why does dutch have all the strange sounds in it? i can type it but cant speak it because i don't even know how to pronounce wij!!! big thumbs up to anyone who has mastered dutch!!! good job!

July 31, 2014


They aren't "strange" sounds at all. They're simply how Dutch sounds. I'm sure there are millions of people who aren't accustomed to English sounds either. :)

your probably right.

"W" is pronounced like a "v" (v)iolet "IJ" is pronounced like "ay" h(ay)

Native Dutch speaker here. Regarding the w, it looks like it depends on where you are from. I'm from the south and compared to the video RigelKentian links to, my w sounds more like the English w but less pronounced. The w in the video really sounds like an accent to me (het Gooi or thereabouts). (I edited this first part after reading RigelKentian's post.)

The ij indeed sounds a bit like ay in English hay, but in fact this sound is identical to the Dutch ee vowel. (You don't want to end up saying wee which means birth contraction.) Also, the Dutch greeting is prounounced exactly like English hay. The ij is somewhere between that sound and the English i in hi I think. I'm not really sure (it's all just different sounds to me…), but I do know that you have to drop your jaw while making the ij sound (like you do when pronouncing English ouch, but not producing the same sound…).

Maybe somebody else can describe it in a better way?

Sorry about that, I'm not very far in Dutch myself. Thank you. :)

Dutch W doesn't sound like an English W at all to me. As a Dutch guy I'd say it sounds a lot like the English V but there's a subtle difference (which I can't explain). But it's not a big deal to pronounce it like an English V, it just means you're speaking with an accent.

Edit: There's a good explanation here:

Like I mentioned in my post above, I'm not too fond of the w movie you link to, but the vowels movie made by the same girl (including the ij sound) is a good one I think.

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