is there a reason for the dutch love of putting j's up next to other consonants? there's no precedent in english/spanish/latin/italian/other languages i've looked at
Adding "je" to the end of a word creates a diminutive, and diminutives are used much more freely in Dutch than in any other language I know of. Beyond that I couldn't really say.
Well, the letter j in Dutch represents a y-sound. Other languages (like the Romance langs) tend to represent this as an 'i' next to consonants, like Spanish 'invierno'. So the languages you mention it have it in spades, but disguised by a cosmetic difference.
It's like in german wich is phonetically similar to dutch word "meisje"
In german you add "chien" to make things diminutive. Thus you get "Mädchen"
If jongen = boy, what is "a youth"? Like the German word "Junge", I keep wanting to translate it as "youth". [In fact, I thought the Hitlerjungen of old was "Hitler Youth", and that is how I have read it in history books and heard it documentary films, but it looks like it should be translated as "Hitler Boys".] So what would be "a youth" in Dutch [and German]?
lose the idea there will be glosses to correspond like that across llinguistic boundaries...it happens sometimes but its a differnt game with evey language
I typed exactly the right answer and got 'incorrect'. This happens quite a lot.
If it happens, either use the report function, or take a screenshot and post it here.
It sounds like the second "een" gets shortened to "e". Am I hearing it correctly?
Yes, the vowel in 'een' is a schwa. (like the first vowel in about) So the spelling is kinda misleading here.
Though when we want to differentiate 'one' from 'a', it's pronounced regularly like [e:n] and we write it as 'één'.