What's with the "Ü?"

What's with the "Ü?"


I have notice a few words thus far in my studies here that contain the letter "ü." I am accustomed to seeing that letter in German, but was surprised to see it pop up in some of the Spanish lessons here.

Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, but I haven't found any explanation of this "rogue" letter, or even an acknowledgment of its existence -- other than the fact that it shows up in words like paragüismo, vergüenza, and desagüe.

From listening to the words spoken in the lessons, it appears that the purpose of the letter is to change the pronuciation of the dipthong after the hard g so that both the u and i sounds are heard (vs. just hearing the letter following the ü). Is this correct?

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Thanks, Kurt

P.S. ¿Cómo se llama esta letra?

updated ENE 10, 2014
edited by kurtjohnson
posted by kurtjohnson
Thanks for the answers! - kurtjohnson, OCT 11, 2009

3 Answers


It's called La Diéresis.

updated OCT 10, 2009
posted by Goyo

It means to pronounce the letter u when you ordinarily wouldn't, as in "gue" vs "gúe": in the first case the u is silent but makes the g be pronounced as a hard g. It isn't an additional sound as it is in German.

updated OCT 10, 2009
posted by lorenzo9

Here is a fun thread on the subject that started with a question about the diacritical mark in English but soon moved to discuss its use in Spanish: naive or naïve

updated OCT 11, 2009
posted by Janice
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