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The Y in Dutch - Skip General Series Introduction

Pronunciation: Hear for Yourself

Do take my words for it
Too many examples! Listen just to what looks interesting or useful to you. That's the beauty of a free website - you can just skip what you don't need without feeling bad that you paid for something that's of no use to you. Listen to as many or as few examples as you want.
Pay special attention to letters, letter combinations and sounds that you don't have in your own language
These pronunciation pages are not meant for learning vocabulary. The English translations may lack in precision. But if you like, follow the occasional links ‑>> to explanation, examples of usage and/or related words.
Learning Vocabulary

Adjectives in most positions get an -E  ending ‑>>
Several words appear twice on the page. I do not have an infinite number of recordings, and some combinations of letters are rarely or never found in Dutch.

Spelling and Pronunciation

Dutch spelling/pronunciation rules say that: So (de) man click to hear 2 ('man, human adult male) has the plural mannen (man-nen) click to hear 2 while (de) maan click to hear 2 ('moon') has the plural manen (ma-nen) click to hear 2 3

'Long' and 'short' are traditional terms. The difference is actually more of tone than length
More about spelling and pronunciation - another version
Learn the Rules by Studying and Listening to Examples

Major Exceptions to the Phonetic Spelling of Dutch:
- Page 1:   een   -IG   -ISCH   -LIJK  
- Page 2:   -B   -D   SCHR   -TIE   UW   WR

Hear the Dutch Letters in Hundreds of Words:
 AU/OU  CH  EI/IJ  EU  F  G  H  L  OE  SCH  U  UI  W  X  Y

'Master Lists' of Dutch words: Dutch to English - English to Dutch

Y in Dutch

(de) "Y" click to hear 2 ((de) i-Grèc - 'Greek i') or click to hear ((de) Ypsilon - the Greek word for the letter) - but in the Dutch alphabet the Y is called IJ click to hear 2 - more below
In Dutch, Y is usually a vowel, pronounced like 'short I' click to hear or 'long I' click to hear - mostly according to the spelling and pronunciation rules - smartphone. Only when followed by a vowel (and then often often also after a vowel) it's said as consonant-Y, pronounced like Dutch J.

 'Short Y' 
 'Long Y' 
 Unexpected Long Y 
 Consonant-Y 
 The Letter Y 
 Exceptions 
 Y in Old Names 

the: de click to hear 2 / het click to hear 2 3 - 't click to hear ->>
Plurals always take 'de'
a: (een) - 'n click to hear / one: één click to hear 2 3

Repeat the words after me, try saying them like I do, and record yourself or ask a friend to compare how you say them with how I say them. Try to bring your pronunciation of the words closer and closer to how I say them. Use as few or as many examples as you like.

'short Y'

Dymfna click to hear (a girls' name) - (het) gymnasium click to hear (secondary school type, 'Latin school') - (de) gymnastiek click to hear 2 ('PE, gymnastics') - (de/het) gym click to hear 2 3 (short for both previous words, and a school hall for gymnastics or sports) - (het) krypton click to hear ('Kr,' a 'noble gas') - (het) mysterie click to hear 2 ('mystery') - mysterieus click to hear 2 3 ('mysterious, enigmatic') - (de) mystiek click to hear ('mysticism') - (het) symbool click to hear 2 ('symbol') - Sylvia click to hear (a girls' name) - (de) symfonie click to hear ('symphony') - (het) symptoom click to hear 2 ('symptom') - (het) syndroom click to hear 2 ('syndrome') - synthetisch click to hear ('synthetic') - systematisch click to hear 2 ('systematical') - (de) Ypsilon click to hear (Greek letter Y)

'Long Y'

analyseren click to hear 2 3 ('to analyze') - (de) baby click to hear ('baby' - English) - (het) baby'tje click to hear 2 3 4 ('small or dear baby') - biodynamisch click to hear ("biodynamic" - food growing theory) - chrysanten click to hear ('chrysanthemums' - flowers) - Coby click to hear 2 (a girls' name) - (het) cyaan click to hear 2 ('cyaan,' a grey/blue color) - (het) cyanide click to hear 2 3 ('cyanide') - (de) cyclus (cy-clus) click to hear ('cycle') - cynisch click to hear 2 ('cynical') - (de) dynamiek click to hear ('dynamics') - dynamisch click to hear ('dynamic') - (de) dynamo click to hear 2 (small electricity generator on bicycle) - enzymen click to hear 2 ('enzymes') - (de) fysicus click to hear 2 ('physicist,' physics scientist - also: (de) natuurkundige click to hear - (de) kernfysica click to hear 2 ('nuclear physics') - (de) hobby click to hear 2 ('hobby, pastime') - (de) hyena click to hear 2 ('hyena') - (de) hygiëne click to hear 2 3 ('hygiene') - (de) hygiënisch click to hear 2 ('hygienic') - hyper click to hear 2 3 4 5 ('hyper') - hypercorrect click to hear ('hypercorrect') - (de) hypotheek click to hear ('mortgage') - (de) hypothese click to hear ('hypothesis') - Jenny click to hear 2 (a girls' name) - (de) katalysator click to hear 2 ('catalyst') - koolhydraten (-hy-dra-) click to hear 2 ('carbohydrates') - Lelystad click to hear ('a city') - (het) lyceum click to hear ('old secondary school type') - lyrisch click to hear 2 ('lyrical') - (de) mythe (my-the) click to hear ('myth') - polypiep click to hear (["polysqueak"] - a fun word for styrofoam) - (de) pony click to hear 2 ('pony' - some people say "poony" click to hear 2) - (de) psychiater (psy-chi-) click to hear ('psychiatrist') psychisch click to hear 2 3 4 ('psychological, mental') - (de) psycholoog click to hear 2 ('psychologist') (Y looks like an exception to the spelling/pronunciation rule that a single vowel before CH is 'short') - (de) pyjama click to hear 2 3 ('pajamas, pyjamas, PJ's') - (het) systeem (sy-steem) click to hear ('system') - typen click to hear ('typing, to type') - typisch click to hear ('typical') - (de) xylofoon click to hear ('') - Yvonne click to hear (a girls' name)

Unexpected Long Y

(het) enzym click to hear 2 3 ('enzyme') - ik typ click to hear ('I'm typing') - (de) typfout click to hear 2 3 ('typo, typing mistake') - symmetrisch click to hear 2 3 ('symmetrical')

Consonant-Y

Before a vowel, and often between vowels, Y is pronounced as Dutch J, Consonant-Y
loyaal click to hear 2 ('loyal') - (de) loyaliteit click to hear 2 ('loyalty') - (de) mayonaise click to hear 2 ('mayonaise' - French) - (het) rayon click to hear 2 ('area') - royaal click to hear 2 3 ('ample, abundant')
(de) yoghurt click to hear 2 ('yogurt')

The Letter Y

The letter Y is usually called by its French name: (de) i-Grèc click to hear 2 ('Greek i') or you could use the Greek word: (de) Ypsilon click to hear
The Dutch alphabet shows a Y but it's said as Dutch EI/IJ click to hear
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z click to hear
In algebra Y is also said as Dutch EI/IJ click to hear
x + y = z (x plus y is z) click to hear 2 3 ‑>> - smartphone

Exceptions

The Y's in the synthetic material nylon click to hear ('nylon') and its plural nylons click to hear ('sheer stockings') are pronounced as Dutch EI/IJ click to hear - maybe in some imitation of the English.
Hymans click to hear 'Hiemans' would sound weird to me
The YE in the name of the small town of Yerseke click to hear is pronounced as English EE, Dutch 'long I' click to hear

Y in Old Names

Pieter click to hear Gerbrandy click to hear 2 WWII prime minister in exile
Cornelis click to hear Lely click to hear important 20th-Century land reclamation  mover ‑>> - Lelystad click to hear 2

In old names, Y and IJ are sometimes found where modern spelling has I, often in diphthongs, like the city of Cuyk click to
hear - the family name Huygens click to hear 2 or the Germanic goddess Freya click to hear 2 (Mrs Wotan.)
a few more names: De Gruyter click to hear - Van Duyn click to hear 2 - Uytewael click to hear 2 3 4
Ter Heyde click to hear 2 (South of The Hague, 1653 sea battle)
Feyenoord click to hear 2 top soccer club from Rotterdam
Spelling reforms don't extend to names.
Dutch people going international sometimes change a IJ in their name to Y

Old New York:
Kykuit click to hear 2 (kijkuit = lookout) Rockefeller estate in the Catskills
Nooten Eylandt click to hear ('nuts' island') now: Governor's Island (het) eiland click to hear 2 island Schuylkill click to hear ('hidden river')
Spuyten Duyvil click to hear 2 ('the devil's spout'?)
Wiltwyck click to hear (now: Kingston)
Pieter Stuyvesant click to hear 2
Schuyler click to hear 2 (not a first name in Holland)
more Dutch New York

A few old painters:
Johannes Symonsz van der Beek click to hear (~1588-1644)
Gerrit Berckheyde click to hear 2 (1638-1698)
Hieronymus Bosch click to hear 2 (c. 1450-1516) also known as:  Jeroen Bosch click to hear 2 Jan de Bray click to hear (~1627-1697)
Aelbert Cuyp click to hear 2 3 (1620-1691) also:  Albert click to hear Jan van Eyck click to hear 2 (~1390 - ~1440)
Jacques de Gheyn click to hear 2 3 (1532-1582)
Jan van Goyen click to hear 2 (1596-1656)
Jan van der Heyden click to hear 2 3 (1637-1712)
Hendrick de Keyser click to hear 2 3 (1563-1621)
Jacob Knyff click to hear 2 3 (1640-1681) also written as:  Knijff Lucas van Leyden click to hear (1494-1533)
Judith Leyster click to hear 2 3 (1609-1660)
Jan Luyken click to hear (1649-1712)
Jacob Pynas click to hear 2 3 (1592-after 1650)
170 Dutch painters

Thank you Frederick Roberts of Lincoln, England, for asking about the Y in the Dutch alphabet. I wouldn't have thought of that myself.

Major Exceptions to the Phonetic Spelling of Dutch:
- Page 1:   een   -IG   -ISCH   -LIJK  
- Page 2:   -B   -D   SCHR   -TIE   UW   WR

Hear the Dutch Letters in Hundreds of Words:
 AU/OU  CH  EI/IJ  EU  F  G  H  L  OE  SCH  U  UI  W  X  Y

'Master Lists' of Dutch words: Dutch to English - English to Dutch

'Basic' Dutch Words - Pictures Dictionary - Words by Subject - Easy Dutch - Phrases and Conversation Templates - Names - Place Names - verbs

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Gij zult niet stelen click to hear 'Thou shalt not steal'