Zhe (Cyrillic)

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Cyrillic letter Zhe
Cyrillic letter Zhe - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[ʐ], [ʒ]
Name:живѣтє
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
АБВГҐДЂ
ЃЕЀЁЄЖЗ
З́ЅИЍЙІЇ
ЈКЛЉМНЊ
ОŌПРСС́Т
ЋЌУӮЎФХ
ЦЧЏШЩЪЫ
ЬЭЮЯ
Non-Slavic letters
А́А̀ӐА̄А̊А̃Ӓ
Ӓ̄ӔӘӘ́Ә̃ӚВ̌
ҒГ̑Г̣Г̌ҔӺҒ̌
ӶД̣Д̆ӖЕ̄Е̃Ё̄
Є̈ӁҖӜҘӞЗ̌
З̱З̣ԐԐ̈ӠӢИ̃
ҊӤИ́ҚӃҠҞ
ҜК̣ԚӅԮԒӍ
ӉҢԨӇҤО́О̀
О̆О̂О̃ӦӦ̄ӨӨ̄
Ө́Ө̆ӪҨԤР̌Ҏ
ҪС̣С̱Т̌Т̣ҬУ̃
ӰӰ́ӲҮҮ́ҰХ̣
Х̱Х̮Х̑ҲӼӾҺ
Һ̈ԦҴҶӴӋҸ
ҼҾЫ̆Ы̄ӸҌЭ̆
Э̄Э̇ӬӬ́Ӭ̄Ю̆Ю̈
Ю̈́Ю̄Я̆Я̄Я̈ԜӀ
Archaic letters
ҀѺ
ОУѠѼѾ
ѢѤѦ
ѪѨѬѮ
ѰѲѴѶԘ
ԀԔԖԠԢ
Ҧ
ԂԄԈԊԌ
ԎԆԞ
ԪԬГ̧Г̄

Zhe (Ж ж; italics: Ж ж) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

It commonly represents the voiced retroflex sibilant /ʐ/ (listen). It is also often used with D (Д) to approximate the sound of the Latin letter J with a ДЖ combo.

Zhe is romanized as ⟨zh⟩ or ⟨ž⟩.

History[edit]

It is not known how the character for Zhe was derived. No similar letter exists in Greek, Latin or any other alphabet of the time, though there is some graphic similarity with its Glagolitic counterpart Zhivete ⟨Ⰶ⟩ (Image: Glagolitic capital letter Zhivete.svg) which represents the same sound. However, the origin of Zhivete, like that of most Glagolitic letters, is unclear. One possibility is that it was formed from two connecting Hebrew letters Shin ⟨ש⟩, the bottom one inverted.[citation needed]

It may be a ligature, formed from combining two "K" letters (one backward form) sharing a common stem.[citation needed]

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet the name of Zhe was живѣтє (živěte), meaning "live" (imperative).

Zhe was not used in the Cyrillic numeral system.

Usage[edit]

Zhe is used in the alphabets of all Slavic languages using a Cyrillic alphabet, and of most non-Slavic languages which use a Cyrillic alphabet. The position in the alphabet and the sound represented by the letter vary from language to language.

Language Position in
alphabet
Represented sound Romanization
Belarusian 8th voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/ ž
Bulgarian 7th voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ ž
Macedonian 8th voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ ž
Russian 8th voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/ ž
Serbian 8th voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/ ž
Ukrainian 9th voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ ž
Uzbek (1940–1994) 8th voiced postalveolar affricate /dʒ/ or voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ (in Russian loanwords only) j
Mongolian 8th voiceless postalveolar affricate /tʃ/ j
Kyrgyz 8th voiced postalveolar affricate /dʒ/ j
Dungan 8th voiced retroflex fricative /ʐ/ r
other non-Slavic languages voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/

Zhe can also be used in Leet speak or faux Cyrillic in place of the letter ⟨x⟩, or to represent the symbol of the rap duo Kris Kross (a ligature of two back-to-back letter K's).

Transliteration[edit]

Ж is most often transliterated as the digraph ⟨zh⟩ for English-language readers (as in Doctor Zhivago, Доктор Живаго, or Georgy Zhukov, Георгий Жуков). In linguistics and for Central European readers, it is most often transliterated as ⟨ž⟩, with a háček. The scientific transliteration convention comes from Czech spelling and is also used in the Latin alphabets of several other Slavic languages (Slovak, Sorbian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene). Thus, Leonid Brezhnev's surname (Леонид Брежнев) could be transliterated as "Brežnev", as it is spelled in a number of Slavic languages. Polish uses its own convention for transliteration of Cyrillic according to which ж is transliterated with the Polish letter ż (which is pronounced /ʐ/ in Polish). Ж is often transliterated ⟨j⟩ in Mongolian because of its pronunciation as IPA: [t͡ʃ].

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character information
Preview Ж ж
Unicode name CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER ZHE CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER ZHE
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1046 U+0416 1078 U+0436
UTF-8 208 150 D0 96 208 182 D0 B6
Numeric character reference Ж Ж ж ж
Named character reference Ж ж
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 246 F6 214 D6
Code page 855 234 EA 233 E9
Code page 866 134 86 166 A6
Windows-1251 198 C6 230 E6
ISO-8859-5 182 B6 214 D6
Macintosh Cyrillic 134 86 230 E6

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of Ж at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ж at Wiktionary