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Do you mean in terms of pronunciation? I'm not a complete expert on this, but I did take a semester of German a few years ago, and my husband is nearly fluent, so between that prof and my husband, I have been grilled on the effect of the umlaut. The simplest way of distinguishing the 'u' and 'ü' vowel sounds is that the 'u' is like our soft 'u' in English; think of English "cut," while the 'ü' sounds like the English long 'u' as in "cute." Hope that helps!