Ü in Chinese

Yes, we do have letter "Ü" in Chinese Pinyin. It pronounces exactly the same as Ü in German, and has only this pronunciations in any combinations.

There is one interesting difference though. "Ü" in Pinyin can sometimes be written as "U", the 21st letter in English alphabet. When written as "U", it still pronounces as Ü. This causes some confusion to read Chinese names in English form.

The rule is simple (at least for Chinese people). When "U" in a combination is not pronounceable, it pronounces as "Ü". For example, the "u" in "Yu" pronounces as "ü", same for "Xu", and "Jue". If you found a Chinese name containing "u" and hard pronounceable, just try "ü".

In documentation, usually we use the letter "v" to replace "ü", since there is no letter "v" in Pinyin. For example, "Lü" is written as "Lv". This is a quick and simple solution for standard US keyboard. Since May 15 2012, China gov starts to use "yu" to present "ü" in the new version of Chinese passport. So "Lü" is written as "Lyu" now.


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