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W is a letter made up from two V's or U's. It was added in late Roman times to represent a [[Germanic languages|Germanic]] sound. U and J were originally not distinguished from V and I respectively.
In [[Old English]], [[Eth (letter)|eth]] ð and the [[Runic]] letters [[thorn (letter)|thorn]] þ, and [[wynn]] ƿ were added. Eth and thorn were replaced with 'th', and wynn with the new letter 'w'. In modern [[Icelandic alphabet|Icelandic]], thorn and eth are still used.
The additional letters added in German are special presentations of earlier [[Ligature (typography)|ligature]] forms (ae → ä, ue → ü or [[long s|ſ]]s → [[ess-tsett|ß]]). [[French language|French]] adds the [[circumflex]] to record [[elision|elided]] consonants that were present in earlier forms and are often still present in the modern English [[cognate]] forms (Old French ''hostel'' → French ''hôtel'' = English ''hotel'' or Late Latin ''pasta'' → Middle French ''paste'' → French ''pâte'' and English ''paste'').
 
Some Slavic languages use the Latin alphabet rather than the [[Cyrillic alphabet|Cyrillic]]. Among these, [[Polish language|Polish]] uses a variety of digraphs with z to represent special phonetic values, and a [[dark l]] - ł - for a sound similar to w. [[Czech language|Czech]] uses [[diacritic]]s as in Dvořák — the term [[hacek|háček]] (caron) originates from Czech. [[Croatian language|Croatian]] uses carons in č, š, ž, an [[acute]] in ć and a [[bar (diacritic)|bar]] in đ. The languages of [[Eastern Orthodox]] Slavs generally use Cyrillic instead which is much closer to the Greek alphabet.
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