Yu (Cyrillic)
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Yu Cyrillic
Cyrillic letter Yu
Cyrillic letter Yu - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[ju]
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

Yu or Ju (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a letter of the Cyrillic script used in East Slavic and Bulgarian alphabets.

In English, Yu is commonly romanized as ⟨yu⟩ (or ⟨ju⟩). In turn, ⟨?⟩ is used, where is available, in transcriptions of English letter ⟨u⟩ (in open syllables), and also of the ⟨ew⟩ digraph. The sound , like ⟨u⟩ in French and ⟨ü⟩ in German, may also be approximated by the letter ⟨?⟩.


It is a so-called iotated vowel, pronounced in isolation as /ju/, like the pronunciation of ⟨u⟩ in "human". After a consonant, no distinct [j] sound is pronounced, but the consonant is softened. The exact pronunciation of the vowel sound of ⟨?⟩ in Russian depends also on the succeeding sound because of allophony. Before a soft consonant, it is [?], the close central rounded vowel, as in 'rude'. Before a hard consonant or at the end of a word, the result is a back vowel , as in "new".


Apart from the form I-O, in early Slavonic manuscripts the letter appears also in a mirrored form O-I (?, ?).[1] It is the latter form that is probably the original,[] precisely displaying the Greek combination omicron-iota (). At the time that the Greek alphabet was adapted to the Slavonic language giving rise to the Cyrillic alphabet, it denoted the close front rounded vowel /y/ in educated Greek speech. This digraphic representation of /y/ was so basic for speakers of Greek that the simple letter upsilon (?) representing the same sound came to be called ?  (y psilon) "simple" ? in contrast to "complex" . The close front rounded vowel does not appear in East Slavic. See above.

There was another way for it to lead to the modern form. By the analogy to several 'iotated' letters ?, , ? and ?, the ancient ligature (or letter) Uk ⟨⟩/⟨⟩ possibly had its iotated form ⟨⟩/⟨⟩.

Also, the iotified big Yus ⟨?⟩ merged itself to ⟨?⟩ in East Slavic languages.

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Ю ю
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1070 U+042E 1102 U+044E
UTF-8 208 174 D0 AE 209 142 D1 8E
Numeric character reference Ю Ю ю ю
Named character reference Ю ю
KOI8-R and KOI8-U 224 E0 192 C0
Code page 855 157 9D 156 9C
Windows-1251 222 DE 254 FE
ISO-8859-5 206 CE 238 EE
Macintosh Cyrillic 158 9E 254 FE


  1. ^ Yefim Karskiy (1979) [First published 1928]. ? [The Slavic Cyrillic paleography] (in Russian) (2nd, facsimile ed.). Nauka. pp. 205-206.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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