Vijf, twintig

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by InfoChow, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. InfoChow Member

    Hong Kong

    I was listening to different native Dutch/Flemish speakers on YouTube and my Dutch learning materials (Teach yourself series)
    pronouncing these two numbers 'vijf' and 'twintig'. However, they seemed to give slightly different pronunciations.

    For 'vijf', some would say the 'ij' like 'i' in American English 'five' and others would say it almost like 'a' as in English 'fate'.
    For 'twintig', some would say 'ig' like unstressed English 'e' + Scottish 'ch' while others would pronounce it like in German 'zwanzig'.

    If my observation is correct, is that the difference between Northern Dutch and Southern Dutch?
    Also I wonder if I'm in Amsterdam, which pronounciations will I hear?

  2. Sjonger Senior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    As for 'vijf':
    a There's a tendency from the fate-sound to the five-sound. In general: the more you say the five-like sound, the younger you are.
    b It's a bit a western accent (I think)

    As for 'twintig', de 'zachte g' is indeed southern pronounciation. You wouldn´t hear it in Amsterdam.
  3. InfoChow Member

    Hong Kong
  4. bibibiben

    bibibiben Senior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    In case you're familiar with the International Phonetic alphabet, this is how the words you mentioned are pronounced in Standard Dutch:
    vijf = [vɛif] ~ [væif]
    twintig = [tʋɪntəx]

    [ɛi] or [æi] should not be confused with [ei] as in English fate, since [eɪ] as in fate is much closer to [eɪ] ~ [e:] as in Dutch heeft. Avoid mixing up [ɛi] and [eɪ]. The difference is crucial in Dutch.
    [ai] as in English five is close enough to render [ai] ~ [a.i] as in Dutch haai, but is a rather poor substitute for [ɛi] or [æi] as in vijf. Although you can get away with it, it's safer to stay away from [ai] in words like vijf, mei, nylon, Meijer ...
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

Share This Page