Ge (Cyrillic)
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Ge Cyrillic
Cyrillic letter Ghe
Cyrillic letter Ge - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[?], [?], [?]
Numeric value:3
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

Ge or Ghe (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. It is also known in some languages as He. It commonly represents the voiced velar plosive , like ⟨g⟩ in "gift".

It is generally romanized using the Latin letter G, but to romanize Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rusyn, the Latin letter H is used.


The Cyrillic letter Ghe was derived directly from the Greek letter Gamma (?) in uncial script.

In the Early Cyrillic alphabet, its name was ? (glagoli), meaning "speak".

In the Cyrillic numeral system, it had a numerical value of 3.

Usage in Slavic languages

? in:
Russian/Serbian normal font;
Bulgarian Cyrillic;
Russian/Bulgarian italic;
Serbian italic

South Slavic

In standard Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian and Macedonian the letter Ghe represents a voiced velar plosive but is devoiced to word-finally or before a voiceless consonant.


In standard Russian, Ghe represents the voiced velar plosive but is devoiced to word-finally or before a voiceless consonant. It represents // before a palatalizing vowel. In the Southern Russian dialect, the sound becomes the velar fricative . Sometimes, the sound is the glottal fricative in the regions bordering Belarus and Ukraine.

It is acceptable, for some people, to pronounce certain Russian words with (sometimes referred to as Ukrainian Ge): , ?, , ? (Bog, bogatyj, blago, Gospod'). The sound is normally considered nonstandard or dialectal in Russian and is avoided by educated Russian speakers. (Bog, "God") is always pronounced [box] in the nominative case.[1]

In the Russian nominal genitive ending -, -, Ghe represents , including in the word ? ("today", from ? ).

It represents a voiceless (not ) in front of Ka in two Russian words, namely, and , and their derivatives.

The Latin letter H of words of Latin, Greek, English or German origin is usually transliterated into Russian with Ghe rather than Kha: hero -> ??, hamburger -> ?, Haydn -> ??. That can occasionally cause ambiguity, as for example English Harry and Gary/Garry would be spelled the same in Russian, eg. ). The reasons for using Ghe to write h include the fact that Ghe is used for h in Ukrainian, Belarusian and some Russian dialects, along with the perception that Kha sounds too harsh. Nevertheless, in newer loanwords (especially from English), Kha is often used.[]

Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rusyn

In Ukrainian and Rusyn, it represents a voiced glottal fricative ,[1] a breathy voiced counterpart of the English .

In Belarusian (like in Southern Russian), the letter corresponds to the velar fricative [1] and its soft counterpart //.

In both languages, the letter is called He and transliterated with H rather than with G.

In Ukrainian, Rusyn and Belarusian, a voiced velar plosive is written with the Cyrillic letter Ghe with upturn (? ?) in Ukrainian (transliterated with G) and with the digraph in Belarusian (also ? in Tara?kievica).

Usage in non-Slavic languages

In many non-Slavic languages it can represent both /?/ and /?~?/ (the latter mostly in Turkic and some Finno-Ugric languages).

In Ossetian, an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the Caucasus, represents the voiced velar stop /?/. However, the digraph ? represents the voiced uvular fricative /?/.

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Г г
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1043 U+0413 1075 U+0433
UTF-8 208 147 D0 93 208 179 D0 B3
Numeric character reference Г Г г г
Named character reference Г г
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 231 E7 199 C7
CP 855 173 AD 172 AC
Windows-1251 195 C3 227 E3
ISO-8859-5 179 B3 211 D3
Mac Cyrillic 131 83 227 E3


  1. ^ a b c ? [Sounds in place of the letter ?]. Scholarly Dialectical Atlas (in Russian). map 14.

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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