Dz generally represents /d͡z/ in Latin alphabets, including Hungarian, Kashubian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Slovak. However, in Dene Suline (Chipewyan) and Cantonese Pinyin it represents /t͡s/, and in Vietnamese it is a pronunciation respelling of the letter D to represent /z/.
Some Esperanto grammars, notably Plena Analiza Gramatiko de Esperanto, consider dz to be a digraph for the voiced affricate [d͡z], as in edzo "husband". The case for this is "rather weak". Most Esperantists, including Esperantist linguists (Janton, Wells), reject it.
In several words, it is pronounced long, e.g. bodza, madzag, edz, pedz. In some other ones, short, e.g. dzadzíki, dzéta, Dzerzsinszkij (usually at the beginning of words), though it is always short after another consonant (e.g. in brindza).
In several verbs ending in -dzik (approximately fifty), there is a free alternation with -zik, e.g. csókolódzik or csókolózik, lopódzik or lopózik. In other verbs, there is no variation: birkózik, mérkőzik (only with ⟨z⟩) but leledzik, nyáladzik (only with ⟨dz⟩, pronounced long). In some other verbs, there is a difference in meaning: levelez(ik) "to correspond", but leveledzik "to produce leaves".
The digraph may never be divided by hyphenation:
However, when d and z come from different morphemes, they are treated as separate letters, and must be divided by hyphenation:
In both cases od- (from) and nad- (above) are a prefix to the stems zem (earth) and zvuk (sound).
Dz is sometimes used in Vietnamese names as a pronunciation respelling of the letter D. Several common Vietnamese given names start with the letter D, including Dũng, Dụng, and Dương. Whereas D is pronounced as some sort of dental or alveolar stop in most Latin alphabets, an unadorned D in the Vietnamese alphabet represents either /z/ (Hanoian) or /j/ (Saigonese), while the letter Đ represents a voiced alveolar implosive (/ɗ/) or, according to Thompson (1959), a preglottalized voiced alveolar stop (/ʔd/). Z is not included in the Vietnamese alphabet as a letter in its own right.
Many Vietnamese cultural figures spell their family names, pen names, or stage names with Dz instead of D, emphasizing the Hanoian pronunciation. Examples include the songwriter Dzoãn Mẫn, the poet Hồ Dzếnh, and the television chef Nguyễn Dzoãn Cẩm Vân. Other examples include Bùi Dzinh and Trương Đình Dzu.
Some Overseas Vietnamese residing in English-speaking countries also replace D with Dz in their names. A male named Dũng may spell his name ǲung to avoid being called "dung" in social contexts. Examples of this usage include Vietnamese-Americans Việt Dzũng and Dzung Tran. (Occasionally, D is instead replaced by Y to emphasize the Saigonese pronunciation, as with Yung Krall.)
Dz is represented in Unicode as three separate glyphs within the Latin Extended-B block. It is one of the rare characters that has separate glyphs for each of its uppercase, title case, and lowercase forms.
|U+01F1||Ǳ||Latin Capital Letter DZ|
|U+01F2||ǲ||Latin Capital Letter D with Small Letter Z|
|U+01F3||ǳ||Latin Small Letter DZ|
Additional variants of the ǲ digraph are also encoded in Unicode.