Hungarian dzs

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Dzs is the eighth letter, and only trigraph, of the Hungarian alphabet. Its name is pronounced [dʒeː], and represents the sounds [d͡ʒ] and [dː͡ʒ]. It is the only trigraph that is considered a separate letter in any Latin-based alphabet.[citation needed]


In several words, it is pronounced long, e.g.

  • menedzser, bridzs, bridzsel, maharadzsa, lodzsa, rádzsa, hodzsa, dodzsem, tádzsik, Tádzsikisztán, Kudzsiri-havasok (meaning "manager, bridge [game], to play bridge, maharaja, loggia, rajah, hodja, bumper cars (dodgem), Tajik, Tajikistan, Sebeş or Şureanu Mountains", respectively)

in other ones, short, e.g.

  • tinédzser, büdzsé, Fudzsi (meaning "teenager, budget, Fuji", respectively)

It is short without exception:

  • next to another consonant: lándzsa, findzsa, nindzsa, bendzsó, bandzsa, halandzsa, halandzsázik, mandzsetta, Kilimandzsáró, Azerbajdzsán, Mandzsúria (meaning "lance (Italian: lancia), cup (Turkish: fincan), ninja, banjo, cross-eyed, gibberish, [talks] gibberish, cufflink (German: Manschette), Kilimanjaro, Azerbaijan, Manchuria", respectively)
  • and at the beginning of the word: dzsóker, dzsungel, dzsem, dzsip, dzsida, dzsihád, dzsigg, dzsigoló, dzseki, dzsentri, dzsámi, dzsembori, dzsessz, dzsinn, dzsogging, dzsömper, dzsörzé, dzsunka, dzsuva, dzsúsz, dzsumbuj, dzsúdó, dzsúdzsicu (both are short), Dzsenifer, Dzsesszika, Dzsibuti, Dzsószer, Dzsingisz, Dzsungária, Dzsaváharlál, Dzsaipur (meaning "joker, jungle, jam, Jeep, spear, Jihad, jig, gigolo, jacket, gentry, mosque (Arabic: جامع‎ jami), jamboree, jazz, djinn, jogging, jumper, jersey, junk (Asian ship), dirt, juice, disorder, judo, ju-jitsu, Jennifer, Jessica, Djibouti, Djoser, Genghis, Dzungaria, Jawaharlal, Jaipur", respectively)

It is not usually doubled even when it is pronounced long, except when a word with this sound has an assimilated suffix: bridzs + dzsel: briddzsel (with the bridge game).


Usage of this letter is similar to in Slovak or Czech. In Hungarian, even though these three characters are put together to make a different sound, they are considered one letter, and even acronyms keep the letter intact. As one can see from the examples above and below, it is almost exclusively used in foreign loanwords, to represent the voiced postalveolar affricate (j/soft g in English).


The following are Hungarian loanwords (mostly taken from English) using the trigraph dzs:

  • nindzsa = ninja
  • dzsem = jam
  • dzsip = jeep
  • bendzsó = banjo
  • dzsungel = jungle
  • dzsessz = jazz
  • lándzsa = spear

See also[edit]