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A Question On The German Language  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1199 times:

I can't speak German. I can read it, but have no idea what it says. I was wondering if any of you German speakers can answer me a question.

What is that letter that I frequently see in German text? It sort of looks like a distorted upper-case "B". But it is not a letter used in English.

What is it called? How is it pronounced? And what are the grammatical uses of it?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1156 times:

I always forget it's name, but it makes a sharp 's' sounds.

Like "straße" which means street is pronounces "shtrah-ssuh"

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1145 times:


It´s called s-z. If transcribed into international contexts (or capital letters in German, as there´s only the "small" version of that letter you would use "ss".

Example: if you write a letter containing your address to a non German, you wouldn´t write "Kennedystraße" but "Kennedystrasse". But never "KENNEDYSTRAßE", even in German, only "KENNEDYSTRASSE".

Daniel Smile


User currently offlinePgh234 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 795 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1139 times:

Yeah, it stands for "ss" in a word. But my two German teachers I've had both call it an "S Set." I personally have never heard of an "s-z" but I guess either way would be correct though.

pgh234


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1135 times:

Well, the letter "z" is pronounced "zet" in British English. So your English teachers and I mean the same thing, s-z or s-zet if you transcribe the pronunciation.

Daniel Smile


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1131 times:

Actually, the "ß" is a ligature that emerged as the combination of two different forms of the letter "s" in the old german fonts. One was similar to the modern "l", the other form is the same we use today; Starting from the "ls" ligature, both merged into one single letter.

So actually, the "ß" is indeed just "ss" in another form.


User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4347 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1125 times:

It's a double S.

Kevin/DCA



SIX T'S!......TURN. TIME. TWIST. THROTTLE. TALK. TRACK.
User currently offlinePgh234 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 795 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1125 times:

Thanks Airsicknessbag. Actually, my two German teachers were born and raised in Germany. In fact, one has only been living in the states for just over a year. I have always pronouced it S Set and was never corrected but maybe with her strong accent it actually is S Zet. Well, I think Matt D gets the point now however he might want to pronouce it. lol

pgh234


User currently offlineVirginLover From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 958 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1123 times:

For all the American keyboards, you can get the S-Set with alt-225. ß  Smile

User currently offlineAdvancedkid From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1119 times:

Hi there,
In German it is also described as "Scharfes S" ,
which translates into "stressed s".
Kindest regards.
Advanced


User currently offlineAB.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1114 times:

Advancedkid, the translation of "Scharfes S" comes closer to "Sharp S".
I hope that helps because even us German's have problems to define that letter.


User currently offlineAdvancedkid From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1114 times:

Hi there,
The word stressed in Englich also means
emphasized, {Zu deutsch: "nachdruecklich
ausgesprochen" --vielleicht..}
Kindest regards und viele Gruesse.
Advancedkid


User currently offlineAirways1 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 560 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1111 times:

On the pronunciation, whether it is s-set or s-zet depends on how you read it.

If you read it the way a German person reads it, you would get it correct if it was written s-zet.

However, in German a z it pronounced like the english combination ts, so reading it the way an English person would, you will get the pronunciation right if you wrote it as s-tset.

I don't speak german very well, so any natives feel free to correct me.

airways1


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1108 times:

Airways1: However, in German a z it pronounced like the english combination ts, so reading it the way an English person would, you will get the pronunciation right if you wrote it as s-tset.

Correct.  Smile

By the way, this name hints at the fact that the "ß" stands between the "s" and the "z" in "sharpness" of pronounciation. The "z" doesn´t have anything else to do with it otherwise.

Airways1: I don't speak german very well, so any natives feel free to correct me.

No problemo.  Smile
It´s hard enough to learn even as one´s native language.  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineAB.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1105 times:

This SZ letter is somehow dying out anway. Most German's would not know when to use it instead of a double S.
Airways1, I think your definition of SZ as s-tset in english is correct.
Gruss, AB.400.


User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4347 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1094 times:

look who mooning you now.
ß Big grin

Kevin/DCA



SIX T'S!......TURN. TIME. TWIST. THROTTLE. TALK. TRACK.
User currently offlinePIT_flyer007 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1078 times:

I speak german but wonder this ~

How come it never is at the beginning of a word?

And i've noticed it seems like these pronunciation marks seem to be used less. Or maybe im just not seeing things right.

PS// Herrlichen gruß fur alle im Bremerhaven!! (how do u make umlaut?)


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1072 times:

PIT_flyer007: How come it never is at the beginning of a word?

The "ß" is strictly a lowercase letter. But I don´t know any other german word, either, that´s beginning with Ss...  Smile

PIT_flyer007: And i've noticed it seems like these pronunciation marks seem to be used less.

What do you mean by that?

PIT_flyer007: PS// Herrlichen gruß fur alle im Bremerhaven!! (how do u make umlaut?)

I´m not in Bremerhaven, but thank you anyway! Schöne Grüße zurück!  Smile
On the Mac, just invoke the "Keyboard" Utility and try out the Alt, Shift and Control keys to find the umlaut keys... Under Windows, I don´t know.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1074 times:

look up the ASCII code and type + 0 + on the numerical keypad.
Or use e which is the correct alternative (originally meant for typewriters without the required key).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1074 times:

Matt, I've posted this before, but somehow me thinks it's appropriate to post it again. This will explain everything you need to know about German.

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would be known as "EuroEnglish":

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c".. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favor of the "k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with the "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have ways ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"'s in the language is disgraceful, and they should go away.

By the 4th yar, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing"th"with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!




User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1058 times:

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß
>>>In German it is also described as "Scharfes S" , which translates into "stressed s".

That´s right, some people do, but it´s not correct. Some people even say "Buckel S" ("S with a hump") or "Rucksack S" - but s-z is the only correct name.

>>>even us German's have problems to define that letter.

No need to tell me that - I have an ß in my family name - trying to tell people how to spell my name correctly makes me feel like Sisyphos sometimes...  Big grin.

>>>How come it never is at the beginning of a word?

Because it´s really two letters - ss - and no German words start with two identical letters directly behind each other.

>>>(how do u make umlaut?)

I´ll donate you some, you may cut and paste them wherever you want Big grin:
ääääääääääääääääööööööööööööööööööüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüü


Daniel Smile


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1059 times:

Airsicknessbag: Because it´s really two letters - ss - and no German words start with two identical letters directly behind each other.

"Aal" (eel). Big grin
But no double consonants I know of...  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1058 times:

Yeah, you got me - thanks for destroying my credibility on linguistical matters  Big grin. But you´re right, I should have looked further than just the consonants I was having in mind when posting...

Daniel Smile


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 23, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1057 times:

Airsicknessbag: Yeah, you got me - thanks for destroying my credibility on linguistical matters  . But you´re right, I should have looked further than just the consonants I was having in mind when posting...

No, your intention was obvious.  Smile
I just got that silly impulse when the eel hit me... Big grin


User currently offlineN400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1056 times:

Jetguy--
ROTFLMAO.... hahahahahaha that is the most hilarious thing I've read!


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 25, posted (13 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1040 times:

Thank you all for clearing that up.

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