Realization of unstressed er/ɛr/ in r-vocalizing varieties

sumelic

Senior Member
English - California
Hello!

I am beginning to learn German, and am currently trying to figure out how to pronounce the vowels followed by a vocalized r. I know that a final unstressed "er" in varieties of German that vocalize r in the coda is normally pronounced as the monophthong [ɐ]. I've read that this is also the realization of unstressed "er" when it is not at the end of a word, such as in "hundert" and "gestern". However, in all of these words, the "er" comes after the stressed syllable. I'm wondering if pre-tonic unstressed syllables, such as the verb prefixes "ver" and "er", are commonly pronounced with monophthongs (when they come before consonants). I get the impression that they are not, for example in the pronunciations on the following page:
http://joycep.myweb.port.ac.uk/pronounce/vowschwa.html

I hear the unstressed "er"s that come at the ends of words as monophthongs, but the ones at the start of words as diphthongs (except for in "hereinkommen" where there is a following vowel). But since I don't speak German, I'm not confident that I'm hearing this right. What would you recommend as a target for the "er" sound in words like "vergessen" for a German-language learner?
 
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  • sumelic

    Senior Member
    English - California
    Thanks for the links, Perny! I guess you're saying that the version with a simple monophthong [ɐ] is indeed in use? That's what I think I'm hearing in the dict.cc sound files anyway. I know I should try to imitate native speakers' pronunciations, but it sometimes helps to know what to be listening for.
     

    perny

    Senior Member
    Englisch
    Thanks for the links, Perny! I guess you're saying that the version with a simple monophthong [ɐ] is indeed in use? That's what I think I'm hearing in the dict.cc sound files anyway. I know I should try to imitate native speakers' pronunciations, but it sometimes helps to know what to be listening for.
    Yes, that's precisely what I'm saying. In fact, it's so prevalent that some German teachers will insist it is the official Hochdeutsch way to pronounce it, e.g. this video from Languagesheep (who has some really detailed videos on pronunciation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGstphq2sLo

    My first understanding of the distinction was from the now somewhat famous Deutsch Für Euch Youtube series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNn0ORQPrtA
     
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