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  5. What is "ß"?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodyORB

What is "ß"?

I've seen it in the German forums. It looks like a fancy "B" to me.

December 23, 2015

21 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

'ß' is a ligature combining the long s - ( ſ ) - and the short s ( s ). ſ was still commonly used in English for initial and medial s until well into the 19th century; and a double-s (since at least one of them would necessarily be initial or medial) would be written as 'ſ s', which, closer together, easily looks like 'ß'. I don't know the precise history in German (they've undergone various spelling reforms), but in 18th century English books I have, 'ſ s' is also printed as a ligature, albeit a little less stylised than the German 'ß'.

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmiMurase

Thanks! I wanted to know that too...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wombatua

Eszett - double s.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Eszett = sz I have seen it written that way in longhand. Es - s; zett - z.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sibhreach

The sound is ss like "gross" (in German groß - for "big", if I'm remembering right!) :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

Acutally the sound is "s" and not "ss", compare: Fuß [long u] - Fluss [short u].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sibhreach

Danke! (it's been a good 20+ yrs since I've taken German...obviously LOL)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyglotCiro

It is pronounced ss and it is called Eszett, if you cannot typ it with you keyboard, then you can write ss to replace it :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

Acutally it's pronounced "s" and not "ss", compare: Fuß [long u] - Fluss [short u], but yes, it can be replaced by "ss", but only if you can't type ß. Or if you live in Switzerland, they don't use ß.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam9812

Also if you type in all caps if I am correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danfromfr

the fancy "B" to which you refer results in what sounds like an English "s". The German "s" sounds like the English "z". The German "z" produces a sound which in English would require "tz". As others have mentioned, Germans replace it with "ss" if they are using a keyboard that doesn't support it.

The same thing happens with umlauts which result in a trailing "e" if the umlauts are not available. I have these at home but not at work. I don't have the fancy "B" with either keyboard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

You don't need it on the keyboard; I don't have it on a keyboard, but I create it by holding down the alt key and pressing 225 - ß


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Double100

It's a double "s". Yeah, at first I thought it was a "special" German "B". It's just a double "s". When you think about it, it looks like an S and a B :)

At least I think it is. Anyone who sees this, correct me if I'm wrong :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Double100

So... what is it? You just said "It's not." and didn't tell me the reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

Stick to garpike's comment. It has 10 upvotes and a lingot, so it should be quite a good answer to the question (and it is).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

Biertopf, yes it is, and your answer earlier was also good and with good details. Double100's answer was also helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/filipmc

You might get more help if you put this on a forum for German, e.g., "German from English".

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