Shcha (Щ щ; italics: Щ щ), Shta or Sha with descender is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Russian, it represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative /ɕː/, similar to the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in Welsh-sheep. In Ukrainian and Rusyn, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt͡ʃ/, something like cash-chest. In Bulgarian, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt/. Other non-Slavic languages written in Cyrillic use this letter to spell the few loanwords that use it or foreign names; it is usually pronounced /ʃ/ and is often omitted when teaching those languages.
In English, Shcha is romanized as ⟨shch⟩ or ⟨šč⟩ (with háčeks) or occasionally as ⟨sch⟩, all reflecting the historical Russian pronunciation of the letter (as a combined Ш and Ч). English-speaking learners of Russian are often instructed to pronounce it in this way although it is no longer the standard pronunciation in Russian (it still is in Ukrainian and Rusyn, as above). The letter Щ in Russian and Ukrainian corresponds to ШЧ in related words in Belarusian.
The Cyrillic letter Shcha was derived from the Glagolitic letter Shta Ⱋ ().
The name in the Early Cyrillic alphabet was шта (šta) and is preserved in modern Bulgarian; it is pronounced "штъ".
This letter was also used in Komi /t͡ʃ/ (harder than ч), which is now represented by the digraph тш.
The form of the letter Shcha is the letter Cyrillic Sha (Ш ш) with a descender (cf. the Cyrillic letters De (Д д), Tse (Ц ц), Ka with descender (Қ қ), and En with descender (Ң ң).
Related letters and other similar characters
- Ш ш : Cyrillic letter Sha
- С́ с́ : Montenegrin Cyrillic letter Sje
- Ŝ ŝ : Latin letter Ŝ
- Ś ś : Latin letter Ś
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER SHCHA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER SHCHA|
|UTF-8||208 169||D0 A9||209 137||D1 89|
|Numeric character reference||Щ
|Named character reference||Щ||щ|
|KOI8-R and KOI8-U||253||FD||221||DD|
|Code page 855||250||FA||249||F9|
|Code page 866||153||99||233||E9|
- Mama ŠČ!
- Transliteration table for romanization of Russian, provides versions ⟨ŝ⟩ (note circumflex vs. caron/háček in ⟨šč⟩), ⟨shh⟩
- ^ "Cyrillic script". omniglot.com. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
- ^ Maier, Ingrid (2021). "Russian Pronunciation Rules in the Alphabetum Russarum (Stockholm, Peter van Selow)". Slovo: Journal of Slavic Languages, Literatures and Cultures. 62: 39–60.
- ^ Zhang, Xiangning; Zhang, Ruolin (July 2018). "Evolution of Ancient Alphabet to Modern Greek, Latin and Cyrillic Alphabets and Transcription between Them". Proceedings of the 2018 4th International Conference on Economics, Social Science, Arts, Education and Management Engineering. Atlantis Press: 156–162. doi:10.2991/essaeme-18.2018.30. ISBN 978-94-6252-549-8.