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the "R" in "Ver-" is pronounced like "R" in the "-er" in "Bruder" or like "R" in french?

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3 Answers 3

To add some IPA to this discussion:

You would usually transcribe the r in that position (after unstressed e at the end of syllable[1] or word) together with the e as either

[əʁ] or [ɐ]

The first one is with a voiced uvular fricative[2], but it is barely audible, not as strongly pronounced as in French.

The second version is what you'll more often hear (especially in the Rhineland, but it is very widespread), and what most people describe as "a", although it is produced more in the center of the mouth and very "relaxedly".

People who roll the r (typically in the south) might pronounce it yet differently, but unless you want to pass off as a Bavarian, I wouldn't worry too much about that.

And one more important point: in pronouncing things like Verein it is important to insert a glottal stop (a very slight pause) between the ver and the rest. So you have:

[fəʁʔɑ͜ɪn]

unless, of course, you want to have a French accent, then you have to leave out the glottal stop, which will automatically lead to a stronger pronunciation of the ʁ, because then it is between two vowels.

Footnotes:

[1]: if the next syllable starts with a consonant or glottal stop

[2]: for non-linguists: a rasping sound which is created where you also pronounce k, and it is voiced like d or g or b, else it would sound similarly to the ch in Bach. It is also the r that the French have.

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Not really sure how the 'r' is pronounced in french, but the 'er' in 'Ver-' is exactly pronounced the same as the 'er' in 'Bruder'.

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+1 for this answer, the pronounciation is the same. Most times the er will be slurred to sound like an a anyways. –  Mark Jan 15 at 6:18
    
Hmm, can't confirm the slur to 'a'. Neither in Bavaria nor in Rheinland. But think that's all about articulation. –  Andreas Spaeth Jan 15 at 7:54
    
@Anderas Speath I can confirm if for the Ruhrgebiet and Sauerland, so appleas and pears here I guess –  Mark Jan 15 at 7:59
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Andreas, now you are unnecessarily claiming something that others may think is wrong. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 15 at 12:05
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Also disagree that both r's in Bruder are pronounced the same. You can do that, but it would sound really artificial and overpronounced. And since it wasn't the question anyway, I would just delete that remark. –  fifaltra Jan 16 at 16:36

In German pronunciation there is no French r. The French r is produced back in the mouth cave, whereas the German r in Verein is produced in the front part of the mouth cave. The tip of the tongue touches shortly the point where the t is produced. I avoid terms of phonetics because not everybody has studied phonetics. At the end of a word as in Vater the r is not produced. The articulation is (almost) the same as in English father. Ah, I see there is a difference: Verein - verehren, verachten. In Verein you pronounce the r as if you had two words: Ve-rein. In verehren, verachten you pronounce ver- as English r at the end of a word, that is, you don't pronounce it. The next syllable is -ehren, -achten, not -rehren; -rachten.

Though I am German I discovered this curious thing just now. Wow!

PS I just read in a post above that Verein is spoken with a French r back in the mouth cave. Well, perhaps there are speakers who do that, but I must say I have never heard that or I would immediately ask Are you from France? I can only say that I speak Verein with a "frontal" r, that is, in the front part of the mouth cave with the tip of the tongue and I would say that most Germans do so.

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Zumindest „Hueber Online-Wörterbuch“ gibt [fɐ|ˈaen] als Aussprache von Verein an, was der von Dir angegebenen widerspricht. Ist deine vielleicht für Süddeutschland typisch? –  Carsten Schultz Jan 31 at 19:16
    
Ich lebe in München, Süddeutschland, aber ich bin viel in Deutschland herumgekommen. Ich habe noch keine Leute getroffen, die ein französisches r sprechen. Da muß dem Hueber Verlag ein Fehler unterlaufen sein. Und ich spreche Französisch, weiß also durchaus was ein französisches r ist. –  rogermue Jan 31 at 19:34
    
Wenn ich das richtig lese, sagen sie ja eher, dass da gar kein r ist. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 31 at 21:45
    
Mir ist unklar von welchem Wort Sie jetzt sprechen. - Lese gerade die von Hueber angegebene Aussprache für verehren /fe 'aen/. Das ist aber sehr dilettantisch. Für r sind die Phonetik-Zeichen bis jetzt noch recht ungenau. Für ein r am Wortende, das eigentlich nur durch Schwingen der Stimmbänder angedeutet wird, hat die Phonetik nichts Brauchbares. Ich deute das privat mit einem kleinen tiefgestellten r an, auf dem Computer mit Komma. Meine Aussprache für verehren: fə, 'e:rɘn. –  rogermue Feb 1 at 5:04
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What you describe is the kind of "rolled r" [r] which is typical for southern accents, but people from my region (and many other regions) pronounce it where the [k] is pronounced, but as I said in my answer, not as strongly as the French r. I have never heard the r pronounced as you describe it except from people from Bavaria (and Rammstein^^). I also can't confirm the thing about "Ve-rein", this might again be a regional thing in Bavaria, but as I described you usually have a slight pause before the "ein" in the accents I know. –  fifaltra Feb 1 at 8:35

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