Does anyone know of a good resource online (my personal preference would be a book that I could download in PDF format) for learning Dutch pronunciation. I would like it to be aimed at those who speak British English. This is because the explanations they contain are bad enough for someone, like me, from the northern UK, when they base examples on the London variety of English. It is basically becomes impossible when examples of the English sounds are drawn from US accents.
(P.S. If I have just inadvertently said something rude, lol, and not Happy New Year in Dutch please take it up with Google Translate.)
Your request is a rather strange one. As far as I understand it, you're looking for a downloadable book that teaches Dutch pronunciation in a British accent, or for British-English speakers only? I don't know if such a thing exists, but you might just be able to find something online. I'm also trying to understand why the Dutch-pronounced sentences in the Duolingo Dutch for English speakers course wouldn't be helpful to you when it comes to learning Dutch pronunciation. As far as I know, the only English spoken with an American English accent is in the English for speakers of Dutch course.
I do not see why my request is strange at all.
I want a book that teaches the pronunciation of Dutch. Books that do teach pronunciation do exist. And, many books can be downloaded these days from the Internet.
When a book teaches the pronunciation of a language to an English speaker it has to tell its reader the sound in [name of language] approximates to [such an English sound]. Depending on the author the approximation could be to how a Londoner or a New Yorker pronounces that sound.
I do not want to learn to speak Dutch with a British accent but if I am to learn its pronunciation if I am to be told this sound approximates to I want it to be an approximation I would possibly know.
Of course, I can imitate the sounds of the Dutch pronunciation I hear on Duolingo. However, I like to approach things more systemically. Having already learned one foreign language to an advanced level I am familiar with books on phonetics. I have them for French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Dutch is not as popular as these languages and I am struggling to find one for Dutch. That is why I asked here to see if anyone knew of one.
That's a really good idea. Of course, that is OK for individual words. I suppose you could eventually work out how various letters and combinations of letters are pronounced in Dutch.
I would, though, like a book on its pronunciation. They teach the rules of a language's phonology and give guidance and how to pronounce the word, e.g. where your tongue should be, whether your mouth should be open or closed, etc.
I don't even know how phonetic Dutch is. English is awful. You can't just look at an English word and know how to pronounce it. I don't know how close spoken Dutch and Dutch orthography match-up.
I don’t know of any book that has what you want. Pronunciation should be practised, not learnt from a book.
The best way probably is to watch videos, films, anything that’s got audio content in it, and just repeat the words. Disney films, for instance, have been dubbed in Dutch.
You might also want to check out Forvo. It’s a neat little website where native speakers of languages upload their own recordings of them pronouncing words that people request.
A YouTube channel called “Easy Languages” is also at your disposal. Check out their Dutch playlist. It’s not extensive, but more than nothing.
I speak British English too, but it’s not impossible to learn how to pronounce words. Everything comes down to how much you’ve heard and practised. I’ve been lucky, because I have had chance to meet a lot of Dutch people in the Netherlands, ergo I’ve had chance to get the “hang” of the language a bit. Believe me, it’s not that hard, you only need to get used it.
Just because you have not heard of something or seen it does not mean it does not exist. Such books do exist and, as I have said previously in this thread, I possess such books in four other languages.
You can use books as part of the learning process. Hearing the sounds spoken, preferably by a native speaker, also helps as does correction of mistakes by the same people. However, such books are part of the process.
Nowhere have I said or even implied it is impossible to learn how to pronounce words.
And nowhere did I ever mention there aren’t such books. I was only trying to make a point that books may not be the most efficient way. I, personally, find it rather strange to learn pronunciation from book(s), as it is based on spoken words, but each to their own.
I did, however, suggest two alternatives to books. If you prefer written form, Dutch dictionaries might have IPA (this may not be so, I’m basing this entirely on the fact that English dictionaries come with IPA).
You said you did not know of such books. I did not say you said there were no such books. I simply pointed out in response to your ignorance that you should not infer, as your post did, that they do not exist.
Books on pronunciation are widely used on language courses at university and most modules on the oral skills of a language recommend one. They are written by experts in the field of phonetics. They teach about the pronunciation of a language in a systematic way. There is more to how a language is spoken than just knowing how to pronounce individual words.
If people do not know of such resources as I have enquired about I do not know why they are responding. To say they do not exist or that people are not aware of them does not really answer the question posed. Perhaps for Dutch no one has written one because it is not as widely learned as other languages. Publishers will not publish a book unless they know they will sell sufficient copies.
I understand what you are saying, and I can relate to difficulty of learning new sounds as I had the same trouble when pinning down the Mandarin R. However, regardless of what system of transliteration you use etc, it has to be compared to the sound you are hearing. You need to flesh out for yourself if you are having trouble with something and have a native check it if needs be.
There are very good videos of YouTube dealing with pronunciation, I would recommend that almost exclusively for ironing out issues with pronunciation. If it can work with a language as mechanically demanding as Mandarin, it can work for anything! Assuredly I tell you, Dutch is not remotely as difficult.
Edit: I just did a quick search and found this on the BBC website. I hope you find it useful. It is directly from the UK. I know not a PDF, but it's usable.
I once started a course on Mandarin so I do know Mandarin pronunciation is far more difficult than Dutch. Sadly, I was the only person who turned up for the course. They did allow it to run for three weeks, surprisingly, with me as the only student. But, then obviously it closed. I wish they hadn't because it was great getting one-2-one tuition.