Appearance of comma (upper row) and cedilla (lower row) in the Times New Roman font.

S-comma (majuscule: Ș, minuscule: ș) is a letter which is part of the Romanian alphabet, used to represent the sound /ʃ/, the voiceless postalveolar fricative (like sh in shoe).


S “half moon” proposed as a letter in the Buda Lexicon.
S cedilla, T cedilla and a cedilla illustrated with a comma in Ortografia limbei române published by the Romanian Academy in 1895.

The letter was proposed in the Buda Lexicon, a book published in 1825, which included two texts by Petru Maior, Orthographia romana sive latino-valachica una cum clavi and Dialogu pentru inceputul linbei române, introducing ș for /ʃ/ and ț for /ts/.[1]

Unicode support

This letter however was not part of the early Unicode versions, and not in the predecessors like ISO/IEC 8859-2 and Windows-1250, which is why Ş (S-cedilla) is often used in digital texts in Romanian. S-cedilla was introduced in ISO/IEC 8859-2 for computers for the sake of the Romanian language. It was less of a problem then, since the screens and printouts had less resolution and newspapers and books would use a suitable font anyway.

S-comma was introduced only in Unicode 3.0 at the request of the Romanian national standardization body. Computers with Microsoft operating systems older than Windows XP do not have compatible fonts. Windows XP does not support this letter out of the box, but it is possible to install European Union Expansion Font Update which add support for this letter. For this reason, almost all Romanian texts still use S-cedilla (or even S), despite the recommendation to migrate from cedilla to comma.

The letter is placed in Unicode in the Latin Extended-B range, under "Additions for Romanian", as the "Latin capital letter S with comma below" (U+0218) and "Latin small letter s with comma below" (U+0219).[2] In HTML these can be encoded by Ș and ș, respectively.

Use of the comma with the letter S

Diacritics in Latin & Greek
acute( ´ )
double acute( ˝ )
grave( ` )
double grave(  ̏ )
breve( ˘ )
inverted breve(  ̑ )
caron, háček( ˇ )
cedilla( ¸ )
circumflex( ˆ )
diaeresis, umlaut( ¨ )
dot( · )
hook, hook above(   ̡   ̢  ̉ )
horn(  ̛ )
iota subscript(  ͅ  )
macron( ¯ )
ogonek, nosinė( ˛ )
perispomene(  ͂  )
ring( ˚, ˳ )
rough breathing( )
smooth breathing( ᾿ )
Marks sometimes used as diacritics
apostrophe( )
bar( ◌̸ )
colon( : )
comma( , )
hyphen( ˗ )
tilde( ~ )
Diacritical marks in other scripts
Arabic diacritics
Early Cyrillic diacritics
kamora(  ҄ )
pokrytie(  ҇ )
titlo(  ҃ )
Gurmukhī diacritics
Hebrew diacritics
Indic diacritics
anusvara( )
chandrabindu( )
nukta( )
virama( )
chandrakkala( )
IPA diacritics
Japanese diacritics
dakuten( )
handakuten( )
Khmer diacritics
Syriac diacritics
Thai diacritics
Dotted circle
Punctuation marks
Logic symbols

See also


  1. Marinella Lörinczi Angioni, "Coscienza nazionale romanza e ortografia: il romeno tra alfabeto cirillico e alfabeto latino ", La Ricerca Folklorica, No. 5, La scrittura: funzioni e ideologie. (Apr., 1982), pp. 75–85.
  2. Unicode code charts. Latin Extended-B: Range 0180–024F
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