This chapter will introduce the Dutch alphabet and the pronunciation of the letters in Dutch to you. Luckily, the Dutch alphabet is exactly the same as the English alphabet, but some letters are pronounced differently. Many Dutch words are difficult to pronounce for non-native speakers, so try to say all the Dutch words on this page out loud!
The Dutch alphabet consists of 26 letters, 21 consonants and 5 vowels. Pronunciation of the Dutch alphabet is not the same as the English alphabet. Listen to the alphabet and try to say the letters out loud afterwards:
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
|A = aa||N = en|
|B = bee||O = oo|
|C = cee||P = pee|
|D = dee||Q = quu|
|E = ee||R = er|
|F = ef||S = es|
|G = gee||T = tee|
|H = haa||U = uu|
|I = ie||V = vee|
|J = jee||W = wee|
|K = kaa||X = iks|
|L = el||Y = ei|
Dutch consonants can stand alone in words, but there are also some consonants combinations in which 2 or 3 different consonants are merged into a single sound.
|B||The B has the same pronunciation as the English B.||boek(book), bel(bell), bal(ball).|
|C||The C can be pronounced in two ways, as a K or as a S. The C is pronounced as a S if it stands in front of an I or E. The C is pronounced as a K if it stands in front of an A, O or U.|
C as S: cel(cell), cent(penny), centrum(centre)
C as K: code, cola, coma
|D||The D has the same pronunciation as the English D.||dom(dumb), dag(day), dier(animal)|
|F||The F has the same pronunciation as the English F.||fiets(bicycle), fles(bottle), flits(flash)|
|G||The G can be pronounced in several ways. The G in the back of the mouth sound rough, the G in the front of the mouth sounds softer.||geel(yellow), groot(big) gast(guest)|
|H||The H has the same pronunciation as the English H.||hond(dog), hut(cabin), heks(witch)|
|J||The J is pronounced as the “Y” in “yes”.||ja(yes), jong(young), jurk(dress)|
|K||The K is pronounced as the “C” in “cow”.||kast(closet), kleding(clothes), koor(choir)|
|L||The L has the same pronunciation as the English L.||lamp(lamp), lief(sweet), les(lesson)|
|M||The M has the same pronunciation as the English M.||mand(basket), maar(but), melk(milk)|
|N||The N has the same pronunciation as the English N.||nek(neck), nooit(never), niks(nothing)|
|P||The P has the same pronunciation as the English P.||pet(cap), plas(puddle), peen(carrot)|
|S||The S has the same pronunciation as the English S.||slang(snake), stok(stick), sap(juice)|
|T||The T has the same pronunciation as the English T.||teen(toe), taal(language), tik(tap)|
|V||The V is pronounced as the “V” in “very”.||veel(a lot), vis(fish), vies(dirty)|
|W||The W is pronounced as the “W” in “well”.||werk(job), wie(who), warm(hot)|
|Z||The Z has the same pronunciation has the English Z.||zon(sun), zes(six), zalf(salve), zak(bag)|
CH: The letter combination CH is pronounced as the letter G: lach (laugh), licht (light), pech (bad luck), lucht (air).
SCH: The letter SCH is a pronounced as an S + CH if a word starts with it. A SCH at the end of a sentence is pronounced as a single S.
NG: The NG has the same pronunciation as the English NG: ring (ring), jong (young), bang (scared)
Dutch plural words are written with one or two consonants. The single or double consonants are essential for the pronunciation of the word.
Vowels in Dutch can be either short or long. There are also combinations of vowels.
|A||The A is pronounced as the “a” in “car”.||pak(suit), man(man), kat(cat), tas(bag)|
|E||The E is pronounced as the “e” in “bed”.||pet(cap), bel(bell), west(west) les(lesson)|
|I||The I is pronounced as the “i” in “it”.||kip(chicken), wit(white), kind(child)|
|O||The O is pronounced as the “o” in “stop”.||bos(forest), sok(sock), pot(pot)|
|U||The U is pronounced as the “u” in “fun”.||rug(back), zus(sister), stuk(piece), druk(busy)|
|AA||The AA does not exist in English, but it sounds like the A-sound in “kind” of “white”.||kaas(cheese), maan(moon), taart(pie)|
|EE||The EE is pronounced as the “ea” in “great”.||been(leg), leeg(empty), feest(party)|
|IE||The IE is pronounced as the “ee” in “see”.||vier(four), wiel(wheel), niet(not)|
|OO||The OO is pronounced as the “oa” in “coat”.||boom(tree), rood(red), groot(big), oog(eye)|
|UU||The UU does not exist in English, so listen to the words and try to say them out loud.||uur(hour), muur(wall), vuur(fire)|
|OE||The OE is pronounced as the “oo” in “pool”.||boek(book), koek(biscuit), boer(farmer), hoed(hat)|
|EU||The EU is pronounced as the French word “feu”.||neus(nose), reus(giant), leuk(nice), breuk(fracture)|
|UI||The UI does not exist in other languages, so listen to the words and try to say them out loud.||huis(house), tuin(garden), fruit(fruit), bruid(bride).|
|EI/IJ||The pronunciation of the EI and the IJ is the same. The EI/IJ is pronounced as the “i” in “find.||mijn(mine/my), reis(journey), ijs(ice), meid(girl)|
The diphthongs are combinations of 3 or more letters, these can be both vowels and consonants:
|AAI||is pronounced as AA + J||taai(tough), haai(shark), saai(boring)|
|OEI||is pronounced as OE + J||boei(buoy), groei(growth), knoei(to mess)|
|OOI||is pronounced as OO + J||hooi(hay), kooi(cage), mooi(beautiful), gooi(to throw)|
|EEUW||is pronounced as EE + W||leeuw(lion), meeuw(seagull), sneeuw(snow), schreeuw(scream)|
|IEUW||is pronounced as IE + W||kieuw(gill), nieuw(new)|
|UW||is pronounced as UU + W||duw(push), ruw(rough)|
Hopefully, the Dutch alphabet and pronunciation is clear for you know. Now it is time to continue with the numbers in Dutch!
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
Ciao Robbie, thanks a lot for your feedback. I'm very happy you like the classes together and I'll do my best to keep them as fun and interesting as possible :-)
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)
Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!
Thank you very much for your words! You are a very diligent student! You apply and take one step forward with each lesson! See you soon!
Hi Mia, thank you for this feedback. We will continue in this way until you are ready for your exam!
Thank you Dan for the great review! A student like you makes everything easier. I hope to continue like that!
Thanks so much. It is understood that for any difficulty and / or misunderstanding I am at your disposal.Rina
Maria Grazia L.
Thanks a lot for the nice review. It is a real pleasure to be able to help you with German.
Very good class with Margaux, a young woman with a lot of knowledge and a lot of vocabulary :)
Hi, I'm Adriaan. I have been teaching Dutch and Spanish for seven years to students of all levels, from absolute beginners to... students who only need conversation. My students are of all ages, from 9 to 76 years old and from all continents. With each student I create a Google doc in which I put all the grammatical information, exercises and homework after each class. I can help you if you want to learn the language for fun, for work, or to prepare for an exam. Languages are my passion! See you soon! Read more
Hello! My name is Emilia and I am an experienced language tutor and translator from/to Bulgarian, Spanish, English and Dutch. My biggest... passion are foreign languages and I have passed this passion to many of my students throughout the years. Despite the fact I have a Master's degree in Economics and International Business and I've worked few years as an economist, my heart always takes me back to my teaching and translation jobs. With more than 15 years of teaching experience, a great level of patience and dedication to my work, and a great number of happy students, I am here to help you learn Bulgarian, Spanish, English and Dutch at your own pace and convenience. Hope to hear from you soon! Best regards, Emilia Read more
Hello, I'm offering informal Dutch and English lessons based on conversation and will conduct my lessons for as much as possible in the target... language. I use text, weblinks to tv shows to get us talking and am a fan of the TPRS method. There's a lot of information on that method online. Basically it's getting to know the structure Dutch and English through simple conversation. (questions about 1 or several sentences on any topic) I have some useful weblinks to tv shows in Dutch (with subtitles in Dutch) adjusted to your level and the shows are entertaining too. :-) We can discuss the shows preferably in the target language of course. I can explain some grammar too if needed and have articles and books ready to read from. This again will be adjusted to your proficiency. But of course if you'd like to focus on a topic which has your interest that is possible as well. This makes it more personal and more fun. I've been teaching for about a year now on another platform to students from all over the world and really enjoy having the experience again as I used to be a vocal coach back in the days when I attended conservatory in the Netherlands. I hope to see you here on Co language. :-) Read more