1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. Any tips for nailing pronunci…


Any tips for nailing pronunciation?

My girlfriend is half-Dutch and is coaching me through pronunciation of words, letters, and sounds--notably "g", "r", and "ij" and "ei". She's helped me nail "ui". So, is there any advice out there for getting the "g" and "r" sounds correct, or any resource for pronunciation in general? At the moment, with words like "grijs", I'm producing a vague throat noise in an attempt to pronounce it correctly.

Any help? Cheers.

Edit: My "coach" has noted that the voice pronunciation on Duolingo isn't as accurate/helpful as one would hope, which is why I'm asking for anything else other than the text-to-speak voice (which is kind of vague to understand anyway, sometimes)

October 8, 2014



Switch the g into a KH, (so grijs sounds like khrice in some sort), repeat it with the K sound and gradually remove and make the K softer and add phlegm as you do so. Also do this with ch/sch (schoon becomes skoon until you soften the k until you hit the guttural sound). For the rolling r, use the Dutch word straat or stra to practice, repeat it as fast as you can as it forces you to trill your R.

I've tried these techniques myself (the ones listed) and as my fiance is Dutch, I know they work too :)


Thanks! I live in Germany, and I don't know if you're familiar with German, but would you say the "sch/ch" sound in German translates to a Dutch "g"?


Well the book I learnt from, and among other places say the CH sound is the same as G. Think of the German word "bach" = the CH in Dutch is pretty much the same sound as in the CH in 'bach'. Or the same as the Scottish word 'loch' :)

SCH is just CH with a S plopped in front of it - it was a pretty tricky to nail it for me at first. I literally avoided saying it for the first few months, but then I just went for it.

This may help you btw: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=SpellingAndPronunciation.02a :)


I recommend lots of spitting. As for the 'r', there are a number of ways to do it that relate to accent or social status (i.e., some are more posh than others and they range from the front of the mouth to the back of the throat) and none is more correct than the others. I've been practicing my Dutch for a few years here in the Netherlands and find the text-to-speech used on Duolingo to be highly inaccurate and unnatural in certain cases.

I don't know of any resources (hopefully someone else knows some, or perhaps some of the sticky threads have some tips), but if you want to hear some proper Dutch being spoken in a way that is designed for children and early language learners, take a look at http://jeugdjournaal.nl/. The pronunciation is usually slow and clear enough to get a better idea of how to master those sounds

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.