a double vowel is always 'long'
(de) vloot2 ('fleet')
a single vowel at the end of a word is always 'long' (except E)
de2 ('the' #1)
a single vowel followed by one or more consonants at the end of
a word is 'short'
(het) vlot23 ('raft')
a single vowel followed by one consonant followed by another
vowel is 'long.' (The syllables split is before the single
This is somewhat like English 'silent E')
vloten (vlo-ten)2 ('fleets')
a single vowel followed by two or more consonants is 'short.'
(The syllable break is between the consonants)
vlotten (vlot-ten)23 ('rafts')
This rule 'works' for double consonants, but not always when the
consonants are different
The 'voiceless, unstressed E'
(the 'schwa') is a problem
Diphthongs don't have 'short' and 'long' forms
Vowels and diphthongs are a little longer when followed by R
So (de) man2
('man, human adult male) has the plural
while (de) maan2
has the plural manen (ma-nen)23