The Alphabet 3
The Dutch alphabet has 26 letters, which are divided into vowels (klinkers) and consonants (medeklinkers).
The Dutch consonants are:
Some consonants can be combined with other consonants to produce different sounds:
- In the combination <ng>, as in the word for ‘boy’, jongen, the <ng> is pronounced as /η/, like the sound in the English word ‘sing’.
- The consonants <c> and <h > are combined to form <ch> which is generally pronounced as /g/, but in some loan words, like chocola, the <ch> is pronounced as /sj/.
The letter <c> can be pronounced as either /s/ (cent) or /k/ (cadeau).
The letters <d> and <b>, when occurring at the end of a word, are in fact pronounced as /t/ and /p/ respectively. The <d> in the word goed (‘good’), for instance, is pronounced as /t/, and the <b> in heb (‘have’) is pronounced as /p/.
Consonants are doubled to allow for the spelling of short vowel sounds. One thing to remember is that Dutch words can never end in a double consonant. A word like *basketball would not be correct in Dutch, it should be basketbal.