We tend to add a syllable in words like these:
- Warm - Warrem
- Melk - Mellek
- Kalm - Kallem
Pronouncing it without is considered posh and a bit snooty, especially with words containing an 'r'. Without the extra syllable, you are basically forced to make the 'r' sound like the way dumb Californian girls pronounce the 'r' in 'whateverrrrrrr'.
People who speak like that are called 'kakkers' meaning they are posh(ish). It's usually college kids at high end universities that adopt this accent, and it's quite often ridiculed.
Agreed, of course! However, if I were learning Dutch as a second language, I'd prefer to speak like one of your cousins than the queen, no matter how charming you might find me. Or I would at least appreciate someone telling me my accent sounds like I just swallowed a hot potato, as they say in English :P
Good diction is one thing, and that is definitely something to focus on when Dutch isn't your first language (as in my case). The thing with not adding the 'extra syllable' sounds more affected than that though, as if you're putting on airs. Several of my Dutch medestudenten at university told me this morning that my accent in Dutch sounds posh, which I'm interpreting as 'well articulated', despite their giggles.
I try to sound more neutral than posh, because 'proper' Dutch is known as Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands (General Civilised Dutch), which is a pretty offensive term to anyone not from Hilversum.
Exactly. The thing is that this no-extra-syllable accent is usually associated with people from Hilversum/Laren/Wassenaar, which is where the rich people live. The accent is therefore often seen as a negative trait, because the Dutch are very fond of normalcy. Thinking you're better than others is seen as an extremely negative trait over here.
One of our most favorite idioms is:
- Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg.
This translates to: just be normal, that's crazy enough.