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Hearing the end "R"s

I'm having a problem hearing "R" endings in Duolingo German lessons, and it's wreaking havoc on my scores. "Einer" sounds like "Eine" to me, "Deiner" like "Deine", and "Fehler" sounds like "Fehle". Are there any tricks for catching the final sounds of words in German? For that matter, "den" and "dem" sound exactly alike to me unless I slow down the recording.

October 6, 2012


[deactivated user]


    Honestly, the best solution, I've found, is to really think about the grammar and the gender of the word. It's "deine Katze", but adding "mit" means that becomes "mit deiner Katze". Same with den and dem-- it depends on what part of speech it is. It'll never be "mit einen Hund", it has to be "mit einem Hund".


    I'm a native german speaker and need to slow down the recordings too pretty often. So it's a Duolingo problem.


    I know just what you're talking about. I think it's something you get used to? At one point I was watching quite a lot of American TV dubbed in German, and "r" endings ala "dir", "mir", and so on always sounded like "dee-a", "mee-a" and so on to my untuned ears, so that's how I've come to say it and expect to hear it. It does mess with the lessons though, huh?


    All good suggestions! To elae - unfortunately, I'm sort of winging the adjective endings which continue to confound me. I was hoping that with repeatedly hearing the correct endings, I'd get the hang of it. Unfortunately, I'm not hearing endings. So learning if "mit" always takes the dative (I don't think it does 100% of the time from my reading) or the same with "zu", "an" or "auf" is becoming near impossible. Which makes me wonder, if I can't hear it can anyone else? And does that mean it doesn't matter?


    I think it was Christian, who posted this link lately:



    Thanks kragi, I've read that page but it still doesn't answer a lot of my questions - like how you tell if "den Jungen" is singular or plural, or better yet, "den Maedchen". Or why some adjective phrases require both adjectives to have agreeing endings and some don't.

    My German friends tell me it's a matter of practice, of hearing and speaking it a lot. But if I can't HEAR the endings, then how?


    I don't actually think it's a matter of hearing it a lot. If you don't understand the grammar and parts of speech, it's a lot harder to make sense of what you're hearing. Unfortunately, it's really a matter of memorizing how grammar effects gender.

    For example. the ONLY time you would hear "den Mädchen" is plural dative. Like "I read the book with the girls".

    das Mädchen = singular nominative | das Mädchen = singular accusative | dem Mädchen = singular dative | des Mädchens = singular genitive

    die Mädchen = plural nominative, accusative | den Mädchen = plural dative | der Mädchen = plural genitive |

    How well do you understand those terms, btw? That might be where you want to start. This chart breaks those down: http://class.georgiasouthern.edu/german/grammar/gr-cases.htm#chart


    When I can get the cheat sheet I have of the cases telling me which words to use such as which: the, a, adjective ending, noun ending, preposition to use. I will link to it.


    For the pronounciation of deine/deiner think of this,

    deine = di-ner

    deiner = di-nair


    I always hear "wird" pronounced as "wilt," especially when slowed (when slowed, there's absolutely no "r" sound at all). I've learned to expect that.

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