Nh is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, a combination of N and H. Together with lh and the interpunct, it is a typical feature of Occitan, a language illustrated by medieval troubadours. It commonly represents the voiced palatal nasal [ɲ], which is the same sound as the Spanish letter Ñ.

African languages

In some African languages, such as Gogo, nh is a voiceless /n̥/.

In the pre-1985 orthography of Guinea for its languages, nh represented a velar [ŋ], which is currently written ŋ.

Asian languages

In the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization of Mandarin Chinese, initial nh- indicates an even tone on a syllable beginning in [n], which is otherwise spelled n-.


Early romanizations of Japanese, influenced by Portuguese orthography, sometimes used nh to represent a prepalatal. Today, this is usually written ny.


In Vietnamese, nh represents a palatal [ɲ] word-initially. It was formerly considered a distinct letter, but is no longer. When this digraph occurs word-finally, its phonetic value varies between dialects:

The Vietnamese alphabet inherited this digraph from the Portuguese orthography.

Australian languages

In the transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages, nh represents a dental []. Due to allophony, it may also represent a palatal [ɲ].

American languages

In Purépecha and Pipil, it is a velar nasal, [ŋ].

In the Cuoq Orthography in Algonquin, and in the Fiero Orthography in Ojibwe and Odaawaa, it indicates the vowel preceding it is nasalized. While in the Cuoq orthograph it is ⟨nh⟩ in all positions, in the Fiero orthography it is a final form; its non-final form is written as ⟨ny⟩.

European languages


In Occitan, nh represents a palatal [ɲ].

For n·h, see Interpunct § Occitan.


In Portuguese, nh represents a palatal [ɲ]. Due to allophony, it may represent the nasal palatal approximant [ȷ̃] in most Brazilian, Santomean and Angolan dialects. It is not considered a distinct letter. Portuguese borrowed this digraph from Occitan.[1]


In Galician, there are two diverging norms which give nh differing values.

In neither norm is nh considered a distinct letter.[citation needed]


In Welsh, nh is a voiceless alveolar nasal, /n̥/ (a t under the nasal mutation).

See also


  1. ^ Jean-Pierre JUGE (2001) Petit précis - Chronologie occitane - Histoire & civilisation, p. 25