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In the German-English dictionary that I have, it shows plural of nouns in suffix form. When it includes an umlaut also, it mentions it by having an umlaut over dash.

For an example from dictionary,

der Bogen (-̈) = curve or bend.

Here, -̈ shows that plural of Bogen would be Bögen.

But in my experience, umlaut doesn't cover the dash properly like in dictionaries. What should be the two proper combination of unicode characters for this? I have tried the hyphen as well as em- and en-dash with combining diaeresis (0x0308).

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@Takkat I am confused about the purpose of grapheme joiner here. The explanation all around seems confusing. I guess I should take it to a Unicode forum. But I was hoping German people would have used it. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 9 '12 at 13:17
See answer, there always is a way - we don't use this as we have all our Umlauts ready to use on our keyboards ;) –  Takkat Jul 9 '12 at 13:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This seems like a hyphen rather than a dash. There are some more hyphens beside the ASCII hyphen-minus in Unicode:

  • U+002D (hyphen-minus) + U+0308 = -̈
  • U+2010 (hyphen) + U+0308 = ‐̈
  • U+2011 (non-breaking hyphen) + U+0308 = ‑̈

On my system (and on any system with a proper implementation of OpenType), all three should work as expected. For this application, the non-breaking hyphen seems to be the most appropriate base character.

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Thanks! This is what I was looking for. I never knew those hyphens existed. I used to know the en and em dashes through the alt keystrokes only. This is a different world! –  Anurag Kalia Jul 14 '12 at 10:24

This questions seems to have been long answered but I thought I'd post one of my methods, for the reference of other people who may encounter the same problem.

In MS Word, press Ctrl+F9. A pair of bolded brackets should appear highlighted in grey: { }.

In the brackets, type in exactly the following: eq \O(-,¨).

Take note of the space between eq and the backslash. The operator is the capital letter O. For the hyphen, I prefer to use a dash or minus sign, for purely aesthetic reasons. Either of these will work. The umlaut/diaresis can be selected from the Symbols menu.

Once you are looking at {eq \O(-,¨)}, click anywhere within this string of letters and press Shift+F9. The dash-umlaut symbol should appear perfectly.

This handy operator can be used to superimpose any two characters, so you can use it to umlaut any letter or create symbols such as x-bar or p-cap (statisticians would probably find this quite useful).

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If you are typing LaTeX you can use \"{-} (you can just put any letter in between of the "{}")

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Thank you. Will keep it in mind when I use it in future. –  Anurag Kalia Jan 21 '13 at 4:16
And thanks for making this site a better place. Not very many people answer a question that has already been answered! –  Anurag Kalia Jan 22 '13 at 17:10
I just was looking for the way to type that on latex, and I found your question. It was not exactly the same question I have, but maybe this will help other people. So I give and answer. –  Freefri Jan 23 '13 at 12:00

We could use the Unicode sign for a Diaresis and combine it with attributes underline or strike for the desired effect:


Example for strike attribute

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Well I would recommend it but it looks more of a hack - though a very good one at that. It works but I was looking for a universal solution. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 14 '12 at 10:18
A dash with an Umlaut is always a hack as its not really a valid character ;) –  Takkat Jul 14 '12 at 11:24
Here I would politely disagree. I have seen dictionaries with sich a use. THis means this is a valid use. Maybe not in German, but correct nonetheless. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 16 '12 at 3:47

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