THE DUTCH ALPHABET: The system, the rules

Nout looking at a Dutch dictionary, on the left the title "The Dutch alphabet"

The alphabet seems rather basic but it’s very much a necessary skill. You might wonder, why bother learning the alphabet but don’t forget how handy those annoying letters might come once you have to spell out your (likely) foreign name (or write down someone else’s), or when you want to see how a word that you don’t understand is written so you can look it up later. Which is why in this blog, you’ll find two videos where you can hear both the Dutch and the Flemish alphabet separately, repeat the letters together with me and practice your way to perfection.

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION!

First of all, here are some questions for when you want to know how to spell something:

  • informeel // formeel
  • Hoe spel je dat? // Hoe spelt u dat?
  • Hoe schrijf je dat? // Hoe schrijft u dat?
  • Kan je dat spellen? // Kunt u dat spellen?

THE ALPHABET

Because Dutch and Flemish are variations of the same Dutch language (remember?), our alphabet is the same:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LET’S MAKE CATEGORIES!

In the video’s below you’ll find the slightly different ways in which each alphabet would be pronounced. However, both alphabets can be divided into three vowel-based categories where all of the letters in each category end in the same vowel sound:

A: H, K
E: B, C, D, G, J, P, T, V, W
U: Q

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT…

Hopefully the two video’s below will guide you through the rest of the alphabet. Repeat, study, repeat and repeat until you no longer need the video’s to say the alphabet correctly. Good luck!

1 Comment

  1. […] of the long vowels is the same as the pronunciation as the vowels as they appear in the alphabet ( Dutch and Flemish). The best thing you can do is to study one word per vowel so that you can […]

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