schwa or not



The native speaker in these lessons (German) typically emphasizes the 2nd syllable in such words as sehen and gehen (ge-HEN, se-HEN), whereas I am used to hearing a schwa (unstressed syllable) in the 2nd syllable.  Does it depend on what part of the German-speaking world the speaker is from?

Actually, I'm finding that as I get into higher levels, the native speakers are gravitating more and more to schwas, rather than stressing final syllables.  I guess that's because in the lower levels they want to make sure we hear the fully articulated (normally unstressed) syllable by stressing it.  Makes sense…




Hallo Larry857,


Thank you for your question! 

You are right, you often hear the e-schwa (ə) sound as in “gehen” and “sehen” in conversational speech and this is also pretty common in all parts of Germany. However, it is when you want to speak very slowly and particularly clearly that you would often not use this reduction which is why you hear it in the course from time to time. This can be especially helpful when learning the correct spelling of a word. 


Viele Grüße,



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