Matt D
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A Question On The German Language

Wed Aug 15, 2001 11:55 pm

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?
 
LH423
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 12:06 am

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
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 12:41 am


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
 
pgh234
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:18 am

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
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:57 am

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
 
Klaus
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:16 am

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.
 
gocaps16
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:17 am

It's a double S.

Kevin/DCA
 
pgh234
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:32 am

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
 
VirginLover
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 3:57 am

For all the American keyboards, you can get the S-Set with alt-225. ß  Smile
 
advancedkid
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 3:59 am

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

RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 4:30 am

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.
 
advancedkid
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RE: AB400A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 4:52 am

Hi there,
The word stressed in Englich also means
emphasized, {Zu deutsch: "nachdruecklich
ausgesprochen" --vielleicht..}
Kindest regards und viele Gruesse.
Advancedkid
 
airways1
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 5:00 am

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
 
Klaus
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Airways1

Thu Aug 16, 2001 5:12 am

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
 
Guest

RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 5:26 am

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.
 
gocaps16
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Thu Aug 16, 2001 6:31 am

look who mooning you now.
ß Big grin

Kevin/DCA
 
PIT_flyer007
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:23 pm

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?)
 
Klaus
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PIT_flyer007

Mon Aug 20, 2001 2:00 pm

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.
 
jwenting
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Mon Aug 20, 2001 2:34 pm

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
 
Guest

RE: A Question On The German Language

Mon Aug 20, 2001 2:59 pm

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!


 
airsicknessbag
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Mon Aug 20, 2001 10:50 pm

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
 
Klaus
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Airsicknessbag

Mon Aug 20, 2001 11:10 pm

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
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Mon Aug 20, 2001 11:57 pm

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
 
Klaus
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Airsicknessbag

Tue Aug 21, 2001 12:35 am

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
 
N400QX
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Tue Aug 21, 2001 1:34 am

Jetguy--
ROTFLMAO.... hahahahahaha that is the most hilarious thing I've read!
 
Matt D
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RE: A Question On The German Language

Tue Aug 21, 2001 5:36 am

Thank you all for clearing that up.

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