Pronouncing the 'N' at the End of Dutch Words

Many people in Holland, especially in the West, don't pronounce the N at the end of words. I consider that sloppy and incorrect, but I have to admit to a certain softening of my final N's

From the Dutch and Belgian Government Publication on The Preferred Spelling of the Dutch Language:
'In Dutch we find lope, loopm and lopen; the standard pronunciation is lopen.'

Uit: 'Woordenlijst Nederlandse Taal' ('Het Groene Boekje'), p17:
'Het Nederlands kent lope, loopm en lopen; de standaarduitspraak is lopen.'
lopen lope loopm

(Dutch Government Printing Office 'Staatsdrukkerij,' Den Haag 1995
Belgian Government Printing Office 'Standaard Uitgeverij,' Antwerpen 1995)

The only person who ever criticized me in person for pronouncing the final N's in Dutch was an American professor. Donaldson also says "it's unnatural not to drop one's N's" (in his modestly titled book 'Dutch.') It's a big thing for English-speaking linguists because dropping those final N's is supposed to show the Ingwaeonic (English and Frisian) influence on Dutch. I consider it sloppy to drop those N's - but it's a free country. Speak as you like.
But there's nothing wrong with pronouncing the final N's. The worst you can say of it is that it sounds 'educated.' My recommendation to foreign students is to pronounce the final N's. Dropping them makes Dutch spelling less phonetic and adds an extra rule.

I myself try to pronounce all final N's in Dutch, and I recommend you do too, but of course we live in the free world.
To students, I recommend to pronounce the final N's, because dropping them just adds another rule, it will make learning Dutch harder. You'll have to write those N's and you'll see them written, so adding another exception to the fairly phonetic pronunciation of Dutch just increases the level of difficulty.

There used to be a long discussion about that statement of mine on a Unilang.org forum but when I last checked it was gone. - broken link - The moderator is a bit quick to find fault with my page. It's a Dutch trait. The 'K' remark is also beside the point.
Anyway, as Multatuli says in the Max Havelaar (1860, generally considered the greatest Dutch novel): "Don't tell someone from Amsterdam that he speaks the accent." ( ... zeg dat hij een amsterdams accent heeft - wat nooit een Amsterdammer toestemt - ... (p. 100))

correct spelling spelling adapted to reflect pronunciation
De mensen praten plat. click to hear De mense prate plat. click to hear People talk sloppily, substandard. *
Wil je blijven eten? click to hear 2 3 Wil je blijve ete? click to hear Would you like to stay for [food - usually:] dinner?
We hebben lopen demonstreren. click to
    hear We hebbe lope demonstrere. click to hear 2 3 We have been in a protest march.
Dat had ik veel eerder moeten doen click to hear 2 Dat had ik veel eerder moete doen click to hear 2 I should have done that [much earlier] long ago
Ik heb 'm leren kennen in 't leger click to hear 2 3 Ik heb 'm lere kenne in 't leger click to hear I came to know him in the army

email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2014. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed, or hotlinked to.
Don't be a dief (thief) / dievegge (female thief) - diefstal (theft) - stelen (to steal) - heler (dealer in stolen goods) - hear Dutch - 2