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Ç ç
(See below)
Writing cursive forms of Ç
Writing systemLatin script
TypeAlphabetic and Logographic
Language of originOld Spanish language
Phonetic usage[s]
Unicode codepointU+00C7, U+00E7
Time period~900 to present
SistersZz Źź Żż Žž Ƶƶ Ȥȥ Ɀɀ ʐ ʑ ᵶ ᶎ Ẑẑ Ẕẕ Ẓẓ Ⱬⱬ Ʒʒ Ζζ Зз З́з́ Ҙҙ Ӟӟ З̌з̌ Ӡӡ
Transliteration equivalentsch, c, s, ts
Variations(See below)
Other letters commonly used withc, ch, s, ts
Writing directionLeft-to-Right
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Ç or ç (C-cedilla) is a Latin script letter used in the Albanian, Azerbaijani, Manx, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish, Kazakh, and Romance alphabets. Romance languages that use this letter include Catalan, French, Portuguese, and Occitan, as a variant of the letter C with a cedilla. It is also occasionally used in Crimean Tatar and in Tajik (when written in the Latin script) to represent the /d͡ʒ/ sound. It is often retained in the spelling of loanwords from any of these languages in English, Basque, Dutch, Spanish and other languages using the Latin alphabet.

It was first used for the sound of the voiceless alveolar affricate /t͡s/ in Old Spanish and stems from the Visigothic form of the letter z (). The phoneme originated in Vulgar Latin from the palatalization of the plosives /t/ and /k/ in some conditions. Later, /t͡s/ changed into /s/ in many Romance languages and dialects. Spanish has not used the symbol since an orthographic reform in the 18th century (which replaced ç with the now-devoiced z), but it was adopted for writing other languages.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, /ç/ represents the voiceless palatal fricative.

Usage as a letter variant in various languages[edit]

Evolution from Visigoth Z to modern Ç.

In many languages, ⟨ç⟩ represents the "soft" sound /s/ where a ⟨c⟩ would normally represent the "hard" sound /k/. These include:

  • Catalan. Known as ce trencada ('broken C') in this language, where it can be used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word. Some examples of words with ⟨ç⟩ are amenaça ('menace'), torçat ('twisted'), xoriço ('chorizo'), forçut ('strong'), dolç ('sweet') and caça ('hunting'). A well-known word with this character is Barça, a common Catalan clipping of Futbol Club Barcelona.
  • French (cé cédille): français ('French'), garçon ('boy'), façade ('frontage'), grinçant ('squeaking'), leçon ('lesson'), reçu ('received' [past participle]). French does not use the character at the end of a word but it can occur at the beginning of a word (e.g., ça, 'that').[1] It is never used in French where C would denote /s/ (before e, i, y) nor before h.
  • Occitan (ce cedilha): torçut ('twisted'), çò ('this'), ça que la ('nevertheless'), braç ('arm'), brèç ('cradle'), voraç ('voracious'). It can occur at the beginning or end of words.
  • Portuguese (cê-cedilha, cê de cedilha or cê cedilhado): it is used before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩: taça ('cup'), braço ('arm'), açúcar ('sugar'). Modern Portuguese does not use the character at the beginning or at the end of a word (the nickname for Conceição is São, not Ção). According to a Portuguese grammar written in 1550, the letter ç had the sound of /dz/ around that time. Another grammar written around 1700 would say that the letter ç sounds like /s/, which shows a phonetic evolution that is still valid today.
  • Old Galician used the ç letter, however it is no longer present in the official norm for the Galician language by the Royal Galician Academy. However, the unofficial norm for the Galician language by the AGAL reclaims the ç as part of the language.
  • Old Spanish used ç to represent /t͡s/. It also represented /d͡z/ allophonically when it occurred before a voiced consonant.[citation needed]
  • Early Modern Spanish used the letter ç to represent either /θ/ or /s/ before /a/, /o/, and /u/ in much the same way as Modern Spanish uses the letter z. Middle Castilian Spanish pronounced ç as /θ/, or as /ð/ before a voiced consonant. Andalusian, Canarian, and Latin American Spanish pronounced ç as /s/, or as /z/ before a voiced consonant. A spelling reform in the 18th century eliminated ç from Spanish orthography.

In other languages, it represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ (like ⟨ch⟩ in English chalk):

  • Friulian (c cun cedilie) before ⟨a⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or at the end of a word.

In Manx, it is used in the digraph ⟨çh⟩, which also represents /t͡ʃ/, to differentiate it from normal ⟨ch⟩, which represents /x/.

In loanwords only[edit]

  • In Basque, ⟨ç⟩ (known as ze hautsia) is used in the loanword Curaçao.
  • In Dutch, it can be found in some words from French and Portuguese, such as façade, reçu, Provençaals and Curaçao.
  • In English, ⟨ç⟩ is used in loanwords such as façade and limaçon (although the cedilla mark is often dropped: ⟨facade⟩, ⟨limacon⟩).

As a separate letter in various languages[edit]

It represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate /t͡ʃ/ in the following languages:

In the 2020 version of the Latin Kazakh Alphabet, the letter represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate //, which is similar to /t͡ʃ/.

It previously represented a voiceless palatal click /ǂ/ in Juǀʼhoansi and Naro, though the former has replaced it with ⟨ǂ⟩ and the latter with ⟨tc⟩.

The similarly shaped letter the (Ҫ ҫ) is used in the Cyrillic alphabets of Bashkir and Chuvash to represent /θ/ and /ɕ/, respectively.

In Tatar, ç represents /ɕ/.

It also represents the retroflex flap /ɽ/ in the Rohingya Latin alphabet.

Janalif uses this letter to represent the voiced postalveolar affricate /d͡ʒ/

Old Malay uses ç to represent // and /ɲ/.


Character information
Preview Ç ç
Encodings decimal hex dec hex dec hex dec hex
Unicode 199 U+00C7 231 U+00E7 42850 U+A762 42851 U+A763
UTF-8 195 135 C3 87 195 167 C3 A7 234 157 162 EA 9D A2 234 157 163 EA 9D A3
Numeric character reference Ç Ç ç ç Ꝣ Ꝣ ꝣ ꝣ
Named character reference Ç ç


On Albanian, Belgian, European French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swiss, Turkish and Italian keyboards, Ç is directly available as a separate key; however, on most other keyboards, including the US and British keyboard, a combination of keys must be used:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Académie Française online dictionary also gives çà and çûdra.