Ę (minuscule: ę; Polish: e z ogonkiem, "e with a little tail"; Lithuanian: e nosinė, "nasal e") is a letter in the Polish, Lithuanian and Dalecarlian alphabets. It is used in Navajo to represent the nasal vowel [ẽ]. In Latin, Irish, and Old Norse palaeography, it is known as e caudata ("tailed e").

In Polish

In Polish, ę comes after e in the alphabet. It is never at the start of a word, except for the word ęsi. It is most commonly pronounced as /ɛw̃/, /ɛn/, /ɛm/, or /ɛ/, depending on the context.

Unlike in French, a Polish nasal vowel is "asynchronous": pronounced as an oral vowel + a nasal semivowel [ɛw̃] or a nasal vowel + a nasal semivowel. For the sake of simplicity, it is sometimes transcribed [ɛ̃].

Some examples,

  • język ("language", "tongue"), pronounced [ˈjɛw̃zɨk]
  • mięso ("meat"), [ˈmjɛw̃sɔ]
  • ciężki ("heavy", "difficult"), [ˈtɕɛw̃ʂki]

Before all stops and affricates, it is pronounced as an oral vowel + nasal consonant, with /ɛn/ before most consonants, while /ɛm/ appears before p, b, w, or f; and /ɛɲ/ appears before palatal consonants ć, ; before palatal sibilants ś and ź it is either /ɛɲ/ or (more frequently) [ɛj͂]. For example,

  • więcej ("more"), pronounced [ˈvjɛntsɛj]
  • sędzia ("judge", "referee"), [ˈsɛɲdʑa], rarely (in dialects) also [ˈsɛndʑa]
  • głęboki ("deep"), [ɡwɛmˈbɔki]
  • więzi ("bonds"), [ˈvjɛj͂ʑi], or [ˈvjɛɲʑi]

If ę is the final letter of a word or followed by either l or ł, some Poles will pronounce it simply as [ɛ]. For example, będę ("I will (be)") can be either [ˈbɛndɛ] or [ˈbɛndɛ̃], and dziękuję ("thank you") can be either [dʑɛŋˈkujɛ] or [dʑɛŋˈkujɛ̃].

In dialects of some regions, ę in final position is also pronounced as /ɛm/ so robię is occasionally pronounced as [ˈrɔbjɛm]. That nonstandard form is used by the former Polish president Lech Wałęsa. Some of his sentences are respelled to reflect the pronunciation, e.g., "Nie chcem, ale muszem" (properly written "Nie chcę, ale muszę"; "I don't want to, but I have to") has entered popular language.


Polish ę evolved from short nasal a of medieval Polish, which developed into a short nasal e in the modern language. The medieval vowel, along with its long counterpart, evolved in turn from the merged nasal *ę and *ǫ of Late Proto-Slavic:

Early Proto-Slavic *em/*en and *am/*an
Late Proto-Slavic /ẽ/ and /õ/, transcribed by ⟨ę⟩ and ⟨ǫ⟩
Medieval Polish short and long /ã/, written approximately ⟨ø⟩
Modern Polish short /ã//ɛw̃/, /ɛn/, /ɛm/, written ⟨ę⟩

long /ã//ɔw̃/, /ɔn/, /ɔm/, written ⟨ą⟩


It often alternates with ą:

  • "husband": mążmężowie ("husbands"),
    "error": błądbłędy ("errors"),
    "pigeon": gołąbgołębie ("pigeons")
  • "oak" in nominative: dąbdębem (instrumental)
  • "hands" in nominative: ręcerąk (genitive)
  • "five": pięćpiąty ("fifth")

Audio examples

  • węże  ("snakes")
  • dźwięk  ("sound")
  • mogę  ("I can, I am able to")

In Lithuanian

For some forms of the noun, ę is used at the end of the word for the accusative case, as in eglę, accusative of eglė (spruce). It is also used to change past tense verb to the participle in the past, e.g., tempė to tempęs - somebody who has pulled.

Nasal en/em forms are now pronounced [eː], as in kęsti (to suffer) - kenčia (is suffering or suffers), so the ę is no longer nasal.

In some cases, ą, ę and į (but never ė) may be used for different forms, as in tąsa (extension) - tęsia (extends) - tįsoti (to lie extended). Finally, some verbs have the letter in the middle of the word only in the present tense, e.g., gęsta ([fire, light] is going off) but not užgeso (went off).[1]

Unlike with į or ą, no Lithuanian word is known to start with ę.[2]

Computer use

Character Ę ę
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 280 U+0118 281 U+0119
UTF-8 196 152 C4 98 196 153 C4 99
Numeric character reference Ę Ę ę ę
ISO 8859-2 / ISO 8859-4 202 CA 234 EA
ISO 8859-10 221 DD 253 FD

See also


  1. ^ http://algdas.blogas.lt/1140-1140.html
  2. ^ http://rimai.dainutekstai.lt/zodziai/e
Code page 1117

Code page 1117 (also known as CP 1117,IBM 01117) is a code page used under DOS to write the Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian languages.

Code page 775

Code page 775 (also known as CP 775, IBM 00775, OEM 775, MS-DOS Baltic Rim) is a code page used under DOS to write the Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian languages. The other code page used for Baltic languages is Windows-1257.

Code page 912

Code page 912 (also known as CP 912, IBM 00912) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, and Sorbian languages. It is an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-2.

Code page 921

Code page 921 (also known as CP 921, IBM 00921) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian languages. It is an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-13.


IBM code page 870 (CCSID 870) is an EBCDIC code page with full Latin-2-charset used in IBM mainframes.

CCSID 1110 replaces byte 90 ˚ (ring above) with ° (degree sign)

CCSID 1153 is the Euro currency update of code page/CCSID 870. Byte 9F is replacing ¤ with € in that code page.

ISO/IEC 8859

ISO/IEC 8859 is a joint ISO and IEC series of standards for 8-bit character encodings. The series of standards consists of numbered parts, such as ISO/IEC 8859-1, ISO/IEC 8859-2, etc. There are 15 parts, excluding the abandoned ISO/IEC 8859-12. The ISO working group maintaining this series of standards has been disbanded.

ISO/IEC 8859 parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 were originally Ecma International standard ECMA-94.

Iotated A

Iotated A (Ꙗ, ꙗ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script, used today only in Church Slavonic. It is unusual among early Cyrillic letters in having no direct counterpart in Glagolitic: Ⱑ (jat’) is used for both /ě/ and /ja/. Accordingly, many early Cyrillic texts (particularly those with Glagolitic antecedents) may use Ѣ for both these purposes; this practice continues into the fourteenth century, but is much more common in the South Slavonic than the East Slavonic area. Nevertheless, Ꙗ is attested in the earliest extant Cyrillic writings, including for example the Codex Suprasliensis and Savvina Kniga.

It continued in use in Serbian until the orthographical reforms of Vuk Karadžić, and in Bulgarian (where it also acquired a civil script glyph variant) until the late nineteenth century. Among the Eastern Slavs, the denasalisation of [ę], probably to [æ], and the subsequent coalescence of this sound with the /a/ phoneme meant that the letter Ѧ acquired the same function as Ꙗ, and the two came to be regarded as variants of the same letter. This is still the case in modern Church Slavonic, where, broadly speaking, Ꙗ is used initially and Ѧ elsewhere, though exceptionally they may be used to make other distinctions, such as that between ѧ҆зы́къ 'tongue' and ꙗ҆зы́къ 'people'.

Lithuanian Braille

Lithuanian Braille is the braille alphabet of the Lithuanian language.

Lithuanian orthography

Lithuanian orthography employs a Latin alphabet of 32 letters, two of which denote sounds not native to the Lithuanian language. Additionally, it uses five digraphs.

Middle Polish language

Middle Polish (Polish: język średniopolski) is the period in the history of the Polish language between the 16th and 18th centuries. It evolved from Old Polish, and gave rise to the Modern Polish.In 16th century, Polish poet Jan Kochanowski proposed a set of orthographic rules and an alphabet of 48 letters and digraphs:

a á à ą b b́ c ć ç d θ θ´ θ˙ é è ę f g h ch i k l ł m ḿ n ń o ó p ṕ q r ŗ ſ σ ß t v w ẃ x y z ź ƶ.

Letters ç, θ, θ´, θ˙, ŗ, σ, ß corresponded to Modern Polish cz, dz, dź, dż, rz, ś, sz, respectively.


The ogonek (Polish: [ɔˈɡɔnɛk], "little tail", the diminutive of ogon; Lithuanian: nosinė, "nasal") is a diacritic hook placed under the lower right corner of a vowel in the Latin alphabet used in several European languages, and directly under a vowel in several Native American languages. It is also placed on the lower right corner of consonants in some Latin transcriptions of various indigenous languages of the Caucasus mountains.An ogonek can also be attached to the top of a vowel in Old Norse-Icelandic to show length or vowel affection. For example, in Old Norse, ǫ represents the Old Norwegian vowel [ɔ], that in Old Icelandic merges with ø ‹ö›.

Polish Braille

Polish Braille (alfabet Braille'a) is a braille alphabet for writing the Polish language. It is based on international braille conventions, with the following extensions:

That is, for letters of the first and second decade of the braille script (a, c, e, l, n, s), a diacritic is written as dot 6, and any dot 3 is removed (or, equivalently, is moved to position 6)—that is, the base letter is moved to the fourth decade. For letters of the third decade (u, y, z), which already have a dot 6, the derivation is a mirror image. Ó is derived from u, which is how it is pronounced (also, the mirror image of o is already taken). Several of these conventions are used in Lithuanian Braille.

Polish alphabet

The Polish alphabet is the script of the Polish language, the basis for the Polish system of orthography. It is based on the Latin alphabet but includes certain letters with diacritics: the kreska or acute accent (ć, ń, ó, ś, ź); the overdot or kropka (ż); the tail or ogonek (ą, ę); and the stroke (ł). The letters q, v and x, which are used only in foreign words, are frequently not considered part of the Polish alphabet. However, prior to the standardization of the Polish language, the letter "x" was sometimes used in place of "ks".Modified variations of the Polish alphabet are used for writing Silesian and Kashubian, whereas the Sorbian languages use a mixture of the Polish and Czech orthographies.

Polish language

Polish (język polski [jɛ̃zɨk ˈpɔlskʲi] (listen), polszczyzna, or simply polski) is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Polish is written with the standard Polish alphabet, which has 9 additions to the letters of the basic Latin script (ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż). Polish is closely related to Czech and Slovak. The language currently has the largest number of speakers of the West Slavic group and is also the second most widely spoken Slavic language.Historically, Polish was known to be lingua franca, important both diplomatically and academically in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, Polish is spoken by over 38.5 million people as their first language in Poland. It is also spoken as a second language in northern Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, western parts of Belarus and Ukraine, and central-western Lithuania. Because of the emigration from Poland during different time periods, most notably after World War II, millions of Polish speakers can be found in countries such as Israel, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States and New Zealand.

Polish orthography

Polish orthography is the system of writing the Polish language. The language is written using the Polish alphabet, which derives from the Latin alphabet, but includes some additional letters with diacritics. The orthography is mostly phonetic, or rather phonemic – the written letters (or combinations of them) correspond in a consistent manner to the sounds, or rather the phonemes, of spoken Polish. For detailed information about the system of phonemes, see Polish phonology.

Ya (Cyrillic)

Ya (Я я; italics: Я я) is a letter of the Cyrillic script, the civil script variant of Old Cyrillic Little Yus (Ѧ ѧ). Among modern Slavonic languages, it is used in East Slavic and Bulgarian languages. It is also used in the Cyrillic alphabets used by Mongolian and many Uralic, Caucasian and Turkic languages of the former Soviet Union.


Little yus (Ѧ ѧ) and big yus (Ѫ ѫ), or jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form (Ѩ ѩ, Ѭ ѭ), formed as ligatures with the decimal i (І). Other yus letters are blended yus (Ꙛ ꙛ), closed little yus (Ꙙ ꙙ) and iotified closed little yus (Ꙝ ꙝ).

Phonetically, little yus represents a nasalized front vowel, possibly [ɛ̃], while big yus represents a nasalized back vowel, such as IPA [ɔ̃]. This is also suggested by the appearance of each as a 'stacked' digraph of 'Am' and 'om' respectively.

The names of the letters do not imply capitalization, as both little and big yus exist in majuscule and minuscule variants.


Ą (minuscule: ą) is a letter in the Polish, Kashubian, Lithuanian, Creek, Navajo, Western Apache, Chiricahua, Osage, Hocąk, Mescalero, Gwich'in, Tutchone, and Elfdalian alphabets. It is formed from the letter a and an ogonek and usually, except for modern Lithuanian and Polish, denotes a nasal a sound.

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