Ŭ or ŭ is a letter in the Esperanto alphabet, based on u. It is also used in the Belarusian language, when written in the 20th-century form of the Belarusian Latin alphabet. The accent mark (diacritic) is known as a breve.

This letter should not be confused with u-caron, which is used to indicate u in the third tone of Chinese language pinyin; compare Ǔ ǔ (caron) with Ŭ ŭ (breve).

Character Ŭ ŭ
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 364 U+016C 365 U+016D
UTF-8 197 172 C5 AC 197 173 C5 AD
Numeric character reference Ŭ Ŭ ŭ ŭ
ISO 8859-3 221 DD 253 FD


The letter ŭ is called non-syllabic u (romanised: u nieskładovaje) in Belarusian because it resembles the vowel u but forms no syllables. It is an allophone of /v/ that forms the diphthongs aŭ, eŭ, oŭ and is equivalent to [u̯]. Its Cyrillic counterpart is ў.[1] Sometimes (as in National Geographic atlases), the Cyrillic letter ў is Romanized as w.


Ŭ represents a semivowel in the orthography of Esperanto, which is an international auxiliary language publicly presented in 1887. As in Belarusian, Esperanto Ŭ is pronounced as a non-syllabic [], primarily in the diphthongs , and rarely .

It is thought that ŭ was created by analogy with the Belarusian letter ў (Cyrillic u with breve), which was proposed by P.A. Bessonov in 1870.[2]

Ŭ may also be used for [w] in foreign names, such as Ŭaŝingtono for "Washington", although it usually is written with v (Vaŝingtono). It is also used for [w] in onomatopoeias, as in ŭa! "waa!", and uniquely in one native lexical word, ŭo, which is the Esperanto name of the letter ŭ itself.


Ŭ was previously part of the Romanian alphabet. U with breve was used only in the ending of a word. It was essentially a Latin equivalent of the Slavonic back yer found in languages like Russian. Unpronounced in most cases, it served to indicate that the previous consonant was not palatalized, or that the preceding i was the vowel [i] and not a mere marker of palatalization. When ŭ was pronounced, it would follow a stressed vowel and stand in for semivowel u, as in words eŭ, aŭ, and meŭ, all spelled today without the breve. Once frequent, it survives today in author Mateiu Caragiale's name – originally spelled Mateiŭ (it is not specified whether the pronunciation should adopt a version that he himself probably never used, while in many editions he is still credited as Matei). In other names, only the breve was dropped, while preserving the pronunciation of a semivowel u, as is the case of B.P. Hasdeŭ.

Other uses

In some philological transcriptions of Latin, "ŭ" denotes a short U — for example, "fŭgō" ([ˈfʊɡoː], to chase away), vs "fūmō" ([ˈfuːmoː], to smoke).

The letter is also commonly used among Slavists to denote the short back closed vowel of Proto-Slavic.

The McCune–Reischauer Romanization of Korean uses "ŭ" to signify the close back unrounded vowel in 으.

It is also used in ISO 15919 to transcribe the Malayalam language's samvṛtōkāram, an epenthetic vowel.

Several schemes for pronunciation of English words have used "ŭ". For example, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language has used "ŭ" for /ʌ/, the vowel in the English word "cut".

See also


  1. ^ S. Young (2006) "Belorussian". In the Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd ed.
  2. ^ Булыка (Bulyka). У нескладовае // Энцыклапедыя літаратуры і мастацтва Беларусі. Т.4. p.377.
Belarusian Latin alphabet

The Belarusian Latin alphabet or Łacinka ([laˈt͡sinka], from Belarusian: Лацінка (BGN/PCGN: latsinka) for the Latin script in general) is the common name of the several historical alphabets to render the Belarusian (Cyrillic) text in the Latin script. It is similar to the Sorbian alphabet and incorporates features of the Polish and Czech alphabets.


A breve ( (listen), less often (listen); French: [bʁɛv] (listen); neuter form of the Latin brevis “short, brief”) is the diacritic mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. As used in Ancient Greek, it is also called vrachy, or brachy. It resembles the caron (the wedge or háček in Czech) but is rounded; the caron has a sharp tip.

Compare caron:

Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔversus breve:

Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ

Cambodian Braille

Cambodian or Khmer Braille is the braille alphabet of the Khmer language of Cambodia.

Code page 853

Code page 853 (also known as CP 853 or IBM 00853) is a code page used under DOS to write Turkish, Maltese, and Esperanto. It includes all characters from ISO 8859-3.


IBM code page 905 (CCSID 905) is an EBCDIC code page with full Latin-3-charset used in IBM mainframes.

Esperanto Braille

Esperanto Braille is the braille alphabet of the Esperanto language. One Esperanto Braille magazine, Aŭroro, has been published since 1920, and another, Esperanta Ligilo, since 1904.

Esperanto orthography

Esperanto is written in a Latin-script alphabet of twenty-eight letters, with upper and lower case. This is supplemented by punctuation marks and by various logograms, such as the numerals 0–9, currency signs such as $, and mathematical symbols.

Twenty-two of the letters are identical in form to letters of the English alphabet (q, w, x, and y being omitted). The remaining six have diacritic marks, ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ, and ŭ (that is, c, g, h, j, and s circumflex, and u breve).

In handwritten Esperanto, the diacritics pose no problem. However, since they do not appear on standard alphanumeric keyboards, various alternative methods have been devised for representing them in printed and typed text. The original method was a set of digraphs now known as the "h-system", but with the rise of computer word processing, the so-called "x-system" has become equally popular. These systems are described below. However, with the advent of Unicode, the need for such work-arounds has lessened.

Esperanto phonology

Esperanto is a constructed international auxiliary language. The creator of Esperanto, L. L. Zamenhof, illustrated Esperanto pronunciation by comparing its letters with their equivalents in several major European languages and declaring a principle of "one letter, one sound".

With over a century of use, Esperanto has developed a phonological norm, including accepted details of phonetics, phonotactics, and intonation, so that it is now possible to speak of proper Esperanto pronunciation and properly formed words independently of the languages originally used to describe Esperanto. This norm diverges only minimally from the original ideal of "one letter, one sound"; that is, it accepts only minor allophonic variation.Before Esperanto phonotactics became fixed, foreign words were adopted with spellings that violated the apparent intentions of Zamenhof and the norms that would develop later, such as poŭpo ('poop deck'), ŭato ('Watt'), and matĉo ('sports match'). Many of these coinages have proven to be unstable, and have either fallen out of use or been replaced with pronunciations more in keeping with the developing norms, such as pobo for poŭpo, vato for ŭato, and maĉo for matĉo. On the other hand, the word jida ('Yiddish'), which was also sometimes criticized on phonotactical grounds but had been used by Zamenhof, is well established.


The ISO international standard ISO 9 establishes a system for the transliteration into Latin characters of Cyrillic characters constituting the alphabets of many Slavic and non-Slavic languages.Published on February 23, 1995, the major advantage ISO 9 has over other competing systems is its univocal system of one character for one character equivalents (by the use of diacritics), which faithfully represents the original spelling and allows for reverse transliteration, even if the language is unknown.

Earlier versions of the standard, ISO/R 9:1954, ISO/R 9:1968 and ISO 9:1986, were more closely based on the international scholarly system for linguistics (scientific transliteration), but have diverged in favour of unambiguous transliteration over phonemic representation.

The edition of 1995 supersedes the edition of 1986.

Mac OS Maltese/Esperanto encoding

Mac OS Maltese/Esperanto, called MacOS Esperanto in older sources, is a character encoding for Esperanto, Maltese and Turkish created by Michael Everson on August 15 1997, based on the Mac OS Turkish encoding. It is used in his fonts, but not on official Mac OS fonts.ISO/IEC 8859-3 supports the same languages with a different layout.

Minim (palaeography)

In palaeography, a minim is a short, vertical stroke used in handwriting. The word is derived from the Latin minimum, meaning "least" or "smallest".

A minim is the basic stroke for the letters i, m, n, and u in uncial script and later scripts deriving from it. Parts of other letters are based on minims as well: when a minim is extended above the line, it becomes an ascender, as in the letters d and b, and when it is extended below the line, it becomes a descender, as in the letters p and q. It is a stem when it forms only part of a letter, such as r.

Minims often have a connecting stroke which makes it clear that they form an m, n, etc.; however, in Gothic scripts, also known as textualis especially in late examples, minims may connect to each other with only a hair line stroke making it diffiult for modern readers to tell what letter is meant. A 14th-century example of this is: mimi numinum niuium minimi munium nimium uini muniminum imminui uiui minimum uolunt ("the smallest mimes of the gods of snow do not wish at all in their life that the great duty of the defences of the wine be diminished"). In Gothic script this would look almost like a series of single strokes (this problem eventually led to a dotted i and a separate letter j).Middle English scribes adopted a practice of replacing u before n, m, or v with o in order to break up the sequence of minims. The resulting spellings have persisted into modern times in words such as come, love, and honey, where an o stands for a short ŭ.Gothic minims may have various decorations (essentially serifs), from a simple initial headstroke, to large diamond-shaped finials at the top and bottom, such as in textualis quadrata, the most decorated form of Gothic. Textualis sine pedibus, literally "textualis without feet", has minims with no finials at all, while textualis rotunda has round finials.

No Motherland Without You

"No Motherland Without You" (or "Ode to Kim Jong-il"), is a popular North Korean song about the country's former leader, Kim Jong-il. It proclaims the talent and virtues of Kim, and the attachment of the Korean people for him as he led them out of the turmoils of the Arduous March. The repeated phrase in the song is "We cannot live without you! Our country cannot exist without you!" It is also considered to be the anthem of the Songun ("military-first") policy that Kim implemented in coexistence with the Juche Idea in 1995. It is frequently broadcast on the radio and from loudspeakers on the streets of Pyongyang.

Patrick Cudahy

Patrick Cudahy Jr. (kŭd ŭ hay); March 17, 1849 – July 25, 1919) was an American industrialist in the meat packing business and a patriarch of the Cudahy family.

Romanian Cyrillic alphabet

The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet is the Cyrillic alphabet that was used to write the Romanian language before 1860s, when it was officially replaced by a Latin-based Romanian alphabet. The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was based on the Bulgarian alphabet. Cyrillic remained in occasional use until the 1920s, mostly in Bessarabia.From the 1830s until the full adoption of the Latin alphabet, a so-called transitional alphabet was in place, combining Cyrillic and Latin letters, and including some of the Latin letters with diacritics that remain in the modern Romanian alphabet. The Romanian Orthodox Church continued using the alphabet in its publications until 1881.The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet is not the same as the Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet (which is based on the Russian alphabet) used in the Moldavian SSR for most of the Soviet era.

Romanization of Belarusian

Romanization or Latinization of Belarusian is any system for transliterating written Belarusian from Cyrillic to the Latin.

Some of the standard systems for romanizing Belarusian:

BGN/PCGN romanization of Belarusian, 1979 (United States Board on Geographic Names and Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use), which is the USA and Great Britain prevailing system for romanising of geographical information

British Standard 2979 : 1958

Scientific transliteration, or the International Scholarly System for linguistics

ALA-LC romanization, 1997 (American Library Association and Library of Congress)

ISO 9:1995, which is also Belarusian state standard GOST 7.79–2000 for non-geographical information

Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script, which is Belarusian state standard for geographical information, adopted by State Committee on land resources, geodetics and cartography of Belarus, 2000 and recommended for use by the Working Group on Romanization Systems of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN). It was significantly revised in 2007.See also: Belarusian Latin alphabet.

Short U (Cyrillic)

Short U (Ў ў; italics: Ў ў) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

The only Slavic language using this letter is the Belarusian Cyrillic script.

Among the non-Slavic languages using Cyrillic alphabets, ў is used in the Dungan language and in the Siberian Yupik language. It was also used in Uzbek before the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1992.


U (named u , plural ues) is the 21st letter and the fifth vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is preceded by T, and is followed by V.


Wade–Giles (), sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade, during the mid-19th century, and was given completed form with Herbert A. Giles's Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892.

Wade–Giles was the system of transcription in the English-speaking world for most of the 20th century. Wade-Giles is based on Beijing dialect, whereas Nanking dialect-based romanization systems were in common use until the late 19th century. Both were used in postal romanizations (still used in some place-names). In mainland China it has been mostly replaced by the Hanyu Pinyin romanization system, with exceptions for some proper nouns. Taiwan has kept the Wade–Giles romanization of some geographical names (for example Kaohsiung) and many personal names (for example Chiang Ching-kuo).

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