Question about pronunciation
How would you describe the TTS engine's Dutch accent? I've noticed differences in pronunciation between the duolingo voice/memrise recordings/random people on youtube, particularly for the vowels "ui" and "ij". I'm bad at IPA so I can't transcribe the sounds but it seems like the duolingo robot pronounces words like "muis" almost like the English word "mouse" while the memrise guy says it more like "moo-is". Likewise on duolingo "ij" sounds almost like the a in "bake" while on memrise the guy says it closer to "ee". And people on duolingo have commented that some Dutch speakers pronounce it closer to "eye". Anyway I've got no plans to move to any Dutch-speaking area so it's not particularly important what I sound like but can anyone shed some light on this stuff?
From what I've heard of it, it doesn't consistently sound like any specific accent to me - the "g" is kind of southern, but I feel like the vowels don't fit with that. It's definitely one of Duolingo's less natural TTS voices (though maybe I'm just overly critical because it's my native language).
I really recommend everyone who wants to get good listening and speaking skills to practice those somewhere else. On npo.nl you can watch Dutch tv, which should help a lot with getting a feel for how actual human beings pronounce Dutch.
To me it sounds very formal like the kind of dutch you only hear on public broadcast radio or what Queen Beatrix sounds like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iJWD4zPiUk
The Dutch term for it is "geaffecteerde spraak", and it is supposedly without any accent, and it is considered to be the sociolect of the older upper class.
I have never met a Dutch person that actually speaks like the TTS engine.
I'm also having trouble with the pronunciation being all over the place from different sources and then trying to relate that to the spellings. As a beginner, I would like to have a lot of consistency in something like pronunciation. That leads me to think that learning the "geaffecteerdespraak" is a good idea and then I can try to imitate another accent after I've learned a lot more of the language. I also have echoes of "platfloomfs" sneaking in from my grandmother, which isn't helping me at all. ;-)