The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Dutch and Afrikaans pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Dutch phonology and Afrikaans phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Dutch and Afrikaans.

IPA Examples English
[b] beet beet
[d] dak den
[f] [f] fiets fast
[v] ver,[1] hawe (Af.) oven
[x] [ç] [χ] acht[2], weg[3] loch (Scottish English) ~ hue
[ɣ] [ʝ] gaan[4] roughly like Spanish rasgo ~ ayuda
[ɦ] had[1] behind
[j] jas yard
[k] kat skin
[l] land land
[m] mens man
[n] nek[5] neck
[ŋ] eng long
[p] pen, rib[3] sport



water (American English)

No English equivalent

[s] [s] sok sock
[z] zeep[1] jazz
[t] tak, had[3] stop
[ʋ] [w] [v] wang[7] wing; velvet (Af.)
Marginal consonants
[ʔ] beëindig[8]
the catch in uh-oh!
[ɡ] goal[9] goal
[ʃ] sjabloon, chef[10] shall
[ʒ] jury[1][10] vision
[tʃ] check, Tsjechië, tjek (Af.) chat
[dʒ] Jakarta jump
[ˈ] vóórkomen
as in battleship
IPA Examples English
Checked vowels[12]
[ɑ] [ɐ] bad[13] father; duck (Af.)
[ɛ] bed bed
[ɪ] [ə] vis fish; again (Af.)
[ɔ] [o] bot soft; roughly like saw (British English)
[ʏ] [œ] hut roughly like united
Free vowels[12]
[ä] [ɑː] aap[13] father
[æː] perd (Af.) jazz
[eː] beet, ezel[14] mate; fair (Af.)
[ɛː] werk (Af.) says
[i] diep happy
[oː] boot[14] roughly like law (British English), more
[ɔː] môre (Af.) law
[y] fuut roughly like cute
[øː] neus[14] roughly like nurse; roughly like mayor
[u] hoed boot
ɛi bijt, ei; byt (Af.) may
œy œj buit No English equivalent
ʌu ɔu ɵu jou, dauw out; boat (South Nl./Af.)
[ə] hemel again
Marginal vowels
[ɐ] Wikipedia cut
[ʊː][14] [oː] ʊə voor poor (British English) (Af.)
[ɔː] [oː] ? roze[15] law; roughly like law (British English)
[ɪː][14] [eː] ɪə heer serious
[ʏː][14] [øː] deur roughly like united; roughly like sir
[ɛː] scène,[15] nê (Af.) says
[œː] øə freule[15] roughly like sir
[iː] analyse[15] beat
[yː] centrifuge[15] roughly like use
ɑ̃ː genre[15] roughly like croissant
ɛ̃ː hautain[15] uh-huh
ɔ̃ː chanson[15] roughly like own
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 In some northern dialects, the voiced fricatives have almost completely merged with the voiceless ones; /ɦ/ is usually realized as [h], /v/ is usually realized as [f], /z/ is usually realized as [s].
  2. The sound spelled ‹ch› is a voiceless velar fricative [x] or voiceless uvular fricative [χ] in Northern Dutch, and a voiceless palatal fricative [ç] in Southern Dutch, including all of Dutch-speaking Belgium. See also Hard and soft G in Dutch.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dutch devoices all obstruents at the ends of words (e.g. a final /d/ becomes [t]). This is partly reflected in the spelling: the voiced ‹z› in plural huizen ('houses') becomes huis ('house') in singular, and duiven ('doves') becomes duif ('dove'). The other cases are always written with the voiced consonant, even though a devoiced one is actually pronounced: the voiced ‹d› in plural baarden [baːrdən] ('beards') is retained in the singular spelling baard ('beard'), but pronounced as [baːrt]; and plural ribben [rɪbən] ('ribs') has singular rib, pronounced as [rɪp]. Because of assimilation, often the initial consonant of the next word is also devoiced, e.g. het vee ('the cattle') is [ɦətfeː].
  4. In the North /ɣ/ is usually realized as [x] or [χ], whereas in the South the distinction between /ʝ/ and /ç/ has been preserved. See also Hard and soft G in Dutch.
  5. The final ‹n› of the plural ending -en is usually not pronounced, except in the North East (Low Saxon) and the South West (East and West Flemish) where the ending becomes a syllabic [n̩] sound. In Afrikaans it is also dropped in the written language.
  6. The realization of the /r/ phoneme varies considerably from dialect to dialect. In "standard" Dutch, /r/ is realized as the alveolar trill [r] or as a uvular trill [ʀ]. In some dialects, it is realized as an alveolar tap [ɾ] or even as an alveolar approximant [ɹ].
  7. The realization of the /ʋ/ phoneme varies considerably from the Northern to the Southern and Belgium dialects of the Dutch language. In the north of the Netherlands, it is a labiodental approximant [ʋ]. In the south of the Netherlands and in Belgium, it is pronounced as a bilabial approximant [β̞] (as it also is in the Hasselt and Maastricht dialects), and Standard Belgian Dutch uses the voiced labiovelar approximant [w]
  8. The glottal stop [ʔ] is not a separate phoneme in Dutch, but is inserted before vowel-initial syllables within words and often also at the beginning of a word.
  9. /ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch or Afrikaans and only occurs in loanwords, like goal or when /k/ is voiced, like in zakdoek [zɑɡduk]. In Afrikaans it may occur as an allophone of /χ/
  10. 10.0 10.1 /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ are not native phonemes of Dutch, and usually occur in borrowed words, like show and bagage ('baggage'). Even then, they are usually realized as [sʲ] and [zʲ], respectively. However, /s/ + /j/ sequences in Dutch are often realized as [sʲ], like in the word huisje ('little house'). In dialects that merge /s/ and /z/, [zʲ] is often realized as [sʲ].[അവലംബം ആവശ്യമാണ്]
  11. When the penultimate syllable is open, stress may fall on any of the last three syllables. When the penultimate syllable is closed, stress falls on either of the last two syllables. While stress is phonemic, minimal pairs are rare. For example vóórkomen /ˈvʊːrkoːmə(n)/ "to occur" and voorkómen /vʊːrˈkoːmə(n)/ "to prevent". In composite words, secondary stress is often present. Marking the stress in written Dutch is optional, never obligatory, but sometimes recommended.
  12. 12.0 12.1 The "checked" vowels /ɑ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɔ/, and /ʏ/ occur only in closed syllables, while their "free" counterparts //, //, /i/, //, and /y/ can occur in open syllables (as can the other vowels). These two sets also go by the names dull/sharp, dim/clear, lax/tense, closed/open, or short/long. One of each pair is pronounced slightly longer by many speakers, so the terms long and short traditionally used to explain the use of doubled consonants and vowels in the orthographic system.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The near-open central vowel [ɐ] is an allophone of unstressed // and /ɑ/.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 When the vowels //, /øː/ and // precede /r/, they are pronounced [ɪː], [ʏː] and [ʊː], respectively.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Found in loanwords.
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