Tough sounds -ü-u

Those two dots make a difference, but sometimes they're "stealth." Learning your pinyin syllables, and then practice the following words and phrases to be sure that you've got a good handle on these tough sounds.

Pronunciation Tips for -ü-u (A2)

First, you need to know when you're dealing with a "stealth ü" (the two dots are not written, but are pronounced. If you're not clear on this, read up on the "ü" vowel.

Finally, a reminder (from that same page) on how to pronounce "ü":

To make pinyin's "ü" sound, make the pinyin "yi" sound (or the English "ee" sound), and then slowly round your lips. That's all there is to it! Your tongue needs to stay tense like it is when you make the "yi" sound, but your lips must be rounded. If you're having trouble making the sound, it's probably because you let your tongue relax. (The tongue is totally relaxed when you make an English "oo" sound, but you need it to stay tense, like it is for the "ee" sound.)

If you're still not used to making the "ü" sound, they're you're really going to need to go slowly at first. Increase speed only when you can do so without sacrificing accurate pronunciation.

Tough Sound Words: -ü-u (A2)

The words in the following table are designed to give you a good pronunciation workout. Practice them on your own and practice them with your teacher.

Audio Chinese Pinyin English
女儿 nǚ’ér daughter
女人 nǚrén woman
女孩 nǚhái girl
出去 chūqù to go out
小区 xiǎoqū neighborhood, apartment complex
需要 xūyào to need
也许 yěxǔ perhaps, maybe
下雨 xiàyǔ to rain
鱼肉 yú ròu fish "meat"

If these are too easy for you, don't forget that we also have these same sounds at a more challenging intermediate (B1) level.

Tough Sound Video Practice: -ü-u (A2)

Sources and further reading

More sources and other links coming soon...