̝̊ɪt͡sɛt ˈtr̝̊ɪ ˈstr̝̊iːbr̩niːx ˈstr̝̊iːkat͡ʃɛk ˈstr̝̊iːkalo pr̝̊ɛs ˈtr̝̊ɪsta ˈtr̝̊ɪt͡sɛt ˈtr̝̊ɪ ˈstr̝̊iːbr̩niːx ˈstr̝̊ɛx].

English: “333 silver fire hoses squirted over 333 silver roofs”.

Computing code[edit]

Character Ř ř
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 344 U+0158 345 U+0159
UTF-8 197 152 C5 98 197 153 C5 99
Numeric character reference Ř Ř ř ř

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Čornejová, M. Ke grafice bohemik X.–XII. století. SPFFBU Linguistica Brunensia A 53, 2005, 137–145.
  2. ^ http://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/?id=148