From Wikipedia

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Dutch pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{ IPA-nl}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

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

IPA Examples English approximation
b beet bait
d dak duck
f fiets feats
ɣ gaan [a] no English equivalent; roughly like loch (Scottish) but voiced
ɦ had [a] behind
j jas yard
k kat, cabaret school
l land land
m mens man
n nek [b] neck
ŋ eng long
p pen, rib [c] sport
r ras [d] trilled R or guttural R
s sok sock
t tak, had [c] stop
v ver [a] very
ʋ wang [e] between wine and vine
x acht, [a] weg [c] loch ( Scottish English)
z zeep [a] zip
Marginal consonants
c tientje, check [f] cheer
ɡ goal [g] goal
ɟ Giovanni [f] jeep
ɲ oranje, Trijntje [f] somewhat like canyon
ʃ sjabloon, chef [f] shall
ʒ jury [a] [f] vision
ʔ bindig [bəˈʔɛindəx],
Trijntje Oosterhuis
[-ə ˈʔoː-] [h]
catch in uh-oh!
ˈ voorkomen
as in commandeer
Other representations
ə(n) maken optional /n/ in the /ən/ ending; not pronounced in many dialects [b]
IPA Examples English approximation
Checked vowels [i]
ɑ bad father, but rather short
ɛ bed bed
ɪ vis sit
ɔ bot off
ʏ hut roughly like nurse
Free vowels and diphthongs [i]
aap father
beet, ezel [j] made
ə hemel again
i diep deep
boot [j] story
y fuut roughly like few
øː neus [j] roughly like fur
u hoed boot
ɑi ai price
aːi draai prize
ʌu jou, dauw [k] out
ɛi bijt, ei [k] may
eːu sneeuw say oo
iu nieuw ew or free will
ɔi hoi choice
oːi nooit boys
œy buit [k] house ( Scottish English)
ui groei to eternity
yu duw few would
Marginal vowels
ɛː scène [l] square ( British English)
analyse, dier [m] wheeze
ɔː roze [n] [o] thought
œː freule [n] roughly like fur
cruise, boer [m] rule
centrifuge, kuur [m] roughly like fugue
ɑ̃ː genre [n] roughly like croissant
ɛ̃ː hautain [n] roughly like doyen
ɔ̃ː chanson [n] roughly like montage


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  2. ^ a b 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. The syllabic pronunciation is considered to be strongly non-standard, especially in the Netherlands.[ citation needed]
  3. ^ a b c 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 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].
  5. ^ 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], or even a voiced labiodental fricative [v]. In the south of the Netherlands and in Belgium, it is pronounced as a bilabial approximant [β̞] (as it also is in the Hasselt and Maastricht dialects), and Standard Surinamese Dutch uses the labiovelar approximant [w].
  6. ^ a b c d e The alveolo-palatal stops [c] and [ɟ], the fricatives [ʃ] and [ʒ], and the nasal [ɲ] are allophones of the sequences /tj/, /dj/, /sj/, /zj/ and /nj/. [ɟ] and [ʒ] occur only in loanwords. [ɲ] also occurs as an allophone of /n/ before /tj/ (realized as [c]).
  7. ^ / ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch and only occurs in loanwords, like goal or when /k/ is voiced, like in zakdoek [ˈzɑɡduk].
  8. ^ The glottal stop [ʔ] is indicated sparingly in Dutch transcriptions on Wikipedia: it is mandatorily inserted between [aː] and [ə] and a syllable-initial vowel, both within words and at word boundaries. Often, it is also inserted before phrase-initial vowels and before any word-initial vowel. This is not indicated in most of our transcriptions.
  9. ^ a b 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).
  10. ^ a b c 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.
  11. ^ a b c 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.
  12. ^ Mainly found in loanwords.
  13. ^ a b c Found in loanwords as a separate phoneme, and as an allophone of its shorter counterpart before /r/ in both native and non-native words.
  14. ^ a b c d e Found in loanwords.
  15. ^ In Belgium, /ɔː/ tends to be pronounced the same as /oː/.


  1. ^ a b Gussenhoven (1999:74)
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003:136)


  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition (PDF), ISBN  9004103406
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1999), "Dutch", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 74–77, ISBN  0-521-65236-7
  • Rietveld, A.C.M.; Van Heuven, V.J. (2009), Algemene Fonetiek, Uitgeverij Coutinho
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 243–247, doi: 10.1017/S0025100305002173

External links