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I am always puzzled about the pronunciation of the german suffix '-e' and '-er'.

What I want so say is, that I could not hear the difference between them clearly if it were not for the article that defines the gender of the noun.
I also can't pronounce them as clearly as I should to show their obvious difference.

For instance:

ein Deutscher \ eine Deutsche,
ein schöner... \ eine schöne...

I guess that native German speakers don't take it as a big problem, because, as I said, the gender and the function of the noun in the sentence tell everything I want to express.

Is that right??

  • I am not completely sure what the question is. – Carsten S Dec 21 '14 at 15:20
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    My guess is that your problem arises because German has two distinct central vowels: The "normal" Schwa and the a-Schwa, whereas in English the two are allophones. – Chris Dec 21 '14 at 18:37
  • The distinction between -e and -er is very hard for most English speakers, and often neglected in German classes for nonnative speakers. It also lies at the heart of the debate about the correct pronunciation of Porsche. – painfulenglish Dec 21 '14 at 18:41
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One word of consolation up front: Even natives sometimes have to ask …

Your observation is correct. The differences in pronunciation are rather subtle, especially if the speaker doesn't enunciate clearly.

But you have more than just articles to help you: Consider adjectives, whose form must match the noun, too. Sometimes it's just hearing it twice that does the trick:

schöner Deutscher vs. schöne Deutsche.

And there's always the context …

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    and on the region... in Berlin for example it will be incredibly clear. "er" is "ah" and "e" is "e" – Emanuel Dec 21 '14 at 23:13

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