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Ü ü

"Ü", or "ü", is a character which represents either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter U with an umlaut or a diaeresis.


Letter Ü

The letter Ü occurs in the Hungarian, Portuguese, Karelian, Klingon, Turkish, Uyghur, Estonian, Azeri, Turkmen, Crimean Tatar and Tatar Latin alphabets, where it represents a close front rounded vowel ([y]). It is a distinct letter, collated separately, and not considered a simple modification of [u] or [i]. It is distinct from "UE".

This same letter appears in the Chinese romanizations pinyin, Wade-Giles, and the German-based Lessing-Othmer, where it represents the same sound ([y]) e.g. 玉 (jade) or 雨 (rain). Pinyin uses Ü only when ambiguity could arise with similarly romanized words containing a U, whereas Wade-Giles and Lessing use Ü in all situations. As letter "ü" is missing on most keyboards and the sound "v" is not present in standard Mandarin, letter "v" is used on most computer Chinese input methods to enter the words containing "ü".

"Ü" is also used in the Uyghur Latin script, where it also represents the [y] sound.[1]


Johann Martin Schleyer proposed an alternate form for Ü in Volapük but it was rarely used.

A similar glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in the same sound as the letter Ü mentioned in the previous section: [y]. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE. In languages which have adopted German names or spellings, such as Swedish, the letter also occurs. It is however not a part of these languages' alphabets. In Swedish the letter is called tyskt y which means German y.

In other languages that do not have the letter as part of the regular alphabet or in limited character sets such as ASCII, U-umlaut is frequently replaced with the two-letter combination "ue". Software for optical character recognition sees it sometimes falsely as ii.


Several languages use diaeresis over the letter U to show that the letter is pronounced in its regular way, without dropping out, building diphthongs with neighbours etc.

For example, Brazilian Portuguese combinations "gue" and "gui" are pronounced [ge], [gi] (the silent: aigües, pingüins, qüestió, adeqüi. In Spanish it is used to distinguish between "gue"/"güe" and "gui"/"güi": antigüedad (antiquity), pingüino (penguin). In French, the diaeresis appears over the "u" only very rarely in some uncommon words, capharnaüm [-aɔm] ('shambles') Capernaüm [-aɔm] or Emmaüs [-ays]. After the 1990 spelling reforms, it is applied to a few more words, like aigüe (formerly aiguë), ambigüe (formerly ambiguë) and argüer [arg(ɥ)e] (formerly without accent).

Usage in phonetic alphabets

In the Rheinische Dokumenta, a phonetic alphabet for many West Central German, the Low Rhenish, and few related vernacular languages, "ü" represents a range from a close front rounded vowelIPA notation: [ y ] ) to a near-close near-front rounded vowel ( IPA notation: [ ʏ ] ).


Historically the unique letter Ü and U-diaeresis were written as a U with two dots above the letter. U-umlaut was written as a U with a small e written above: this minute e degenerated to two vertical bars in medieval handwritings. In most later handwritings these bars in turn nearly became dots.

In modern typography there was insufficient space on typewriters and later computer keyboards to allow for both a U-with-dots (also representing Ü) and a U-with-bars. Since they looked near-identical the two glyphs were combined, which was also done in computer character encodings such as ISO 8859-1. As a result there was no way to differentiate between the three different characters. While Unicode theoretically provides a solution, this is almost never used.

In Microsoft Windows, one can hold alt while pressing 0220 or 154 on the numeric keypad (when Num Lock is on) as a shortcut to Ü and hold alt while pressing 0252 or 129 as a shortcut to ü.

Some local keyboard layouts, especially German and Swiss German layouts, feature a separate key for the letter 'Ü'. On Swiss French layout the 'Ü' can be entered by typing 'É' while holding down the shift key. On US International layout Windows users can access the acute accent letter 'Ü' by holding down the "AltGR" key whilst typing the 'Y' key on the keyboard.

In Mac OS, one can hold option (alt) while pressing u to obtain the dots and then u again (or any other desired vowel that shall receive the dots) to place it under the dots.

The Unicode code point for ü is U+00FC. (252) Ü is U+00DC. (220)

The HTML entity for Ü is Ü. For ü, it is ü (Mnemonic for "U umlaut").

See also


  1. ^ Duval, Jean Rahman; Janbaz, Waris Abdukerim (2006). An introduction to Latin script-Uyghur. Middle East & Central Asia Politics, Economics, and Society Conference.  
The Basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter U with diacritics
Letters using umlaut or diaeresis sign

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

U (lowercase u) is the twenty-first (number 21) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for U

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