Agreed.. but is it as complicated as german? I wonder if i should've started learning dutch first and then german
For an English speaker, Dutch is significantly easier, since it has less inflection (nouns and pronouns changing form for grammatical purposes) and one fewer gender (Dutch has common and neuter; German has masculine, feminine, and neuter).
A great example would be the word "een," which corresponds to German "ein" (m. and n.) and "eine" (f.). The German words can decline (change according to grammatical role) into numerous forms like "einem", "einer", "eines", while Dutch, like English, has lost this feature, except in pronouns. German adjectives also change in a similar manner, while Dutch does this in a way that is much easier for those of us with a background in more analytic (less inflectional) languages like English.
'en' should be like the sound in 'Ben' while 'een' should sound like the second half of 'hidden' or 'fallen' - the vowel has no distinct shape in your mouth or with your lips, like 'uh...'
I'm a native American English speaker so can only tell you what I hear. To me, 'een' sounds like -oon (as in noon or soon) whereas 'en' sounds like -en (as in end). It's very slight but to my ears it helps differentiate the sounds.
Een sounds like 'un' and en sounds like 'en' to me. I hope that's right.
(Native speakers please halp.) Can't "een" and "en" be pronounced the same in certain contexts? "Ik heb een hond." and "brood en boter" -- in these unstressed contexts, in natural speech, that is, are they pronounced differently?
Otherwise, "een" is pronounced like the English indefinite article "an", to my understanding, unless it is stressed as "één", where it becomes more like Ayn. A stressed "en" would be like the "en" in Ben, but I was under the impression that in unstressed locations, it would be reduced to a schwa. Please correct me if I am wrong, bedankt.
No, 'een' and 'en' are always pronounced differently. I found this site, while searching for words with matching sounds: http://www.heardutchhere.net/DutchPronunciation.html#voicelessE. The 'ee' in 'een' is pronounced like the E-voiceless (schwa) and 'en' is pronounced like the E-Short. That's always the case. When comparing 'één' with 'en', the 'éé' is pronounced like the E-long and the 'e' is pronounced like the E-short. For me as a native Dutch speaker I can tell the difference between 'één' en 'en', but I can see that the pronunciation of the words are quite similar for others and may be hard to differentiate. I'd suggest having a look at that website. It offers a variety of Dutch words and their pronunciation, which can help you hear the difference better.
They are pronounced differently in isolation for sure, but that is careful speech, which differs from natural, connected speech. If you look at the examples of "en" in various phrases here: http://forvo.com/search/en/nl/ , you can hear the clear schwa -- just what one would expect from vowel-reduction rules in Dutch phonology.
Perhaps these two words are perceived as sounding different because the roles they each play are so drastically distinct as to make confusion between the two almost impossible for someone with knowledge of the language, rendering perceptual disambiguation a very clear and effortless process.
I am Afrikaans, a language originating in Dutch. I would say "een" is pronounced like the name Ian/Iain while "en" is pronounce like the letter N. What might be confusing is that sometimes "een" is shortened to basically just 'n which then sounds much like the english "a". Try listening for the second een sounding like an "a" when you play the recording.
The word vrouw in this text to speech version sound more German then Dutch to me.
I know very little about northern dialects, but this course teaches standard Dutch, in which there is a distinction between the two.
Even in the pronunciation of many standard-language speakers from the Netherlands, initial /v/ is not often distinguished from /f/, though in words like "zeven", it is realised distinctly as [v]. This seems to be considered pretty standard.
Also, one must realise that even in standard language, dialect still often plays a role. A speaker's standard speech is often influenced by the phonology of local dialects, even if the speaker himself does not speak the dialect proper. (Prescriptivism always has its limits in the real world...) There is sometimes more than one way to speak even a standardised language...
Is there anyway to get better at the alveolar trill with words like vrouw? What kind of exercises can I do?
With me as a kid when I was learning a little bit of Spanish I had a bit of trouble with this. I found the best exercise was to try to make a car motor sound using your tongue instead of your lips. Just keep your lips slightly open and touch the tongue to the front roof of your mouth then attempt this. It will take some practice but eventually you should be able to do it for about 5 - 10 seconds before needing a breath. You can also say "The Tip of The Tongue Touches The Lips" This will help you get the muscle motion and help strengthen the muscle as every capital letter replicates the motion. That one wont make you able to do it just help you out with the motion and muscle memory.
so, you're all talking about "een" and "en" but my problem is with " jongen" , there is no "g" in it , is there ?
The -ng sound is different from the -g sound. The -ng sound is actually quite close to the English one. I wouldn't say it is 100% the same but I think it works if you stick to the English -ng sound.
I think of it as sounding like "Frau" (woman in German). It helps me to pronounce the Dutch letter 'V' as an English 'F'.
There are some people who pronounce a v almost as an f, but the v should be pronounced softer, basically both the v and the f are the same in Dutch and English. The v like in English veer, the f like in English fear.
People keep saying "softer" and I have no idea what that means. to me English "f" seems "softer" and "fluffier" than "v". Are people saying the "v" is said using vibrating vocal chords as in English? Because in the recording it doesn't sound that way to me. Please use non-subjective adjectives!
It depends on the dialect/accent... In certain regions, Frisia and northern areas, I believe, the /v/ and /f/ sounds are merged into the latter. Other areas pronounce a clear [v], like the English sound, pronouncing as a labiodental approximant, where the mouth is in the [v] position while moving as if articulating a [w].
well, the 'v' is definately not 'softer'. The f is. The audio pronounces it very weird. The 'v' is pronounced harder. Indeed vibrating.
Yes, v is a voiced consonant (there's vibration of the vocal folds), while f is voiceless (no vibration).
Unfortunately our Aussie accents aren't very refined which makes it difficult to shake. Having said that it is natural for it to come through when you speak Dutch just as it is for a Dutch accent to come through when they speak English.
What helped me though was to focus on saying the rou part of vrouw from the back of your mouth/throat. Most of what we say in English comes from the front of the mouth/tongue. Practice practice practice and you'll be right ;)
en=and een=a you pronounce it like this en like the word end but then only en. een like unreal undress under but then only un. good luck :)
Think of it as /y as in yacht/o as in long/ng as in eating/i as in interesting/n as in next/.
I've learned this all before but for some reason I'm rusty after three years. Hmmmm... How'd that happen?