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spreek een (pronunciation )

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by James Bates, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. James Bates Senior Member

    English America
    In the sentence "Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands" ("I speak a little Dutch") does "spreek een" sound the same as "spreken"? They sure sound the same to my ear! It's as if you're saying, "Ik spreken beetje Nederlands", even though the "e" in "spreken" is supposed to be short, unlike the "ee" in "spreek".
     
  2. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    The first "e" in "spreken" is long, the same as the "ee" in "spreek".
     
  3. James Bates Senior Member

    English America
    Oh, I see. I guess that explains why "Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands" sounds exactly as if it were "Ik spreken beetje Nederlands".
     
  4. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    In spoken Dutch (NL, at least) the 'n' would not usually be pronounced if it were 'ik spreken beetje...' whereas it is clearly heard in 'ik spreek een beetje..'

    Also, anyone who said 'ik spreken beetje..' would not be a native speaker so they would say it with a foreign accent. :D
     
  5. Muizer New Member

    Nederlands
    Hi James,

    It's very similar indeed but the "lettergreep" to which the k belongs makes the difference:

    Ik-spreek-een-beet-je/bee-tje
    Vs
    Ik-spre-ken-beet-je

    Im not a linguist btw, Just a native speaker ;)
     
  6. Sjonger Senior Member

    Netherlands
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I agree with Muizer, but the difference is very small, and I think any native Dutch person would 'Ik spreken beetje Nederlands' hear as 'Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands'.
     
  7. Couch Tomato

    Couch Tomato Senior Member

    Russian & Dutch
    I agree with Sjonger. However, if you talk slowly the difference becomes much more significant.
     

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