German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels german want to share and increase their knowledge of s& German language. I have seen that many times, a German word is spelled with an sbut it is read like an English s&. Moreover, every time this happens, the Dutch cognate word is spelled with a z.
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But not the English and Scandinavian cognate words. Throughout the course of sound shifts and two millenia, these sounds had differentiated into an [s]-version in Scandinavian and English and early High German and german [z]-version in some old version of Low German.
Dutch, traditionally only being a dialect of Old and Middle Low German, s& the [z] sound of these words. Note that this rule is only valid for leading s followed by vowels.
This is also the case in Dutch steen. I can't tell you when exactly this shift happened, but I would assume it to be rather late, because it is only present the in Lower German area.
From the first time they were written which is probably around Old High German ages, think Charlemagnethey were likely written with s in German, even after the sound shifted. In medieval times, there was no real problem with different languages using the same letter for different sounds.
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Thus, while Old English and Scandinavian used s to represent [s], Middle German used s to represent [z] and z to represent [s]. Yes, this is damn confusing. Note that even English isn't as strict with words such as rise, wise where s represents a jenna rachels shemale sound, and s is a traditionalised spelling.