Is the 4th letter a valid russian character?

enter image description here

When I copy the above word it is automatically converted to "сведения".

  • 9
    Yes, it's valid. And the conversion is also correct.
    – Dmitry
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:35
  • But how can i display the text in 1st format. when it is automatically converted to the 2nd one Nov 14, 2016 at 13:37
  • Display where? I'm afraid this is a question, not related to the russian language. And there is no 1st format and the 2nd format, there is the only format. I believe that used char depends on the font.
    – Dmitry
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:41
  • 4
    – Quassnoi
    Nov 15, 2016 at 11:35
  • 1
    FYI, the word on @Quassnoi 's image is "лишишься"
    – Vitaly
    Nov 15, 2016 at 14:03

3 Answers 3


The character "д" is the lowercase italic version of "Д", which both derive from the greek letter Delta (compare with "Δ", "δ"). In most fonts the straight lowercase letter is written as "д", while "д" is used in italic type. In some fonts (typically monospace console fonts or fonts designed for headings: Tahoma, Lucida Console, Franklin, Arial Bold, Century, Courier New) "д" is used in both straight and italic types. Capital letters are always written as "Д", even in italic type: "Д".

Wikipedia has a list of Cyrillic glypths which are substantially different when italized: enter image description here

To make things even more confusing, there is Russian cursive, or handwriting, which has different glyphs. In cursive, "д" will become similar to the Latin letter "g". In the picture below, it's the first letter on the last line:

enter image description here

  • 4
    That's pretty barmy! Mind you, us Westerners are just as guilty at least when it comes to uppercase/lowercase differences, so... Nov 14, 2016 at 21:50
  • 2
    russian is a strange but interesting language to learn Nov 15, 2016 at 5:07
  • 4
    It's worth noting that although the g-looking d is the canonical form in handwriting, in everyday life people use the d-looking form just as they use a t-looking form for t although the canonical form looks like an m. And while everyone is supposed to write clearly enough to distinguish a ш from a т without lines under/over the char, few do.
    – MMacD
    Nov 15, 2016 at 12:44
  • 3
    @corsiKa True, but the problem is actually not with 'm' (which was Russian 'T' all along), but with its uppercase version which got replaced by 'T' Nov 15, 2016 at 16:07
  • 2
    @MMacD "in everyday life people use the d-looking form" - maybe some do, I have never seen it.
    – Anixx
    Nov 16, 2016 at 15:58

It is a valid letter "д", the fifth letter of the alphabet. The glyph in the example is produced with a cursive/italic font. The other one is a glyph from a regular straight font.

  • So you are saying that this difference is due to italic/straight font Nov 14, 2016 at 14:32
  • 7
    @SwayamRaina Yes, that's all it is, and there are two more lowercase letters with significantly different italic shapes: г г, т т. Nov 14, 2016 at 14:35
  • 1
    Remark: cursive "д" is different yet. Nov 14, 2016 at 17:49
  • 2
    For those not so familiar with cyrillic that's pretty bizarre to use different shape for italic font... Anyone know why is that? Perhaps for historic reasons? Readability?... Well, found the answer
    – PeterM
    Nov 15, 2016 at 9:28
  • 1
    @DmitryGrigoryev Well, I was meant that italic is just font style, while upper/lower case letter is a bit different letter - with some meaning, like denoting sentence start. In latin, letter case is distinguished in handwriting, while italics not necessarily.
    – PeterM
    Nov 16, 2016 at 6:04

Every language has its quirkiness. With Russian,this is evident when one starts typing texts on a PC - and then formatting parts of it. Hence, the сведения seems to differ from "сведения". But, this is solely due the use of italics.

This can be easily verified by copying "сведения" twice without a particular format, then mark one of these Russian words; changing its format to italics results in the text as you previously presented this word.

In my experience, attempting to find a font that shows no visible change when italicised is simply too time-consuming. Once one is aware of these Russian text quirks, one can concentrate on Russian cases and declensions!

  • attempting to find a font that shows no visible change when italicised is simply too time-consuming - on Windows, try Tahoma, Lucida Console, MS Sans Serif, Franklin, Arial Bold, Century, Courier New, Comic Sans, plus lots of Adobe fonts. You will be more limited on Linux, with (AFAIK) only some Liberation fonts preserving "д" in italics. Nov 15, 2016 at 9:22
  • The edit needs to be rolled back, because currently this answer makes no sense at all. It may have something to do with the way the characters are displaying in Firefox?
    – Flounderer
    Nov 15, 2016 at 22:00
  • @Flounderer oh, you are absolutely right. In Chrome it also breaks it. My fault, I just suggested a partial roll back of it.
    – fedorqui
    Nov 15, 2016 at 23:05

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