Re: [DESG] Pronunciation
- Hi Julian,
My mind didn't go any further than England or the US.
I think your New Zealand variety might be much closer
to Dutch long a than the English/US variety. Maybe some
audio recordings will shed some light on this, but I'm
currently not capable of doing that, so this will have to
wait a little.
Something for the group: is it an idea to make 1-word
or perhaps 1-syllable audio samples to demonstrate
the basic Dutch sounds? Then we wouldn't need to
enter into discussions like Julian and I had, because
then you could just refer to an audio recording when
email@example.com hef schreven:
>Hi Henry. We have a sticking point here, because English is my first
>language and therefore perhaps the problem lies with regional accents of
>English and/or Dutch. I live in the north of the Netherlands, so I am
>far less affected by western accents than many. However, my own native
>English is of the New Zealand variety, so it's not exactly standard
>either (if there is such a thing as standard English these days). This
>shows up most in Dutch when I try to say words with a long "e" and the
>result sounds like "ij". It's a typical NZ/Australian thing to say
>"G'day" with the "-ay" part sounding similar the "ei/ij" in Dutch.
>In any case, I always believed that the way that I pronounce "father" is
>very close to the way that the majority of the English-speaking world
>say it. Sure, I've also heard it said a little like "foorther". but in
>my opinion that is an exception rather than the rule. The "a" sound that
>I use when saying "father" sounds the same to me as the long Dutch "a"
>that I am taught at Noorderpoortcollege in Groningen.
>Perhaps we must agree to disagree. :-)
>Pronounciation is a thorny subject because of the wide regional and
>Henry Pijffers wrote:
>> Julian wrote:
>> >Hi Henry. I'm not sure how *you* pronounce the English word "father",
>> >but when said not too quickly by a native speaker of English the "a"
>> >definitely sounds like the Dutch long "a" in my opinion.
>> >The short "a" in Dutch is more similar to the short "u" in English,
>> >though not quite the same.
>> I'm pretty fluent in English, and my pronunciation
>> is also pretty good, if I may say so, so I'm sticking
>> to my statement that (my) long a is nothing near
>> the a in "father".
>> Maybe it all depends on regional variety, and you've
>> heared the long a in a western accent? I can imagine
>> that would sound like the a in "father".
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- ij or ei should not be pronounced as [ai] as in 'eye' in Standard
Dutch, but as e (as in bed) + y (as in yes). Some dialects (e.g. the
Amsterdam dialect) have [ai] for ei/ij.
In German and English the original diphthong [ei] developed into
[ai] at an early stage. Since the 1970's there is this tendency
towards [ai] also in Dutch. (cf Dutch "wijn", German "Wein" and
You may hear this [ai] in what has been named "poldernederlands".
Polder Dutch is a variant of Dutch speech that differs from standard
Dutch because the diphtongs /ei/, /ui/ and /ou/au are pronounced with
a wider mouth opening, which makes them sound more or less like [ai],
[áy] and [au]. Also the R is pronounced differently as an American
Polder Dutch is said to be a result of women's emancipation.
(Educated) women started using this variant on TV, especially on
commercial TV and its current speakers are still mainly young women.
One should note that many people abhor this pronunciation.
Want to know more?
NORMAN REVELL wrote:
> Dutch diphthongs can be very difficult to tune your ear to (it took
>Dutch "ei" (...)It is certainly not pronounced like the German "ei"
> First of all the Dutch "ij" is pronounced the same as the
which is somewhat like "eye"
In "unrefined" speakers I have heard it sound a bit like the
Cockney "ay" when saying words like "kijk" but it can sound a bit
> The "eye" sound does occur in Dutch but it is written as "aai" sohow do you pronounce a word like "baai" and do you distinguish it
Note that there is the same difference between the first part of the
diphthong in 'aai' and 'eye' as there is between the aa and a in maan
and man, the latter being shorter with the lips more rounded.
For untrained English ears it is hard to distinguish a and aa, as I
found out when trying it on an English native speaker. He did not
hear the difference!