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El (Л л; italics: Л л) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.
In some typefaces the Cyrillic letter El has a grapheme which may be confused with the Cyrillic letter Pe (П п; italics: П п). Note that Pe has a straight left leg, without the hook. An alternative form of the letter El (Л л; italics: Л л) closely resembles the Greek letter lambda (Λ). This form is more common in Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian.
The Cyrillic letter El was derived from the Greek letter lambda (Λ λ).
In the Early Cyrillic alphabet its name was людиѥ (ljudije), meaning "people".
In the Cyrillic numeral system, El had a value of 30.
As used in the alphabets of various languages, El represents the following sounds:
- alveolar lateral approximant /l/, like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "lip"
- palatalized alveolar lateral approximant /lʲ/
- velarized alveolar lateral approximant /ɫ/, like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "bell" and "milk"
- voiced alveolar lateral fricative /ɮ/ and its palatalized equivalent /ɮʲ/
The /l/ phoneme in Slavic languages has two realizations: hard ([l], [ɫ], or [lˠ], exact pronunciation varies) and soft (pronounced as [lʲ]) – see palatalization for details. Serbian and Macedonian orthographies use a separate letter Љ for the soft /l/ – it looks as a ligature of El with the soft sign (Ь). In these languages, ⟨Л⟩ denotes only hard /l/. Pronunciation of hard /l/ is sometimes given as [l], but it is always more velar than [l] in French or German.
Slavic languages except Serbian and Macedonian use another orthographic convention to distinguish between hard and soft /l/, so ⟨Л⟩ can denote either variant depending on the subsequent letter.
The pronunciations shown in the table are the primary ones for each language.
Related letters and other similar characters
- Λ λ : Greek letter Lambda
- Ӆ ӆ : Cyrillic letter El with tail
- Ԓ ԓ : Cyrillic letter El with hook
- Ԯ ԯ : Cyrillic letter El with descender
- L l : Latin letter L
- Ł ł : Latin letter L with stroke
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER LAMDA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER LAMDA|
|UTF-8||208 155||D0 9B||208 187||D0 BB|
|Numeric character reference||Л||Л||л||л|
|KOI8-R and KOI8-U||236||EC||204||CC|
|Code page 855||209||D1||208||D0|
|Code page 866||139||8B||171||AB|