pronunciation of the n at the end of a word

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Englishisgreat

Senior Member
German
Dear all,

I have a question regarding some words in Netherlands or Flemish. Ik kan het niet begrepen. Is it right that the n is not pronounced with the word begrepen ? The same applies for spelen or lopen ?

Does exist a general rule ?

Best regards

Christos
 
  • miss estrella

    Member
    dutch
    Dear all,

    I have a question regarding some words in Netherlands or Flemish. Ik kan het niet begrijpen. Is it right that the n is not pronounced with the word begrepen ? The same applies for spelen or lopen ?

    Does exist a general rule ?

    Best regards

    Christos
    In formal speaking the 'n' is promounced, but when we speak a bit sloppy we don't pronounce the 'n'. if exaggerated it can sound like begrijpuh, speluh, lopuh, the last 'e' is always swja, 'stom' (mute?). But it should be a sort of not very strong 'n'.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    uitspraak - eind-n
    Als we gewoon spreken, laten we de eind-n dikwijls weg. Alleen als we declameren of voordragen, laten we al die n'en nadrukkelijk horen. Dat klinkt dan ook meteen gedragen, gewoon spreken doen we dan niet meer. Op radio en televisie kunne we beter de eind-n niet altijd late hore, want we willen op een doodgewone manier tegen ons publiek spreke.
    uitspraak - eind-n | VRT-Taalnet



    [Partly translated: In common speech, we often don't pronounce the end-n. If we pronounce it consistently, declaiming or reciting for instance, it's not normal speech any more. ]
    But there's no rule or obligation to drop the end-n altogether in speech or to pronounce it, except for a few cases highlighted in this VRT link.
    Personally I always thought it more typical of the Dutch to drop the end-n, but I have to admit I also mostly drop it. But certainly not always.
    Anyhow, not articulating end-n isn't sloppy at all.
    If you want to irritate your listeners constantly, always pronounce the end-n.
    [...on radio and TV, we want to address our public in a normal manner, so better not always pronounce the end-n]

    I have a question regarding some words in Netherlands or Flemish.
    Dutch
     
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    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Hallo,

    Bedankt voor uw antwoord en de informatie. Ik zal in de toekomst het n weglaten.

    Fijne dag nog.

    Groetjes

    Christos
    As already mentioned in Eno's quote, it is very common to keep the N if the next words starts with a vowel.

    We ete pas om zes uur.
    We eten om zes uur.

    This happens in both the Netherlands and Flanders, but I think it is more common in Flanders.

    In some areas, it is also common to keep the N before BDHT. This is called the Eifeler Regel in German (f.i. Luxembourgish), but Luxembourgers also drop the N before B.
    And in West-Flanders it is common to keep every N :D
     
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    Englishisgreat

    Senior Member
    German
    Hello Peterdg,

    You mean it is better at any case to keep the n when speaking with Dutch and Flemish people to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings ?

    Best regards

    Christos
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    No, don't.

    Don't try to mimic native speakers; you'll make mistakes that are much worse (ridiculous) than pronouncing the end-n.
    Always articulate n then? I wouldn't trash the VRT advice so totally: drop the n is "normal speach", it says..
    It's no ridiculous mistake if you drop the n. Also it's an easy habit and more spontaneous.

    Alternating a bit can be done safely before a vowel: We eten om zes uur, as Red Arrow said.

    And in West-Flanders it is common to keep every N :D
    As almost always "Bacht'n de kupe", the "swa"-e disappears even totally before the n.
    met de poepers zitt'n
    j'is te ljilijk om t' elpn dund'r'n. etc...

    We don't like the 'swa'-e in West Flanders.

     
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    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Always articulate n then? I wouldn't trash the VRT advice so totally: drop the n is "normal speach", it says..
    You have to know when top drop it. If you proniunce e.g. the word "en" without the final "n", then you are wrong. On the other hand, pronouncing it always, you are never wrong.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    "En" is no "schwa".
    Bon het is lang geleden maar ik herinner mij de fameuze systematische of maniakale n-beklemtoner Karel Jonckhere.
    Maar zelfs hij zegt: "Mijn Alpennnmuts diep over de oge(!!!) getrokkeNNNNNN":D

    Ik heb de audiolink maar dat mag hier niet.

    En is no 'schwa'.
    It's a long time ago but I remember very well the famous Flemish poet and systematic or maniacal n-accentuater Karel Jonckhere.
    But even he says this:
    "...Mijn Alpennnmuts diep over de oge (!!!!!) getrokkeNNNNNN":D

    I possess the audiolink but such links are not permitted here.

    Dat doet mij denken aan de hele heisa over de tussen-n (orthografische heisa)
    Die wordt genadiglijk haast nooit uitgesproken. Pannekoek. (Pannenkoek)

    Makes me think of all the brouhahaha about the intermediate n in compound words (ortographical brouhahaha that is)
    Mercifully that n gets almost never pronounced. Pannekoek, not pannenkoek.
     
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    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    If you want a schwa
    It's all about schwa here, remember?
    Een is only mute (schwa) as an article and as such is always pronounced 'n
    Een as a numeral, a personal pronoun, a noun is no schwa at all.


    You can't drop the n in such a monosyllabic word without reducing it to a single remaining schwa.

    Seems you've found by and large 1 exception of the need of pronouncing the n after a schwa...
     
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    bibibiben

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Hello Peterdg,

    You mean it is better at any case to keep the n when speaking with Dutch and Flemish people to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings ?

    Best regards

    Christos
    If the choice is between always dropping n after schwa and never dropping n after schwa (which is an extremely simplified choice), you'd be better off by dropping the n's altogether in large parts of the Netherlands.

    Even n before a vowel can be dropped. Just make sure that your schwa is not overly pronounced. You can easily get away with open ogen pronounced as ['oːpᵊ 'oːɣə], but once you have clearly said ['oːpə] you're practically bound to say ['oːpən 'oːɣə] as well. Muffle your schwas and you're safe!
     
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    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Peterdg, I have no idea what you are trying to say. I cannot think of ANY situation where it would be confusing if someone dropped the N except maybe the word 'teken'.

    ik teken (I draw) <=> het teke (the sign)

    But even then the context would give away the meaning immediately.
    So I agree with Bibibiben.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    If the choice is between always dropping n after schwa and never dropping n after schwa (which is an extremely simplified choice), you'd be better off by dropping the n's altogether in large parts of the Netherlands.
    Sure:
    I always thought it more typical of the Dutch to drop the end-n,
    Bibibiben:
    Even n before a vowel can be dropped. Just make sure that your schwa is not overly pronounced. You can easily get away with open ogen pronounced as ['oːpᵊ 'oːɣə], but once you have clearly said ['oːpə] you're practically bound to say ['oːpən 'oːɣə] as well. Muffle your schwas and you're safe!
    Sure, but
    Alternating a bit can be done safely before a vowel: We eten om zes uur, as Red Arrow said.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    , I have no idea what you are trying to say. I cannot think of ANY situation where it would be confusing if someone dropped the N
    I don't think Peterdg said or meant 'confusing for the listener'. He said the speaker would make himself ridiculous for not knowing when to drop or not to drop the n.

    He came up with only ONE word where it would be confusing (for the listener) to drop the N: the article "Een".
     
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    ottaviocr

    Senior Member
    UK
    Italian
    I have a question regarding some words in Netherlands or Flemish. Ik kan het niet begrepen. Is it right that the n is not pronounced with the word begrepen ? The same applies for spelen or lopen ?

    Does exist a general rule ?
    I'm not a native speaker, but there's no formal rule for pronunciation in Dutch. In fact:

    there's no rule or obligation to drop the end-n altogether in speech or to pronounce it, except for a few cases highlighted in this VRT link.
    "En" is no "schwa".
    I disagree. According to P.C. Paardekooper (ABN-uitspraakgids):

    begrijpen = [bə'grɛipə]

    There's definitely a schwa at the end.

    begrijpen - Vertaling Nederlands-Engels
    begrijpen
    werkw.
    Uitspraak: [bəˈxrɛipə(n)]

    begrijpen - Translation from Dutch into German | PONS

    I can hear a schwa before the -n.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    The webpage says:
    "De eind-n van de eerste persoon enkelvoud van de tegenwoordige tijd is meestal te horen.
    ik teken
    ik open"

    What about their singular imperatives teken and open with the same spellings?
    Their N is also pronounced :)

    a tick = een teek
    ticks = teken (N can be dropped)
    a sign = een teken (N can't be dropped, at least not in Standard Dutch)
    I draw = ik teken (N can't be dropped)
    Draw! = Teken! (N can't be dropped)

    My personal advice for you: ONLY drop the N in the suffix -en (meaning: plural/infinitive/interfix), not in words that just happen to end with "en". Don't drop the N in "een". When someone says their name without N, then say it like that. Otherwise say it with N.
     

    LoveVanPersie

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Hakka
    Dank je wel!
    a sign = een teken (N can't be dropped, at least not in Standard Dutch)
    So the IPA on woorden.org are wrong!:eek:
    drop the N in the suffix -en (meaning: plural/infinitive/interfix)
    What about plural -en in the middle of a proper name like s'-Hertogenbosch and 's-⁠Gravenhage? The webpage says "In eigennamen wordt een n midden in het woord altijd uitgesproken."

    And... I also wonder if the n of the adjective open and first name Kirsten could be dropped?:confused:
     

    ottaviocr

    Senior Member
    UK
    Italian
    Dank je wel!

    So the IPA on woorden.org are wrong!:eek:

    What about plural -en in the middle of a proper name like s'-Hertogenbosch and 's-⁠Gravenhage? The webpage says "In eigennamen wordt een n midden in het woord altijd uitgesproken."

    And... I also wonder if the n of the adjective open and first name Kirsten could be dropped?:confused:
    You can omit all the -n at the end if you want. The pronunciation guide on woorden.org is pretty good, but they don't use standard IPA.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Like most female names, I personally wouldn't drop the N in Kirsten. I don't know why that is.

    Yes, the N in "teken" (sign) and "open" (the adjective, not the verb stem!) can be dropped, but you will never hear that on VRT NWS. It is not Standard Dutch.

    The N at the end of a verb stem (Draw! Open! I draw. I open.) is never dropped by anyone, as far as I know. Not even in dialects. It is probably the only clear rule :D

    The rule about place names also seems true to me.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    The rule on the webpage, but only for interfix -en-, not for the suffix -en. For instance, the N in Tienen can be dropped.
     

    LoveVanPersie

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Hakka
    Did your interfix simply mean -en- in the middle of word and suffix simply mean at the end of word? :confused: :confused:

    For example, 's-Hertogenbosch and 's-Gravenhage is from des hertogen bosch (“the duke's forest”) and des graven hage (“the count's hedge”) according to Wiktionary, so I think their -en are genitive suffixes. Would you drop their n's? :confused: :confused:

    And what about middle -en in other proper names like the surname Gussenhoven?
     
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    aprendiendo argento

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    There is a regional variation at play as well.
    In Belgium, West Flanders people are more likely to pronounce the final n.
    In the Netherlands, people from eastern and northeastern regions, closer to Germany are more likely to pronounce it, and do it in the German way lopen ['lo: pn̩] (compare with German laufen [ˈlaʊfn̩]) instead of [lo: p ə].
    I find [lo: pə] easier on the ear and on the lips to pronounce.
     

    bibibiben

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    As already mentioned in Eno's quote, it is very common to keep the N if the next words starts with a vowel.

    We ete pas om zes uur.
    We eten om zes uur.

    This happens in both the Netherlands and Flanders, but I think it is more common in Flanders.

    In some areas, it is also common to keep the N before BDHT. This is called the Eifeler Regel in German (f.i. Luxembourgish), but Luxembourgers also drop the N before B.
    And in West-Flanders it is common to keep every N :D
    It's a common thing in the Netherlands as well. In some parts of the Netherlands this phenomenon can be observed as well, though:

    We et'om zes uur.

    Or even:

    W'et'om zes uur.

    IPA for w'et'om:

    [ʋeɪtɔm]

    Or:

    [ʋ'eɪtɔm]

    Or:

    [ʋeɪt'ɔm]

    Or (rarely):

    [ʋ'eɪt'ɔm]

    No schwa, no n. Merely weakly pronounced glottal stops at most. You will most likely not encounter this phenomenon in the north or east or the Netherlands, but anything goes in the west or the south. Wild things are going on there.
     
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