English with A Dutch Accent - Hear Dutch Characters from Plays

Hear me speak English with a Dutch accent; it is a bit embarrassing to me, I cringe a little when I hear it, but I guess it is of some use to actors and voice coaches. General Pointers

Formal Analysis of the Dutch Accent by Kathryn Maes of the Denver Center Theatre Company - Words List

Vincent in Brighton

The Names: Vincent van Gogh - Eugenie - Ursula
We had been at sea for seventeen days when the first storm hit.
The crew and I worked very hard to bring the ship under control and took care to make each of our actions deliberately.
The waves were crashing over the sides and stern as we fought to ride the crest and get over the top.
It was then I heard the skipper cry out for help from somewhere in the rain.
By the time I could see him, the large crate of glass had been resting on his chest for nearly a minute and in one glance I could see his eyes had gone lifeless.
With only our wit standing between us and certain death, we regained control of the ship and steered her into the wind.
Shortly thereafter, the storm passed and we made for calmer waters.
The hardest part about serving on board a small ship is the close quarters.
You have to try to stand each other for a few days and put emphasis on the things that have to be done.
My wife, Eugenie, will often accompany me on trips now.
We have been together for almost thirty years and still she will tell me to come home early from work because she misses me.
She is an architect and designed our home a very open space.
We found the money, though it was hard, to build it the way she imagined.
Outside we tried to make use of the pastoral view of the bottom of the valley by framing it with plants of all types.
I think it is lovely, though she would have preferred a view of water.
There is a cemetery nearby and often, with her sister Ursula, we walk there to see the stones.
hear: first part - second part - third part - in full, exaggerated

The weather is beautiful now. I think that Spring comes earlier here than it does in Holland. All last week, when I walked to work, there were apple trees in blossom, lilacs, hawthorns, chestnut trees. If you love nature, you can find beauty anywhere, even in a city.
This morning I woke at six. I went for a walk on the common. The sky was blue and a lark was singing. I ran to the church as though I was carried by wings. click to hear 2

Dracula (Van Helsing)

The real God taketh heed lest a Sparrow fall; but the God created from human vanity sees no difference between an Eagle and a Sparrow.
We have met before?
You find a natural progression, yes? A Fly? A Spider? A Bird?
Then, the Maidens shine not to the eyes that are filled!
Our angel of mercy! I've heard much about you. Come let's sit and tell me all.
Budapest?
Your fiancée is better?
Now let's see to our patient.
click to hear 2

My name is Professor Abraham Van Helsing. I am an expert in diseases of the blood.
Mr. Harker, we must face the facts. Mina has been bitten by a vampire. And that vampire is Count Dracula.
The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.
The Names: Professor Abraham van Helsing - Dracula
click to hear 2

In the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Two a series of documents came into my hands while consulting upon the saddest of medical cases. These diaries, journal entries, newspaper articles and letters of dear friends one to another have here been placed in an order to reveal a story so totally at variance with teh possibilities of contemporary belief as to appear the ravings of madmen. We offer no proofs. We ask none to believe us. You have only my word before God that what follows is pure and simple fact ... click to hear
- ninety click to hear

You are a clever man, friend John; you reason well, and your wit is bold; but you are too prejudiced ... It is the fault of our science which wants to explain all; and if it explains not, then it says there is nothing to explain ... You think there are no mysteries in life that science cannot unlock? Let me tell you my friend, there are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very men who discovered electricity - who themselves would not so long before have been burned as wizards. click to hear

Do you know the mysteries of life and death? Can you tell me why, when other spiders die small and soon, that one great spider lived for centuries in the tower of an old Spanish church? ... Can you tell me how in some island of the western sea there are bats who flit down on sailors asleep on deck and in the morning these sailors are found dead men, white as even Miss Lucy was? ... Can you tell me how the Indian fakir has made himself to die and be buried and to live again? ... Can you tell me why men believe in all ages and in all places that there be some who cannot die? ... To believe in things you cannot. An American once so defined faith: "that which enables us to believe things we know to be untrue." click to hear
- buried click to hear

With my poor wife dead to me, but alive by the Church's law, though no wits, all gone, even I, who am faithful husband to this now no-wife ... click to hear 2

Professor Szgany (from Budapest) click to hear
Nosferatu click to hear
Johan Szgany click to hear
Abraham van Helsing click to hear
Vlad Tepes click to hear (2) (Thank you Eduard Tara!)
Varna click to hear
Budapest click to hear
München click to hear 2 (Munich)
Galatz click to hear
Bistritza River click to hear
Borgo Pass click to hear
Dracula click to hear

The German:
Gott im Himmel! click to hear (God in Heaven!)
Mein Gott! click to hear 2 (My God!)
Halt! Ein Feuer. Die Ausländer haben sich hier ein Feuer gemacht. click to hear 2
(Stop! A Fire. The foreigners have made a fire here.)

Ila's Lines

This is Ila Niehaus from Secretary General Gam's office. The Secretary General wishes you to know that Mr. Momed Salah is ill and will not be speaking today.
Anders, ...that time when Skovland hid the keys to the embassy car. Two days, one car. We couldn't go anywhere. It was as if Norway stopped, that's what you said. Due to a practical joke.
Prosky's jaw's locked on every ambassador, trying to convince them not to attend Salah's speech. What if terrorists attack? He wants a call.
First time I've been in here today.
We've worked together for 22 years. I know how to keep him calm.
Anders had hip surgery 18 months ago. He's having trouble standing still.
click to hear

Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge (by Christopher Durang)

Merry Christmas, my darling husband. Even though we have no money, I have managed to buy you a Christmas gift, darling Edvar. Look- a watch fob for the cherished timepiece that your father gave you.
You don't like it?
Oh, Edvar. You bought me a Christmas gift by selling your watch. I am so touched. What did you get me?
I sold my hair in order to buy you a Christmas present.
It is. We've both given up things we love in order to buy presents which are now useless. How I hate Christmas.
I'd love to. But I sold my father's gun last year to buy you arrows, don't you remember?
And of course, I don't have arthritis. Darling, wait! We still have the arrows! Why don't we impale ourselves on them as a way of dying?
click to hear 2

The Wedding Party

Judith Herzberg: The Wedding Party click to hear
Ada click to hear
She hasn't slept with a man for over thirty years, so what does she know of life? click to hear 2
Or did she have a man, how am I to know? click to hear 2
Do you want to use my perfume? click to hear
I dropped the bottle in the washbasin and the bottle didn't break but the washbasin broke. click to hear
Then I cleaned up the splinters of glass, how can there be splinters of glass when the bottle didn't break? click to hear 2
And I cut myself deeply but it didn't bleed and that was rather worrying. click to hear 2
Have you seen these beautiful flowers? click to hear 2
I think they're awful. click to hear
Would you like to have my awful flowers? click to hear 2

Dutch has the identical-looking word splinters click to hear 2 3 so pronunciation might tend towards that

Deathtrap in Massachusetts (Helga ten Dorp)

(Helga ten Dorp) For hours now I feel the pain from here. And more than pain. Since eight-thirty, when begins The Merv Griffin Show. I am on it next week: you will watch?
click to hear 2

Thursday night. Peter Hurkos also. What they want him for, I do not know. I call the Information but the lady will tell me not you number. I call Paul but he is not at home: he is in place with red walls, eating with chopsticks. I call the Information again. I say "Is urgent psychic." She say, "Guess number?" I try, but only I see the two-two-six, which is everbody, ja? So I come here now.
hear both paragraphs: regular - exaggerated - exaggerated 2 - mild

The Names: Helga ten Dorp - Peter Hurkos - Merv Griffin - Paul
click to hear 2 3

David Sedaris's short story, Six To Eight Black Men

Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared.
click to hear 2 3 4 5

Van Gelder (Murder at Café Noir)

Mr Schickelmeier, yes
Meneer (Mr and Sir)
Yes! The eyes, that nose, Mrs Schickelmeier's missing daughter, Nancy.
Mevrouw (Mrs)
That's right, your name is Sheila. Nancy is your mother. I just left her in Sint Maarten where she's "recovering." She's always recovering, your mother.
moeder (mother)
It's really a question of what you don't want, isn't it? I read in the paper about this unfortunate death of Mr Gavreau. He was a business acquaintance of mine.
business relation
click to hear

It's even more Dutch when you say: 'He was a business relation of me' click to hear
We don't have that construction with the possessive in Dutch, we say
"De vrienden van m'n vader" not "The friends of my father's" - The friends of my father click to hear
Hij is een vriend van me - he is a friend of me click to hear
Hij was een vriend van me - he was a friend of me click to hear

I's criminal what an impetuous girl might do to her poor father's reputation. Surprising what business opportunities a spur of the moment trip might bring, yes?
impulsive girl
reputatie (reputation)
Madame Toureau, yes?
Meneer Van Gelder. Perhaps you've heard André speak of me?
Then perhaps we could talk, in private.
My gun, Mr Rick?
click to hear

(Name of Play Unknown)

Gellhorn click to hear - Gellhorn? click to hear 2
Chou-en-Lai wants to see you and Hemingway. Make sure you're not followed. Just walk, we'll find you. click to hear 2 + But hurry! 2 3
Get in, please. click to hear 2 3
Would you mind putting these on? click to hear 2
Chou has many enemies. It's better not to know how to find him. click to hear 2

Arsenic and Old Lace

I understand you have a room to rent?
Are you the lady of the house?
My name is Gibbs.
May I see your room?
That won't do much good if I don't like the room.
Haven't got a home. Live in a hotel. Don't like it.
Haven't got any family.
Yip, I'm a presbyterian. Used to be.
Is there always this much noise?
I'd really like to see the room.
Never touch it.
Elderberry wine ... mmm ... haven't tasted elberberry wine since I was a boy. Thank you. Do you have your own elderberry bushes?
Do you serve meals?
click to hear exaggerated

Miep Gies

Just to o give an idea of the accent I recorded a few of Miep Gies's lines in 'The Diary of Anne Frank' - but it's not meant to be spoken - Miep Gies spoke Dutch to Mr Frank.
I've been asked for Dutch accent tips by actors playing Anne Frank's horrible ordeal, and I've told them it would be wrong and detract from the play if the actors would try to speak English with Dutch accents. We've all seen war movies with German soldiers speaking English with a German accent to each other - when you think of it that doesn't seem right.
In plays or movies, I think Dutchmen (or any non-native speakers of English) should only speak English with a Dutch (or their own country's) accent when in the reality that is depicted they would speak English, like when talking to Americans or English people or others who don't speak Dutch. I think it would be best for actors to speak a class- and region-neutral 'newscaster' English when playing foreigners speaking their own language - but, thinking it over, when they speak to English-speakers they should adopt an accent? Doesn't seem right either.

Mr. Frank ... the most wonderful news ... the invasion has begun! Did you hear that everybody ...? Did you hear what I said? The invasion has begun! The invasion! It began early this morning! The radio! The B.B.C! They said they landed on the coast of Normandy! British, Americans, French, Dutch, Poles, Norwegians ... all of them! More than four thousand ships! Churchill spoke, the Genera l Eisenhower! D-Day they call it! I'm going to tell Mr. Kraler ... This'll be better than any blood transfusion! click to hear

Are you all right, Mr. Frank? Everyone in the office has gone home ... It's after six. Don't stay up here Mr. Frank. What's the use of torturing yourself like this? click to hear

What do you mean? Where are you going? Where? Mr. Frank, you can't leave here! This is your home! Amsterdam is your home. Your business is here, waiting for you ... You're needed here ... Now that the war is over, there are things that ... click to hear

No. No. It wasn't suffering. You can't say we suffered. Mr. Frank, did you see? There are some of your papers here. We found them in a heap of rubbish on the floor after ... after you left. click to hear

Other Texts

Lucretia - from an audio book

Jack van der Geest Escape from Buchenwald

Bean - a few lines from Ender's Game

The Little Dutch Boy at Age 50 - a very silly story, not written by a Dutchman

Abraham's Boys - an unpleasant horror story

Marco's Song

Oh it will take a while
To make me smile
'fore I can find
The peace of mind
To relax, take things as they come
Oh, it will take a while
click to hear

Songs By Others

Late Fifties - note the 'British' accent - before American TV, Rock and Pop gave most Dutchmen an American accent.
Het Leids Studenten Cabaret: Places - Cursing
Or go to the 'Music' directory

'Cold War Interview'

20 Minutes of me talking about growing up in the Cold War click to hear
(Sorry about the low volume and background noise)

email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2006. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.