you can take it as a "ss" (double 's') so to answer your question it's pronounced as if you would say ich heisse
In day to day writing, how do Germans tell the difference from the sharp s and a B?
The most obvious clues are probably shape and position.
Position: ß is a lowercase letter, B an uppercase letter. ß never starts a word, B essentially only appears at the start of a word -- or in a word that is in all caps, where you would usually not see an ß (in all-caps writing, it usually gets replaced with SS).
- the top left of an ß is usually rounded; the top left of a B is usually a sharp corner
- the bottom left of an ß usually has the straight line going up at the left and the curved line coming down at the right not touching; the bottom left of a B is usually a sharp corner where the straight and the curved line touch
- In the middle of an ß, the right curvy part usually doesn't touch the left straight part; in the middle of a B, the right curvy part usually touches the left straight part.
You'll have to ask the people who made the keyboard or who made Android.
The iOS German keyboard on an iPhone doesn't have the ß, either, and I have no idea why.
So you'll have to long-press the S key in order to access it.
I know that you can skip the writing out the accents for umlauts by writing the normal letter and then an "e" after it (ü = ue). Is there any short cut for "ß"? My keyboard doesn't include it and it would be nice to know a shortcut using regular letters.
I keep looking for the words to paraphrase "heißen" as "my name is" -- "to be called" -although perfectly correct of course- sounds so uncommon to my ears that it takes me some conscious effort to translate it like that. ;)
It's not ich heibe -- it's ich heiße. (If you can't type the ß, then write: ich heisse. The ß is not a kind of B.)
is 'ich heibt' : he is called?
Nearly. ich means "I". "he" in German is er.
So "he is called …" is er heißt ….
It's conjugated like any other regular verb, with the speciality that -st turns into just -t after -ß (this is true for all verbs ending in -ß, not just heißen):
- ich heiße "I am called"
- du heißt "you (one person) are called"
- er heißt, sie heißt, es heißt "he/she/it is called"
- wir heißen "we are called"
- ihr heißt "you (several people) are called"
- sie heißen "they are called"