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Shcha (Щ щ; italics: Щ щ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Russian, it represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative /ɕ(ː)/, similar to the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in sheep (but longer). In Ukrainian and Rusyn, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt͡ʃ/. In Bulgarian, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt/. In Kurdish, it represents the consonant /d͡ʒ/. 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 hačeks) (occasionally ⟨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, despite the fact this is not the standard modern pronunciation in Russian (but it 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 ().
This letter was also used in Komi language for the consonant /t͡ʃ/ (harder than ч), currently represented by digraph тш.
Related letters and other similar characters
|Unicode name||CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER SHCHA||CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER SHCHA|
|UTF-8||208 169||D0 A9||209 137||D1 89|
|Numeric character reference||Щ||Щ||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|