1. ## latex oval

how do I place an "oval" around two letters ? as used to highlight the two letter endings in say, german. a big circle would interfere with the next line.

2. Do you mean something like this? $\text{Frau Frau}\kern1pt\setbox0=\hbox{en}\dimen0=\wd0 \advance\dimen0 by -1.75em\lower1.5pt\hbox
to0pt{\kern-2.5pt\Large\subset\kern\dimen0\supset \hss}\box0$
, $\text{Kind Kind}\kern1pt\setbox0=\hbox{er}\dimen0=\wd0 \advance\dimen0 by -1.75em\lower1.5pt\hbox
to0pt{\kern-2.5pt\Large\subset\kern\dimen0\supset \hss}\box0$

As far as I know, TeX is not really set up to do that sort of thing, and you have to resort to messy improvisations. I once had to construct a macro for putting a circle round a number, and even that isn't straightforward. It would produce results like $\setbox0=\hbox{3}\dimen0=\wd0 \divide\dimen0 by 2
. But at least TeX provides a circle symbol. If you want an oval then you have to be creative. I constructed those above by overlapping the set inclusion symbols $\subset$ and $\supset$. That can sometimes be stretched to cover three letters, but there is a danger of a gap appearing, as in $\text{zwei}\kern1pt\setbox0=\hbox{mal}\dimen0=\wd0 \advance\dimen0 by -1.75em\lower1.5pt\hbox