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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Dutch pronunciations in SImple Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Simple Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-nl}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Dutch phonology for a extensive look at the sounds of Dutch as well as dialectal variations not represented here.

IPA Examples English approximation
b beet bait
d dak duck
f fiets feats
ɣ gaan[a] no English equivalent; roughly like loch (Scottish) but voiced
ɦ had[a] behind
j jas yard
k kat, cabaret school
l land land
m mens man
n nek[b] neck
ŋ eng long
p pen, rib[c] sport
r ras[d] trilled R or guttural R
s sok sock
t tak, had[c] stop
v ver[a] very
ʋ wang[e] between wine and vine
x acht,[a] weg[c] loch (Scottish English)
z zeep[a] zip
Marginal consonants
c tientje, check[f] cheer
ɡ goal[g] goal
ɟ Giovanni[f] jeep
ɲ oranje, Trijntje[f] somewhat like canyon
ʃ sjabloon, chef[f] shall
ʒ jury[a][f] vision
ʔ bindig [bəˈʔɛindəx],
Trijntje Oosterhuis
[-ə ˈʔoː-][h]
catch in uh-oh!
ˈ voorkomen
as in commandeer
Other representations
ə(n) maken optional /n/ in the /ən/ ending; not pronounced in many dialects[b]
IPA Examples English approximation
Checked vowels[i]
ɑ bad father, but rather short
ɛ bed bed
ɪ vis sit
ɔ bot off
ʏ hut roughly like nurse
Free vowels and diphthongs[i]
aap father
beet, ezel[j] made
ə hemel again
i diep deep
boot[j] story
y fuut roughly like few
øː neus[j] roughly like fur
u hoed boot
ɑi ai price
aːi draai prize
ʌu jou, dauw[k] out
ɛi bijt, ei[k] may
eːu sneeuw say oo
iu nieuw ew or free will
ɔi hoi choice
oːi nooit boys
œy buit[k] house (Scottish English)
ui groei to eternity
yu duw few would
Marginal vowels
ɛː scène[l] square (British English)
analyse, dier[m] wheeze
ɔː roze[n][o] thought
œː freule[n] roughly like fur
cruise, boer[m] rule
centrifuge, kuur[m] roughly like fugue
ɑ̃ː genre[n] roughly like croissant
ɛ̃ː hautain[n] roughly like doyen
ɔ̃ː chanson[n] roughly like montage
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Generally, the southern varieties preserve the /f//v/, /x//ɣ/ and /s//z/ contrasts.[1][2] Southern /x/, /ɣ/ may be also somewhat more front, i.e. post-palatal.[2] In the north, these are far less stable: most speakers merge /x/ and /ɣ/ into a post-velar [x̠] or uvular [χ];[1][2] most Netherlandic Standard Dutch speakers lack a consistent /f//v/ contrast.[2] In some accents, e.g. Amsterdam, /s/ and /z/ are also not distinguished.[2] /ʒ/ often joins this neutralization by merging with /ʃ/. In some accents, /ɦ/ is also devoiced to [h]. See also Hard and soft G in Dutch.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The final ‹n› of the plural ending -en is usually not pronounced, except in the North East (Low Saxon) and the South West (East and West Flemish) where the ending becomes a syllabic [n̩] sound. The syllabic pronunciation is considered to be strongly non-standard, especially in the Netherlands.[source?]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dutch devoices all obstruents at the ends of words (e.g. a final /d/ becomes [t]). This is partly reflected in the spelling: the voiced ‹z› in plural huizen ('houses') becomes huis ('house') in singular, and duiven ('doves') becomes duif ('dove'). The other cases are always written with the voiced consonant, even though a devoiced one is actually pronounced: the voiced ‹d› in plural baarden [ˈbaːrdə(n)] ('beards') is retained in the singular spelling baard ('beard'), but pronounced as [baːrt]; and plural ribben [ˈrɪbə(n)] ('ribs') has singular rib, pronounced as [rɪp]. Because of assimilation, often the initial consonant of the next word is also devoiced, e.g. het vee ('the cattle') is [ɦət ˈfeː]
  4. The realization of the /r/ phoneme varies considerably from dialect to dialect. In "standard" Dutch, /r/ is realized as the alveolar trill [r] or as a uvular trill [ʀ]. In some dialects, it is realized as an alveolar flap [ɾ] or even as an alveolar approximant [ɹ].
  5. The realization of the /ʋ/ phoneme varies considerably from the Northern to the Southern and Belgium dialects of the Dutch language. In the north of the Netherlands, it is a labiodental approximant [ʋ], or even a voiced labiodental fricative [v]. In the south of the Netherlands and in Belgium, it is pronounced as a bilabial approximant [β̞] (as it also is in the Hasselt and Maastricht dialects), and Standard Surinamese Dutch uses the labiovelar approximant [w].
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The alveolo-palatal stops [c] and [ɟ], the fricatives [ʃ] and [ʒ], and the nasal [ɲ] are allophones of the sequences /tj/, /dj/, /sj/, /zj/ and /nj/. [ɟ] and [ʒ] occur only in loanwords. [ɲ] also occurs as an allophone of /n/ before /tj/ (realized as [c]).
  7. /ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch and only occurs in loanwords, like goal or when /k/ is voiced, like in zakdoek [ˈzɑɡduk].
  8. The glottal stop [ʔ] is indicated sparingly in Dutch transcriptions on Wikipedia: it is mandatorily inserted between [aː] and [ə] and a syllable-initial vowel, both within words and at word boundaries. Often, it is also inserted before phrase-initial vowels and before any word-initial vowel. This is not indicated in most of our transcriptions.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The "checked" vowels /ɑ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɔ/, and /ʏ/ occur only in closed syllables, while their "free" counterparts //, //, /i/, //, and /y/ can occur in open syllables (as can the other vowels).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 For most speakers of Netherlandic Standard Dutch, the long close-mid vowels //, /øː/ and // are realised as slightly closing diphthongs [eɪ], [øʏ] and [oʊ], unless they precede /r/ within the same syllable.[3][4] The closing diphthongs also appear in certain Belgian dialects, e.g. the one of Bruges, but not in Belgian Standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology#Monophthongs for more details.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The exact quality of diphthongs varies; Netherlandic Standard Dutch has somewhat more open (in case of /ʌu/ and often /œy/ also unrounded) first elements: [æi], [ɐy], [ɑu].[5][6] In Belgian Standard Dutch, they begin in the open-mid region, and the last diphthong has a rounded first element: [ɛi], [œy], [ɔu].[7][8] In Belgium, the onset of /œy/ can also be unrounded to [ɐy].[9] Some non-standard dialects (e.g. many southern dialects) realise these diphthongs as either narrow diphthongs or (as in The Hague dialect) long monophthongs.[9] See Dutch phonology § Diphthongs for more details.
  12. Mainly found in loanwords.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Found in loanwords as a separate phoneme, and as an allophone of its shorter counterpart before /r/ in both native and non-native words.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Found in loanwords.
  15. In Belgium, /ɔː/ tends to be pronounced the same as /oː/.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gussenhoven (1999:74)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Collins & Mees (2003:48)
  3. Gussenhoven (1999:76)
  4. Collins & Mees (2003:133–134)
  5. Collins & Mees (2003:135)
  6. Rietveld & Van Heuven (2009:70). Authors state that "in most northern areas, /œy/ is pronounced [ʌ̈y̯]."
  7. Collins & Mees (2003:135–136)
  8. Verhoeven (2005:245)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Collins & Mees (2003:136)

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition (PDF), ISBN 9004103406
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1999), "Dutch", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 74–77, ISBN 0-521-65236-7
  • Rietveld, A.C.M.; Van Heuven, V.J. (2009), Algemene Fonetiek, Uitgeverij Coutinho
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 243–247, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173

Other websites[change | change source]