https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

Is it natural to pronounce 'e' differently for each word in the sentence: 'Der erste (Einsatz)'

Germans pronounce the 'e' differently, for example the word 'der' can be pronounced as both /deːɐ̯/ (long e) and /dɛɐ̯/ (short e). So it would make sense that a German would either use either /eː/ or /ɛ/ for both 'der' and 'erste'. But I was wondering if it is strange to pronounce the 'e' differently for each word? So for example, /deːɐ̯/ (long e) and /ˈɛɐ̯stə/ (short e). Is it normal to pronounce the sentence like that?

August 7, 2019

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

I routinely pronounce them all differently. Every time I say the sentence, each "e" comes out differently, and in seemingly random order. I'm working on it!

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

Are you a native German speaker? Because that would imply that even native German speakers aren't consistent regarding the pronunciation of 'e', which would be really interesting.

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

Unfortunately not. Just not very good at getting the accent right. At least, I probably am sometimes, in some words, but not consistently.

But your initial question asked "can you..." and I can! :-)

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

Haha I see, I have edited the wording of the question. Thanks for the comment!

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

This is nowhere near as impressive as using phonetics, but in this sentence 'Der ' rhymes with 'hair' 'Erste' also rhymes with 'hair'. 'Einsatz' is composed of the sound 'ei' pronounced like the English 'eye'

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

The thing is that Germans pronounce 'der' with both a long e and a short e (as in hair) depending on your accent, since there is no standard one. My question is whether it is natural to mix these two up.

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert-Alexan

No. Different accents and different personal styles produces slightly different sounds. In der this ranges from e, ee, ö to ä, äe <-- hard to make that clear in writing but there's many variants you may hear. That's also speed sensitive: Talk faster, talk less-formal and the e is shorter.

However, keep in mind that some vocal-vocal or vocal-consonant combinations like ee, eh, eck (the latter only in Northern words ), make the e become a long vocal. If the e is followed by double consonant (retten, Bett) it is shortened. If the e is the last letter of a syllable, this e is lengthened.

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

So if you pronounce der with a long e (/e:/) you should pronounce erste with a long e as well, if I understand correctly?

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert-Alexan

Hard to say if I am consistent here (it's hard to judge oneself), but yes, I guess that my e in erste and der is pretty much of the same length. I'm a bit on the "long-e" side I guess. I'm from the North though, which makes my der and erste often sound more like ärste and där.

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andu444

I'm just trying this myself (native German) and if I say 'der erste' then they second 'e' is longer than the first. If I say eg 'der da' then the 'e' is longer though, so I guess it depends on the sentence or which part to stress (I hadn't really thought about this before). :)

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

The vowel in Einsatz is actually part ei, a diphthong. There are almost as many vowel sounds in German as in English, they use a combination of double letters and umlauts along with the position of the vowels themselves to indicate the changes. It's more consist that English, where the sound in Einsatz can be ey as in eye or I as in I or idle. There may be a couple more spellings that are less common, they don't come to mind right at the moment.

August 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StallEmpee

Yeah ignore that Einsatz, I used this sentence since it came up during the course but I only mean the 'e' in the first two words.

August 7, 2019
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