The words for:
- sea; and
- lake respectively,
in Dutch, are:
- zee; and
whereas the German translation of the same is:
- das Meer; and
- der See1.
This striking, almost completely opposing, contrast between the current Dutch terms and the German terms has been noted to numerous times, but my question is the following: which language has therewith diverged from a common linguistic heritage?
Please write as much information as possible, to enrich your answer. For example, I understand there are many derivative words in both languages, lending on either one of the phonetics.
1 Addendum by lemontree: Interestingly, accompanying the masculine noun der See meaning lake, German also has the feminine noun die See, which in turn means sea again.