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https://www.duolingo.com/Willowfae

Een and en

Willowfae
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I have a question on the pronunciation of these two words. My instinct on reading the words is een as in been and en as in end (British English pronunciation). But on listening to the audios een is not pronounced like that.

So I'd be grateful if someone could clear up how these two words are pronounced.

Thanks :)

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
stwel
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I think you are right about "en".

For "een", it is never pronounced as in "been" however. There are two possible readings :

  • When used as indefinite article (een man), it's a bit like the "an" in "an hour"
  • When used a numeral (more often written as één), it's a bit like "ane" in "lane"

I should note that I am a Flemish speaker, but I think that part is the same between Flanders and the Netherlands.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
Lenkvist
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"Een" and "been" do rhyme when "een" is used like the number one.

You only need to write "één" with diacritics when it's in front of a noun to distinguish it from the version that means a/an. When it's not in front of a noun, you just write it as "een". For example, "een is meer dan twee" is correct as you cannot confuse it with the article.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stwel
stwel
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I think that the "been" that was being referred to is the English pronunciation, like in "i have been". So what I meant was that that is not at all how it's pronounced in Dutch.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
Lenkvist
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Yes of course, that makes sense :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BJH05

As your a Flemish speaker and I need to learn the Flemish side as my partner is Flemish I was wondering if any of the dutch language is different compared to yours. Obviously you have slang but other then the accents to you use the same vocab?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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To be honest the vowel in "been" is nowhere close to how "ee" is pronounced in dutch. there are a few different pronunciations that you will hear. 1 pronunciation off "ee" as in the word "een" is pronounced like the I in "bit". another common pronunciation of "ee" is can be approximated by the vowel diphthong ""eː"" as found in the word "play" - in an American accent. 2nd; often "ee" becomes diphthongized as "eɪ" as found in words "face" or "cake". you will be understood if you can pronounce "ee" as I have suggested, though pronunciations will vary across the Netherlands and Belgium

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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I don't agree with your bit example. If you pronounce it like that, it sounds like the Dutch word in (inside). Een (the article) sounds (almost?) identical to the un part in stun or gun.

Eén (the number, not the article) indeed sounds a bit like play, face or cake or lane.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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in south african english the i in the word bit is pronounced with a schwa hence "BəT". as i am from south africa, i would consider the example valid. however, some appropriate examples for english speakers from america or the uk would include: the "a" in the word COMMA or for RP the "er" in the word LETTER. in the examples you suggested the "un" in the words "gun" and "stun" is pronounced "ʌn" in the uk (and most other english speaking countries), however in America those examples are pronounced with a schwa so they would be correct if you came from the US

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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Regarding your bit example, I had no idea it was about South African English and I certainly wouldn't have thought of that if you hadn't mentioned it. :)

Regarding the whole this Dutch word sounds like that English word. I think I just have to stop doing that. People disagree with me so often, probably because I just cannot imagine the different sounds with the different English accents well enough. And in some cases I guess even if I would hear it, I wouldn't recognise some similar but different pronunciations. Like English speakers have with Dutch uu and oe. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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i guess you have to speak the language (dutch or english) for a long time to notice the different pronunciations. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgierbo2
jgierbo2
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I think een is pronounced as the IPA symbol /e/, while en is more like a schwa.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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in standard dutch the phoneme /e/ does exist however it is usually lengthened as indicated by the use of a colon : therefore "ee" is usually transcribed as /e:/ in ipa. but you are right about "en" the sound used here is indeed a schwa - transcribed in ipa with the /ə/ symbol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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I hear it more like the "u" sound in the French word "un" or like the "e" in the French word "le". Or like the "ö" in German and Hungarian. Is that right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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Een (the article) indeed sounds like the e in French le. It doesn't really sound like u in French un.

The German ö is actually closer to the Dutch eu sound.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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Interesting... all three of those sounds sound the same to me :S

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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The French u in un and the German ö are quite close, but not the same. I think the e in French le sounds pretty different from those if you ask me. I'm not really good in explaining these kind of things. Somebody else probably can, e.g. you can ask in the French forum. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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Anyway, for a beginner in Dutch, they're all in the general ballpark... it's all good. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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no it isn't im afraid. ü in german respresents the phoneme ʏ (Near-close near-front rounded vowel) while in parisian french U normally represents the phoneme y (Close front rounded vowel). hungarian ü is generally the same as the french U

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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lol, I said "ö" not "ü"!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgierbo2
jgierbo2
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The ö does sound kind of similar but it is pronounced in the front of the mouth, while the schwa is a central vowel, it is the so-called "neutral" vowel

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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Ah, I see the difference! thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LongHenry
LongHenry
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oops! on my computer the "ö" looked like the "ü"! sorry!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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lol, it's ok!

4 years ago