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Cyrillic letter El - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[l]
Numeric value:30
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

El (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

El commonly represents the alveolar lateral approximant /l/. In Slavic languages it may be either palatalized or slightly velarized; see below.


In some typefaces the Cyrillic letter El has a grapheme which may be confused with the Cyrillic letter Pe (). Note that Pe has a straight left leg, without the hook. An alternative form of El (? ?) is more common in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian.


The Cyrillic letter El was derived from the Greek letter lambda (? ?).

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet its name was (ljudije), meaning "people".

In the Cyrillic numeral system, ? had a value of 30.


As used in the alphabets of various languages, El represents the following sounds:

The /l/ phoneme in Slavic languages has two realizations: hard ([l], , or [l?], exact pronunciation varies) and soft (pronounced as [l?]) - see palatalization for details. Serbian and Macedonian orthographies use a separate letter ? for the soft /l/ - it looks as a ligature of El with the soft sign (?). In these languages, ⟨?⟩ 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 ⟨?⟩ can denote either variant depending on the subsequent letter.

The pronunciations shown in the table are the primary ones for each language.

Language Position in
Belarusian 13th /?/, /l?/
Bulgarian 12th /l~?/, /l?/
Macedonian 14th /l/
Mongolian 13th /?/, //
Ossetian 16th /?~l/
Russian 13th /?/, /l?/
Serbian 13th /l/
Ukrainian 16th /?/, /l?/

In addition, ? was formerly used in Chukchi to represent the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /?/ but has since been replaced by ?.

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Л л
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1051 U+041B 1083 U+043B
UTF-8 208 155 D0 9B 208 187 D0 BB
Numeric character reference Л Л л л
Named character reference 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
Windows-1251 203 CB 235 EB
ISO-8859-5 187 BB 219 DB
Macintosh Cyrillic 139 8B 235 EB

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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