In Latin, what is the difference of sounds made by C and Q? The almost sound the same to me. Is there something, I'm missing here

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    Any basic resource will tell you the answer to this. The letter <c> represents /k/, while <qu> represents /kʷ/ (<q> is not used on its own in Latin, except in abbreviations). The difference is the same as between kick and quick in English, do those sound the same to you as well? Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 16:08
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    What about the answers to your previous question about this isn't clear to you?
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 17:42
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    I agree with @Cairnarvon. If you engage with us in the comments, we can better help you clarify what's left unclear to you. But so far it looks like you're asking the same type of questions: why do we have C and Q, and (now) what can we do about it? The former has been answered before, and the latter is off-topic on StackExchange, since it's an opinion question.
    – cmw
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


The letter C represents IPA /k/, while the letter Q (or rather the digraph QU) represents IPA /kʷ/. As Janus said in the comments, it's like the difference between "kick" and "quick" in English.

This difference is as important in Latin as it is in English, distinguishing word pairs like cibus "food" vs quibus "to which ones".

  • 4
    And let's not forget the difference between qui, pronounced /kʷi/ and cui, pronounced /'kuj/. Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 18:26

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