3

In Paul Joyce's German Course, he pronounces the ending of 'bitter' (sound link) with a roll. This is very different from the vocalic r I've been taught, and very different from the pronunciations on Forvo.

Is this a mistake? A regional pronunciation? Or is it something else?

5

The standard pronunciation for bitter is [ˈbɪtɐ], i.e. the phonemes /ər/ are represented by the vowel [ɐ]; for bitte, it is [ˈbɪtə], only differing in the final vowel, but clearly distinguishable for German native speakers.

The pronunciation [ˈbɪtər], as heard in your linked example, is very unusual, probably only used when over-enunciating. It is recommended in Theodor Siebs’s Bühnenaussprache (pronunciation for theater actors), which was described as “ridiculous” already a hundred years ago.

On the other hand, [ˈbɪtr] without an ə (or with only a very weak one) does occur in several regional variants of German, e.g. in Switzerland.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.