Dutch Pronunciation

How to Pronounce Dutch Sounds

Dutch Pronunciation

Dutch pronunciation isn't too difficult to master if English is your native language. The most difficult sounds will probably be the gutturals made at the back of the throat or the triphthongs (three vowel sounds together). Let's look at some approximate English sounds of Dutch spellings.

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Dutch Pronunciation

Dutch letters English sound
ch / g guttural sound, made at back of mouth
sch s followed by guttural ch sound
w like v before r, otherwise like w but with bottom lip against top teeth
v like v, but sometimes closer to f
r either rolled or guttural
j y as in yes
sj sh as in ship
tj ch as in chip
aa ah as in father, but longer
ee ay as in hail, but shorter
ie ee as in neat, but shorter
oo oh as in boat
oe oo as in pool, but shorter
eu ur as in hurt, but with lips rounded
uu ew, but with lips rounded (sound not found in English)
a ah as in father, but shorter
e eh as in bed
i ih as in bit
o aw as in paw, with lips rounded
u ir as in dirt, but very short
ei / ij between the sounds in "light" and "late"
aai combination of aa and ie
oei combination of oe and ie
ooi combination of oo and ie
ou / au like ow, as in house
eeuw combination of ee and oe
ieuw combination of ie and oe
uw combination of uu and oe
ui combination of a and uu

The consonants s, f, h, b, d, z, l, m, n, and ng are pronounced the same way in Dutch as in English. P, t, and k are pronounced without the puff of air (called aspiration.) Sometimes the g is pronounced like zh in words borrowed from French. One last vowel sound is found in various Dutch spellings. It is pronounced like uh, as in along or sofa. For example, this sound is found in de (the), een (a), aardig (nice), and vriendelijk (kind).


Dutch Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar with free audio



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