Well, this could be "de bier" or "de beer"...maybe it should be heard as "De man drinkt de bier" or "De beer woont in de bergen". That way, one would mistake what type of "bier" / "beer" is heard.
What do you think?
@Keen: bier is a 'het'-noun: het bier, not de bier. The other one, beer, is a 'de'-noun. So if you only made those two words out what you heard, you would know that it must be beer, since the article 'de' is more clearly heard.
What I heard when listening (to the slowly pronounced version) was 'de bijen' (the bees) :) I would propose a rerecord. Whether it would help to put the word in a sentence remains to be seen. Then it would depend on the knowledge the reader has of the other words in the sentence - sufficient to deduce (the meaning of) 'de beer'.
Yes, a double e is pronounced more like "ay" would be in English, whereas ie is more like "ee" in English. So the words sound more like "bayr" and "beer" if you're reading them from an English standpoint.
Not in this case - words ending in -eer don't follow the usual pronunciation of ee, so beer and bier sound similar. Also weer and wier, heer and hier, etc.
You are wrong. There is a clear difference between how you say beer and bier.
Not in any of my experiences of hearing either word. Maybe in other provinces the difference is more noticeable, but in Leiden/Den Haag/Rotterdam they're practically the same. Dhr de Beer doesn't pronounce his name 'de Behr', but rather in the way an English person would expect it to sound.
Yes. Dutch "beer" has a vowel similar to English "fear". Dutch "bier" has a vowel similar to English "see".
It's named after the boers who originally owned the land where the first mine was dug, their last name was de Beer