I'm learning German and was wondering if I could completely drop ß (Eszett) and replace it with ss in all instances where ß is used. I know that the Swiss don't use ß. Is this practical? Can this become a problem when communicating with Germans?

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    I'm afraid, this question is entirely opinion-based. In my opinion you would be understood, but immediately detected as foreigner (or someone with a wrong keyboard not investing effort). Your proposal is pretty similar to replacing umlauts as ä by ae. I would not try to save effort on such easy topics.
    – guidot
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:17
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    Possible duplicate of german.stackexchange.com/questions/5611/…
    – tofro
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:28
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    Possible duplicate of Is it an error when I do not use ß when it is necessary?
    – PiedPiper
    Dec 28, 2018 at 11:18
  • Was ist daran eine Frage der Meinung? "Die Maße von Susi spiegeln ihre Masse wider." Noch Fragen? Ich vote nicht für reopen, da es als Duplikat geschlossen bleiben soll, siehe @PiedPiper. Dec 29, 2018 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


You are creating ambiguity. After the latest spelling reform, people assume ß makes the preceding vowel long. In German long vs. short vowel is always significant to meaning:

Maße ← long a — measures

Masse ← short a — mass

In Switzerland, people live with that ambiguity. It's only a minor obstacle in Swiss German, which is a challenge of its own.

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