It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the only way the student learn to pronounce Dutch sounds correctly is by imitating a Dutch speaker. If at all possible, then you should listen to the pronunciation on the audiofile or from the teacher over and over again until you can make the same sounds as the voice on the tape. Particular attention should be paid to the vowel sounds which are very different from English vowels. The consonants, on the other hand, are similar with English in most cases.
Stress in Dutch generally falls on the first syllable of a word, as in English (e.g. TA-ble) On the first appearance of any word that is an exception to this rule, we will indicate where the stress falls by a stroke placed before the stressed syllable.
This will not apply, however, where the Dutch word begins with an unstressed prefix since this is a rule you can learn and implement yourself.
Voiced consonants are those which are produced with vibration of the vocal cords. When voiceless consonants are produced, the vocal cords do not vibrate. This distinction is important for the description of certain Dutch consonants.
It is extremely important that you master the sounds of Dutch before moving on to grammar. Each sound is described in enough detail for you to work out it’s pronunciation but if possible this should be done in conjunction with a native speaker.
Please believe what I'm saying. Whenever you plan to learn to speak Dutch, then the alphabet including the vowers and consonants will be your most important lesson ever. It is therefore recommended to go through this in the beginning of your studies, because correcting the pronunciation at a later stage will cost you much more effort.
I know this is certainly not the most exciting part of learning Dutch, but you simply have to if you want to understand the Dutch people and if you want them to understand you.
The majority of the letters are in English, but the vowels and some consonants are different.
Most Dutch students will imitate the patterns which are popular and repeat them over and over. Because this stimulates a reaction, they will try more complicated sentences. This is when pronunciation becomes important because Dutch people won't get what you mean if they don't recognize the words you're trying to say.
- What's important to know is that when you learn a new language like Dutch you have to overcome your fears of sounding weird. There's no need to be scared to sound silly and you don't have to worry you won't succeed.
- At the start you will not understand anything when people are speaking Dutch to you, but after some time you'll begin to distinguish sounds, patterns and recognize them as well. An example is like saying hello or what people say before they start eating or ending a call.
- If you learn the basic rules about how to pronounce the words which are written, this will give a boost to the process of mastering Dutch & it'll add new information to your personal vocabulary when you hear new words on the way, in shops, on the street or where ever you may be located.