Is it always acceptable to leave off the "een" when describing a profession? Other kinds of descriptors? What about something like "de man is vader?"
You can leave the article off when you are talking about a profession or musical instrument, but you would need "een" for "de man is een vader".
Hm... De man is vader is possible in some contexts though? 'Hij is vader geworden'
Interesting! Anyone know the story behind this, or is it just a little quirk that has always been there?
Hmm, I could swear I have heard Rem Koolhaas pronounce the 'ch' in architect and architectuur much like the 'ch' in the English (borrowed French) word chagrin, yet here 'architect' is pronounced more like it is English. Is this a regional difference?
Both "sj" and "g" sounds are common. Some people prefer the latter because of the Greek origin of the word, but the same is not true for words like chirurg, which is pronounced as sjierurg. English pronunciation is different on 2 counts: the first syllable is stressed (in Dutch the last), and the ch is rather more like a k.
To add to this, here is a video in which you can hear both pronunciations: https://nos.nl/video/2048055-minimumtarief-voor-zzp-architecten.html
Cool! Thank you both, for the explanation and the video. Here is a video of renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. The narration in the video is in English, but most of the video is in Dutch with English subtitles. I put Dutch text in the comments section below the video with time markers for each segment so that anyone learning Dutch can follow along. The series is called Dutch Profiles.