Schwa | examples



In Albanian, schwa is represented by the letter ⟨ë⟩, which is also one of the letters of the Albanian alphabet, coming right after the letter ⟨e⟩. It can be stressed like in words i ëmbël /i əmbəl/ and ëndërr /əndər/ ('sweet' and 'dream', respectively).


In Armenian, schwa is represented by the letter ը (capital Ը). It is occasionally word-initial but usually word-final, as a form of the definite article. Unwritten schwa sounds are also inserted to split initial consonant clusters; for example, ճնճղուկ (čnčłuk) [tʃʼəntʃʼə'ʁuk] 'sparrow'.


In the Azerbaijani alphabet, the schwa character ə is used, but to represent the æ sound.


In Catalan, schwa is represented by the letters a or e in unstressed vowels: "pare" /ˈpaɾə/ (father), "Barcelona" /bəɾsəˈlonə/. In the Balearic Islands, the sound is sometimes also in stressed vowels, "pera" /ˈpəɾə/ (pear).


In Dutch, the digraph ⟨ij⟩ in the suffix -lijk [lək], as in waarschijnlijk [ʋaːrˈsxɛinlək] ('probably') is pronounced as a schwa. If an ⟨e⟩ falls at the ultimate (or penultimate) place before a consonant in Dutch words and is unstressed, it becomes a schwa, as in the verb ending "-en" (lopen) and the diminutive suffix "-tje(s)" (tafeltje(s)).


In Romanian, schwa is represented by letter Ă, ă, and it is a letter on its own (the second in the Romanian alphabet). It can be stressed in words in which it is the only vowel such as "păr" /pər/ (hair or pear tree) or "văd" /vəd/ (I see). Some words, which also contain other vowels, can have the stress on ă: "cărțile" /ˈkərt͡sile/ (the books) and "odăi" /oˈdəj/ (rooms).


In the Indonesian variant, schwa is always unstressed except for Jakarta-influenced informal Indonesian whose schwa can be stressed. In final closed syllables in the formal register, the vowel is a (the final syllable is usually the second syllable since most Indonesian root words consist of two syllables). In some cases, the vowel a is pronounced as a stressed schwa (only when the vowel a is located between two consonants in a syllable), but never in formal speech:

  • datang (=come), pronounced [dɑːˈtʌŋ], and often written as dateng in informal writing.
  • kental (=viscous), pronounced [kənˈtʌl].
  • hitam (=black), pronounced [hiˈtʌm], written as item in informal language.
  • dalam (=deep, in), pronounced [dɑːˈlʌm], often written as dalem.
  • malam (=night), pronounced [mʌˈlʌm], written as malem in informal language.

Indonesian orthography formerly used unmarked ⟨e⟩ only for the schwa sound, and the full vowel /e/ was written ⟨é⟩. Malaysian orthography, on the other hand, formerly indicated the schwa with ⟨ĕ⟩ (called pĕpĕt), and unmarked ⟨e⟩ stood for /e/.

In the 1972 spelling reform that unified Indonesian and Malaysian spelling conventions (Ejaan yang Disempurnakan, regulated by MABBIM), it was agreed to use neither diacritic.[8] There is no longer an orthographic distinction between /ə/ and /e/; both are spelled with an unmarked ⟨e⟩. This means that the pronunciation of any given letter e in both Indonesian and Malaysian variants is not immediately obvious to the learner and must be learned separately. However, in a number of Indonesian dictionaries and lesson books for foreign learners, the notation is preserved to help learners. For example, the word for 'wheeled vehicle' in Indonesia and Malaysia, which was formerly spelled keréta in Indonesia and kĕreta in Malaysia, is now spelled kereta in both countries.

In Southern Malaysian pronunciation, which is predominant in common Malaysian media, the final letter -a represents schwa, and final -ah stands for /a/. The dialect of Kedah in northern Malaysia, however, pronounces final -a as /a/ also. In loanwords, a nonfinal short /a/ may become schwa in Malay such as Mekah (<Arabic Makkah, Malay pronunciation [ˈməkah]).


The schwa is denoted in Welsh by the letter 'y'. It is a very common letter as 'y' is the definite article with 'yr' being the definite article if the following word starts with a vowel.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Schwa
Alemannisch: Schwa
العربية: مصوت مخفى
Bikol Central: Schwa
български: Шва
brezhoneg: Schwa
català: Vocal neutra
čeština: Šva
Deutsch: Schwa
eesti: Švaa
español: Schwa
Esperanto: Ŝvao
français: Schwa
한국어: 슈와
हिन्दी: श्वा
Bahasa Indonesia: Pepet
italiano: Schwa
lumbaart: Schwa
Nederlands: Sjwa
日本語: シュワー
Napulitano: Ajùto:Schwa
norsk: Schwa
norsk nynorsk: Schwa
Piemontèis: Schwa
polski: Szwa
português: Xevá
русский: Шва
Scots: Schwa
shqip: Schwa
slovenščina: Polglasnik
Sranantongo: Schwa
suomi: Švaa
svenska: Schwa
Tagalog: Schwa
tarandíne: Schwa
українська: Шва
Võro: Svaa