Learn How To Pronounce The Dutch Alphabet

Blog
15 November 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: micheile dot com


Dutch fact of the day: The Committee of Ministers of the Dutch Language Union has the power to decide how Dutch should be spelled on a ministerial basis under the Spelling Act of September 15, 2005. This law mandates that the spelling be followed by the government, publicly financed educational institutions, and tests for legal requirements. In a sense, the Spelling Act is more or less recommended, but not a mandatory requirement.

The modern Dutch alphabet is made up of 26 letters based on the Latin script. It has the same 26 letters as the English alphabet, with 6 or 5 vowels and either 20 or 21 consonants, depending on how the letter "Y" is used. Dutch is a phonetic language, which means that the words read exactly as they sound. Although, a few words might seem a little challenging to pronounce at first, especially for Dutch beginners. But worry not, because once you’ve waltzed your way through the language, then these words will no longer be too intimidating.

So, if you’re ready to get your Dutch lessons going, then start learning your Dutch ABCs. After that, you can master many basic Dutch expressions and even some words with difficult pronunciations. And hopefully, with time, you'll be able to communicate effectively with your Dutch mates.

Quick Dutch Alphabet Housekeeping:
  • the letter “G” makes a guttural sound, so the pronunciation sounds more like “Kh”
  • the letter “J” makes a “Y” sound almost all the time, maybe except for some loanwords
  • the letter “V” makes an “F” sound
  • the letter “W” makes a combination sound of “V” + “W”

      Letter
      Sound
      Dutch Word Pronunciation
      A a ah appel (apple)
      B b bay bacon (bacon)
      C c say concert (con-sert)
      D d day dans (dans)
      E e eh ezel (ey-zel)
      F f eff frisdrank (fris-drank)
      G g ghay goud (khowt)
      H h haa ham (ham)
      I i ee incheckbalie (in-check-bah-li)
      J j yay januari (yan-yu-ah-ri)
      K k kha kaas (kaas)
      L l el lipgloss (lip-gloss)
      M m em melk (melk)
      N n en nacht (nakht)
      O o oh oktober (ok-to-ber)
      P p pay pinda (pindaa)
      Q q kuw quinoa (qui-noh-aah)
      R r ehr rockster (rock-ster)
      S s es soep (soop)
      T t tay tour (tour)
      U u oo uil (owl)
      V v vay vriendelijk (vreen-deh-lahk)
      W w way walnoot (val-noot)
      X x ex xylofoon (xy-lo-fon)
      Y y ei yoga (yo-kha)
      Z z zet zalm (zalm)

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