Alphabet Abc

I noticed when Greeks type in Greek with the Roman Alphabet (abc's) they sometimes type 8 as a letter. Why?

What is 8 in the greek language?
If you don't understand:
When people type in the language greek, but using the western alphabet (what you're reading now) instead of the greek alphabet.
Why do they sometimes put 8 as a letter?
Also, what sound does it make?
(And if you can actually type the letter, that'd be awesome!)

The 8 stands for this letter: Θ, θ (capitalized and lowercase).

This letter, theta, can also be written as "th" when you have to write Greek with the Roman alphabet. The sound it makes is not the same as the how a native English speaker would pronounce "th" though, which is why the number 8 is sometimes used instead. It helps to distinguish between the two. People writing in Greeklish (this is the simplest way to call writing Greek with Roman letters) will also use the letter 8 because it looks somewhat similar to a Θ. It helps to preserve the integrity of the Greek language by making the Greeklish look as similar as possible to the Greek.

As for the sound, go here: http://www.foundalis.com/lan/grkalpha.htm
scroll down and you can hear the sound for yourself. It is a slight difference from "th," but that change makes all the difference.

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