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Accent for Dutch lessons

I grew up learning Dutch from my mother, and I thought this would be handy to freshen up my skills, but the accent/dialect that the voice uses is really strange. Een and en, Zij and ze, etc, are all pronounced differently by my Dutch-speaking relatives. Een has the elongated 'e' sound, and the 'ij' is definitely pronounced the way it should where I'm from. It makes differentiating between the words difficult for me. Does anyone else share these problems?

August 18, 2014



Yes, I've had these problems too (I don't speak Dutch, but I do listen to many audio files to help me get a feel of the language, so I know how it sounds). On Duolingo, it sounds choppy and like some of the words are being cut off in the recordings. I suppose that's why it's still in Beta. In any case, I'm just happy it's being offered here: even if the recording is a little off, we all have the opportunity of learning such a beautiful language!


I am a Dutch speaker. I just checked the pronunciation of the first lesson of the course. In the sentence 'Ik ben een man' the word een is not pronounced with an elongated 'e', this sounds correct to me. It means 'I am a man'. Pronounced with an elongated 'e' is would mean 'I am one man'. In general it seems to me that 'een' is only pronounced with an elongated when it means 'one' and with a 'short e' when it means 'a'. Another remark: in the sentence 'ik ben een man en jij bent een vrouw' you can hear a difference in pronunciation of the 'short e' in 'een' (meaning a) and the 'short e' in 'en' (meaning and). Also this difference in pronunciation seems correct te me.


I agree, as a native speaker, that it's really not that bad. But the voice does sound quite robotic, so I'd recommend people to also listen to Dutch radio stations or to watch Dutch movies and so on.


I have just started the Dutch course and I have a problem with the pronunciation of 'een' meaning 'a'. There are two voices, a man's and a woman's, and it seems to me that they have different accents, especially with 'een'. I've also noticed variation in the pronouns 'wij' and 'zij' and some other words. Has anyone else noticed differences in the way words are said by the two voices - or is it my imagination?

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