Friday, July 22, 2016

English t and German z

English and German are both Germanic languages. They have a common ancestral language, Proto-Germanic. As a result, it's not surprising that there are many similarities between them. In a number of words an English t corresponds to a German z.

Here are examples of English words with a t and German words with a z:

heart Herz
heat Hitze
salt Salz
ten Zehn
time Zeit
toe Zeh
tongue Zunge
twenty Zwanzig
two Zwei
wheat Weizen

The number of words in which an English t corresponds to a German z indicates that the two languages are related. In Proto-Germanic these words were the same. Historical linguists believe that the German z of these words developed from the t which is still preserved in English.

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