Help:IPA for Dutch

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Dutch pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Dutch phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Dutch, as well as dialectal variations that are not represented here.

IPA Examples English approximation
b beet bait
c tientje1 somewhat like cheer
d dak duck
f fiets feats
ɣ gaan2 roughly like go, but without completely
blocking air flow on the g; Spanish amigo
ɦ had2 behind
j jas yard
k kat school
l land land
m mens man
n nek4 neck
ɲ oranje1 somewhat like canyon
ŋ eng long
p pen, rib3 sport
r ras5 trilled R; similar to water (American English)
s sok sock
t tak, had3 stop
v ver2 very
ʋ wang6 between wine and vine
x acht,2 weg3 loch (Scottish English)
z zeep2 zip
Marginal consonants
ʔ beëindig7
the catch in uh-oh!
ɡ goal8 goal
ʃ sjabloon, chef9 shall
ʒ jury2 9 vision
check, Tsjechië chat
ˈ voorkomen
as in commandeer
IPA Examples English approximation
Checked vowels11
ɑ bad father
ɛ bed bed
ɪ vis sit
ɔ bot RP soft
ʏ hut roughly like future
Free vowels11
aap car (Australian/New Zealand)
beet, ezel12 made
i diep deep
boot12 roughly like bone or British English born
y fuut roughly like cute
øː neus12 roughly like fur
u hoed boot
ɛi bijt, ei13 may
œy buit13 house (Scottish English)
ʌu jou, dauw13 out
ɑi ai price
ɔi hoi choice
iu nieuw free will
yu duw few would
ui groei to eternity
aːi draai prize
eːu sneeuw say oo
oːi nooit boys
ə hemel again
Marginal vowels
ɔː roze14 15 raw
ɛː scène16 square (British English)
œː freule14 roughly like fur
analyse14 wheeze
centrifuge14 roughly like fugue
ɑ̃ː genre14 roughly like croissant
ɛ̃ː hautain14 roughly like doyen
ɔ̃ː chanson14 roughly like montage
æ slash14 17 slash


^1 The alveolo-palatal stop c and nasal ɲ are allophones of the sequences /tj/ and /nj/. Some speakers pronounce [c] the same as [tʃ].
^2 Generally, the southern varieties preserve the /f//v/, /x//ɣ/ and /s//z/ contrasts.[1][2] Southern /x/, /ɣ/ may be also somewhat more front, i.e. post-palatal.[2] In the north, these are far less stable: most speakers merge /x/ and /ɣ/ into a post-velar [x̠] or uvular [χ];[1][2] most Netherlandic Standard Dutch speakers lack a consistent /f//v/ contrast.[2] In some accents, e.g. Amsterdam, /s/ and /z/ are also not distinguished.[2] /ʒ/ often joins this neutralization by merging with /ʃ/. In some accents, /ɦ/ is also devoiced to [h]. See also Hard and soft G in Dutch.
^3 Dutch devoices all obstruents at the ends of words (e.g. a final /d/ becomes [t]). This is partly reflected in the spelling: the voiced ‹z› in plural huizen ('houses') becomes huis ('house') in singular, and duiven ('doves') becomes duif ('dove'). The other cases are always written with the voiced consonant, even though a devoiced one is actually pronounced: the voiced ‹d› in plural baarden [ˈbaːrdə(n)] ('beards') is retained in the singular spelling baard ('beard'), but pronounced as [baːrt]; and plural ribben [ˈrɪbə(n)] ('ribs') has singular rib, pronounced as [rɪp]. Because of assimilation, often the initial consonant of the next word is also devoiced, e.g. het vee ('the cattle') is [ɦət ˈfeː]
^4 The final ‹n› of the plural ending -en is usually not pronounced, except in the North East (Low Saxon) and the South West (East and West Flemish) where the ending becomes a syllabic [n̩] sound.
^5 The realization of the /r/ phoneme varies considerably from dialect to dialect. In "standard" Dutch, /r/ is realized as the alveolar trill [r] or as a uvular trill [ʀ]. In some dialects, it is realized as an alveolar flap [ɾ] or even as an alveolar approximant [ɹ].
^6 The realization of the /ʋ/ phoneme varies considerably from the Northern to the Southern and Belgium dialects of the Dutch language. In the north of the Netherlands, it is a labiodental approximant [ʋ]. In the south of the Netherlands and in Belgium, it is pronounced as a bilabial approximant {IPA|[β̞]}} (as it also is in the Hasselt and Maastricht dialects), and Standard Belgian Dutch uses the labiovelar approximant [w].
^7 The glottal stop [ʔ] is not a separate phoneme in Dutch, but is inserted before vowel-initial syllables within words and often also at the beginning of a word.
^8 /ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch and only occurs in loanwords, like goal or when /k/ is voiced, like in zakdoek [ˈzɑɡduk].
^9 /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ are not native phonemes of Dutch, and usually occur in borrowed words, like show and bagage ('baggage'). Even then, they are usually realized as [sʲ] and [zʲ], respectively. However, /s/ + /j/ sequences in Dutch are often realized as [sʲ], like in the word huisje ('little house'). In dialects that merge /s/ and /z/, [zʲ] is often realized as [sʲ].
^10 When the penultimate syllable is open, stress may fall on any of the last three syllables. When the penultimate syllable is closed, stress falls on either of the last two syllables. While stress is phonemic, minimal pairs are rare. For example vóórkomen /ˈvoːrkoːmə(n)/ "to occur" and voorkómen /voːrˈkoːmə(n)/ "to prevent". In composite words, secondary stress is often present. Marking the stress in written Dutch is optional, never obligatory, but sometimes recommended.
^11 The "checked" vowels /ɑ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɔ/, and /ʏ/ occur only in closed syllables, while their "free" counterparts //, //, /i/, //, and /y/ can occur in open syllables (as can the other vowels). These two sets also go by the names dull/sharp, dim/clear, lax/tense, closed/open, or short/long. One of each pair is pronounced slightly longer by many speakers, so the terms long and short traditionally used to explain the use of doubled consonants and vowels in the orthographic system. Differences in vowel length tend to be bigger in southern dialects; in extreme cases, when lax vowels become as tense as the tense vowels, the vowel length is the only difference between them.
^12 For most speakers of Netherlandic Standard Dutch, the long close-mid vowels //, /øː/ and // are realised as slightly closing diphthongs [eɪ], [øʏ] and [oʊ], unless they precede /r/ within the same syllable.[3][4] The closing diphthongs also appear in certain Belgian dialects, e.g. the one of Bruges, but not in Belgian Standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology#Monophthongs for more details.
^13 The exact quality of diphthongs varies; Netherlandic Standard Dutch has somewhat more open (in case of /ʌu/ and often /œy/ also unrounded) first elements: [æi], [ɐy], [ɑu].[5][6] In Belgian Standard Dutch, they begin in the open-mid region, and the last diphthong has a rounded first element: [ɛi], [œy], [ɔu].[7][8] In Belgium, the onset of /œy/ can also be unrounded to [ɐy].[9] Some non-standard dialects (e.g. many southern dialects) realise these diphthongs as either narrow diphthongs or (as in The Hague dialect) long monophthongs.[9] See Dutch phonology § Diphthongs for more details.
^14 Found in loanwords.
^15 In Belgium, /ɔː/ tends to be pronounced the same as /oː/.
^16 Mainly found in loanwords.
^17 /æ/ is pronounced the same as /ɛ/ by many speakers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gussenhoven (1999:74)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Collins & Mees (2003:48)
  3. Gussenhoven (1999:76)
  4. Collins & Mees (2003:133–134)
  5. Collins & Mees (2003:135)
  6. Rietveld & Van Heuven (2009:70). Authors state that "in most northern areas, /œy/ is pronounced [ʌ̈y̯]."
  7. Collins & Mees (2003:135–136)
  8. Verhoeven (2005:245)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Collins & Mees (2003:136)


  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

External links