CNN's Record-breaking suspension bridge set to open in Yunnan, China says:

Stretching 798 meters over a river valley, Lvzhijiang Bridge's mere length may not sound all that extreme when compared to some of the world's longest bridges. But the complexity of the project is earning it recognition as an engineering marvel.

The bridge hangs above Lvzhijiang (literally translated as "Green Juice River") and protrudes from tunnels that emerge from steep mountain faces on each side of the valley.

On the other hand, Wikipedia's List of longest suspension bridge spans; Bridges under construction lists it as Lüzhijiang Bridge (绿汁江大桥).

I'm not a strong student of Chinese, but I don't think I've ever seen "Lv" or "Lü" in any, much less a modern romanization of a Chinese proper noun before. Is this unusual or from some standard system of romanization, or have I just forgotten something I once learned?

Just fyi there is a lot of historic photos of the area and details of this amazing bridge's construction here: http://www.highestbridges.com/wiki/index.php?title=Lvzhijiang_Bridge

  • 1
    The name Lvzhijiang/Lüzhijiang was translated from the Chinese river named "绿汁江". The Pinyin for 绿 is "Lü", so the translation "Lüzhijiang" makes sense, but you have to ask the translator wh translated it as "Lvzhijiang".
    – r13
    Mar 18, 2022 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


"Lü" is the hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音,below abbreviated as pinyin) of 绿, and pinyin is the current standard way of romanizing mandarin Chinese。It's standard in the sense that it's the standard in mainland China since 1958 and then subsequently adopted by ISO (1982), United Nations (1986), Singapore (1971 officially adopted but effectively enforced probably only in the 80's and 90's), taiwan (2008/2009), etc., although the use of pinyin in Singapore and Taiwan is not as universal in practice due to historical and political reasons.

"Lv" is a (currently) nonstandard way --- since "ü" does not exist on a standard keyboard and "v" is never or rarely used in pinyin (and partly due to their similarity in appearance), in the old days (like a couple of decades or so) and even now in certain scenarios (such as in many 拼音输入法), "v" is used to replace "ü". However, since for most non-chinese people today, "v" has nothing to do with "ü" (old days "v" is similar to/same as "u" in old Lain?), the use of "v" for "ü" is fading out.

A more recent standard of pinyin/orthography uses "yu" for "ü", e.g., "Lü" can be spelled "Lyu" when the use of "ü" is inconvenient. For example, in GB28039 for the spelling rules for Chinese names, in particular for names for passport.

  • 1
    @uhoh ü is Hanyu Pinyin. In Tongyong Pinyin it is yu.
    – 范阮煌
    Mar 19, 2022 at 12:43
  • 1
    @uhoh Please see the additional comments after my new edit. I cannot comment on the use of other pinyin systems in Taiwan in practice since I do not live there.
    – ALife
    Mar 19, 2022 at 14:18
  • 1
    @uhoh as for your additional question for the use of lv, I am not aware of any standard saying "v" is a replacement for "ü". I think its use initially came from pinyin input methods of Chinese (拼音输入法) and later on appeared in the display of the pinyin as well and became semi-de-facto, although I am not too certain about this.
    – ALife
    Mar 19, 2022 at 14:22
  • Looks great, thank you very much!
    – uhoh
    Mar 19, 2022 at 21:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.