Today I heard from my friend "Э оборотное". I still do not understand why he called it "оборотное". Is there a secret letter "э", which only Russian native speakers know about, which is turned the other way, or could it be written both ways? Maybe, even, there was a reversed letter "э" in old Russian? I am not sure, since the only thing I get in Google, when I type in "э оборотное", are articles about the normal letter "э".


"Э оборотное" is just other name for "э". The reason why it's called "оборотное" (sort of reversed) is that modern Russian "е" initially was written as "є" - well, more strictly among other form this one was used as well. Buy the way, this is how it is still written in Ukrainian.

  • Doesn't Ukrainian have both letters "є" and "е"?
    – OmarL
    Apr 6 at 20:18
  • @OmarL they have both, correct. What they don't have is "э".
    – shabunc
    Apr 7 at 10:34

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