From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ü ü

Ü (lowercase ü), is a character that typically represents a close front rounded vowel [y]. It is classified as a separate letter in several extended Latin alphabets (including Azeri, Estonian, German, Hungarian and Turkish), but as the letter U with an umlaut/diaeresis in others such as Catalan, Galician, Occitan and Spanish. Although not a part of their alphabet, it also appears in languages such as Finnish and Swedish when retained in foreign names and words such as München ("Munich") and Finnish and Swedish spells [y] in domestic words solely as Y. A small number of Dutch and Afrikaans words also use this as a diaeresis.


A glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in [yː] when long and [ʏ] when short. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE. In languages that 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 sometimes sees it falsely as ii.

Letter Ü[edit]

The letter Ü is present in the German, Hungarian, French, Turkish, Uyghur Latin, Estonian, Azeri, Turkmen, Crimean Tatar, Kazakh Latin and Tatar Latin alphabets, where it represents a close front rounded vowel [y]. It is considered a distinct letter, collated separately, not a simple modification of U or Y, and is distinct from UE.

In the Swedish and Finnish alphabets ü is alphabetized as y.

This same letter appears in the Chinese Romanisations pinyin, Wade-Giles, and the German-based Lessing-Othmer, where it represents the same sound [y]: 綠/lü (green) or 女/nü (female). Standard Mandarin Chinese pronunciation has both the sounds [y] and [u]. Pinyin only uses "Ü" to represent [y] after the letters "L" or "N" to avoid confusion with words such as 路/lù (road) and 怒/nù (anger). Words such as 玉/yù (jade) or 句/jù (sentence) are pronounced with [y], but are not spelled with "Ü", although Wade-Giles and Lessing use "Ü" in all situations. As the letter "Ü" is missing on most keyboards and the letter "V" is not present in standard Mandarin pinyin, the letter "V" is used on most computer Chinese input methods to enter the letter "Ü". As a result, romanisation of Chinese with the letter "V" representing the Ü sound is sometimes found. However, Ü sound should be officially represented by "yu" in Pinyin when it's difficult to enter Ü. For example, the surname Lü (吕) would be written as "Lyu" in the passports.[1]


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.

In Spanish, it is used to distinguish between "gue"/"güe" [ɡe]/[ɡwe] and "gui"/"güi" [ɡi]/[ɡwi]: nicaragüense ("Nicaraguan"), pingüino ("penguin").

Similarly in Catalan, "gue~güe" are [ɡe]~[ɡwe], "gui~güi" are [ɡi]~[ɡwi], "que~qüe" are [ke]~[kwe] and "qui~qüi" are [ki]~[kwi], as in aigües, pingüins, qüestió, adeqüi. Also, ü is used to mark that vowel pairs that normally would form a diphthong must be pronounced as separate syllables, examples: Raül, diürn.

In French, the diaeresis appears over the "u" only very rarely, in some uncommon words, capharnaüm [-aɔm] ('shambles'), Capharnaüm/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 [aʁɡɥe] (formerly without the diaeresis).

Usage in phonetic alphabets[edit]

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 [y] to [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 (Uͤ uͤ): 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,[how?] this is almost never used.

Computing codes[edit]

Character information
Preview Ü ü
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 220 U+00DC 252 U+00FC
UTF-8 195 156 C3 9C 195 188 C3 BC
Numeric character reference Ü Ü ü ü
Named character reference Ü ü
EBCDIC family 252 FC 220 DC
ISO 8859-1/2/3/4/9/10/14/15/16 220 DC 252 FC
CP437 154 9A 129 81
Code page 10029 134 86 159 9F


The methods available for entering ⟨Ü⟩ and ⟨ü⟩ from the keyboard depend on the operating system, the keyboard layout, and the application.

  • Microsoft Windows – some keyboard layouts feature separate keys for ⟨Ü⟩
    • Using the Swiss French keyboard, ⟨ü⟩ can be entered by typing ⇧ Shift+È
    • Using the US International layout, ⟨ü⟩ can be entered by typing AltGR+Y
  • Microsoft Windows: with the Number Lock on, hold down the Alt key while typing on the numeric keypad the decimal value of the code point from the active DOS/OEM code page without a leading zero, then release the Alt key; i.e. Alt+1+5+4 for ⟨Ü⟩ and Alt+1+2+9 for ⟨ü⟩
  • Microsoft Windows: with the Number Lock on, hold down the Alt key while typing on the numeric keypad the decimal value of the code point from the active ANSI code page with a leading zero, then release the Alt key; i.e. Alt+0+2+2+0 for ⟨Ü⟩ and Alt+0+2+5+2 for ⟨ü⟩
  • Microsoft Word for Windows: type Ctrl+: followed by ⇧ Shift+U for ⟨Ü⟩ or Ctrl+: then U for ⟨ü⟩
  • macOS with an English keyboard layout (Australian, British, or U.S.): type ⌥ Option+U followed by ⇧ Shift+U for ⟨Ü⟩ or ⌥ Option+U and then U for ⟨ü⟩ or by keeping the U key pressed and then typing 2
  • In Linux-based operating systems, this symbol may be typed by pressing the Compose key followed by u, ".
  • In GTK-based GUI-Applications, Ctrl+⇧ Shift+U followed by the Hex-Code

See also[edit]