Dutch Alphabet | Alfabet uitspraak – Letter R

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Pronunciation exercise:

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How to pronounce Dutch letters extra pronunciation lesson Dutch dutch alphabet dutch alphabet letter r

Transcript of the lesson:

Hi, this is an extra video – to the Dutch alphabet and pronunciation lesson. In this lesson, I will discuss more in detail the letter “r”. I got a lot of questions about the pronunciation of the “r”, so I decided to make an extra video to make that clear.

I will turn the music down – so you hear better my pronunciation.

The letter “r” in Dutch can be pronounced in many ways.. Phonology experts are able to distinguish several factors (by the place in the mouth where the sound is created and the extent to which the “r” is rolling) that in its combination this results in numorous pronunciations of the “r”.

But I would like to keep it simple. There are three main pronunciations of the “r” in Dutch. And I name them Spanish, English, and French.

Some pronounce it like a rolling: rrrrrrr, like in Spanish (but also other languages have it, like Italian and Russian). So my name for example would be: Bart.

Some people pronounce it the english way. Then it is Bart. You hear, no rolling sound anymore.

And some pronounce it more like the French do – when it is quite close to the “g” sound. Listen carefully: Bart.

What determines who pronounces the “r” how? Mainly it is the region. In general in the southern provinces Limburg and Brabant have the French “r’. Also Rotterdam and the Hague have an accent that comes close to the “g” sound. The province South Holland (except Rotterdam and The Hague) and the centrally located region ‘t Gooi have the english “r”. The funny thing is that the Gooise “r” is often used by children all over the country. And the reason is simple. ‘t Gooi is where the television stuios are. To make television shows with children, you take them from the region. So in children’s tv programs usually the Gooise “r” is used and children all over the country copy that.

Now the most important question that many students asked me, which one is the correct one? Well, it’s difficult to say. Officially there is no instruction that in standard Dutch one type of pronunciation of the “r” should be used.

It is my own opinion that the rolling “r” is the most correct one. And now you perhaps say – well that’s just your personal choice, because you speak with this “r”. Actually my opinion is based on the next.

If you ask a Dutchman to spell a word. Or to repeat it again and again. Then, someone who use in their spoken language the english or french “r”; suddenly starts to use the rolling r. I explain. You ask one what’s your name. He says: Pieter. You say, what. Pieter. What: P I E T E R.

You understand? So that is where my opinion is based on. But I repeat, formally there is not one specific pronounciation of the “r”.

Now what is my advice to you as a Dutch learner. Well, to keep it easy; just stay to your own “r”. And if your own language has an “r” which is very strong in one direction, then just try to reduce it a bit – make the sound shorter.

For example: if you are from the US. You probably would say: Bart. Just make the “r ” sound shorter.
If you are Italian. You probably would say: Bart. Here the same, make the “r” sound shorter.

If you are French. You probably would say: Bart. Here als o, make the “r” sound shorter. Bart.

To chinese people and to native speakers of some other asian languages – please try to avoid making the “r” sound like an “l”. This is a common problem, a rolling “r” is for you probably difficult, so better to try to come close the english or french “r”.

Now, that’s it. I really hope this helps you further. If you think, this video-lesson has valuable information; then I hope you reward it in youtube by pressing the thumbs up, button.

Time to practice. I made an exercise video that comes with this lesson, about the “r” where I pronounce the words, and you need to repeat them. Just go to a quiet place where you should not feel ashamed of producing strange Dutch sounds and do the exercise.

And do not forget to subscribe to the learndutch.org youtube channel for weekly new video lessons to learn Dutch.


Transcript of the exercise
:

This is an exercise to the extra lesson about the pronunciation of the letter “r”, in Dutch. I will read words that contain the “r”, and you need to repeat it outloud. In this exercise it is NOT important to know the meaning of the words. It is only about pronuncation.

Attention, my personal “r” is a rolling “r”. In the lesson I explained the alternatives, if it is difficult for you to reproduce this sound. You can do this exercise with your version of the “r”. Remember, whatever “r” you use, keep the sound short.

Go to a quiet place where no one disturbs you. I start with words, and I finish with short phrases. I will read each word or phrase twice, and after that, you repeat what I said.

Let’s start:
The r in the beginning of words: raaf roepen rekenen roekeloos rusten rieken rap reuk

The r in the middle of words: varen huren koren bart borduren knorren barsten kracht

Words with several r’s: rivier krater verwateren verraden praatgraag breder huurder krijger

And now the phrases:

De ruiter reed raar op zijn paard.
Rietje riep naar rudolf, om te starten met rijden. Rudy huurt een kamer in Rotterdam.
De kerel krijgt krachtvoer.
De waarde van de euro verwatert.
Hoe breder, hoe beter.
De praatgrage ronald krijgt commentaar.
Peter verprutste de werkopdracht.

And that’s it. Thank you for doing the exercise.
If you think, this video-lesson has valuable information; I will be thankful if you push the thumbs-up button in youtube.
And do not forget to subscribe to the learndutch.org youtube channel for weekly new video lessons to learn Dutch.
And of course, check also our other pronunciation lessons. See you there !