In Dutch there are two ways to pronounce the a: “a” (short a) and “aa” (long a). In this quick video I’ll show you how I pronounce them.
Something which isn’t addressed in the video is that the plural of a word with “aa” keeps the same sound, even though it shows a single a, example: ik raad en jullie raden.
A word with a “short a”, for example “wad” (meaning mudflat), will have the consonant doubled, in our example: wadden (mudflats). Confusingly some short a words, like “bad” (bath) shift to a long a in plural: baden (baths).
In general, if a plural has a single consonant it’ll probably have a “long aa” when said, if it has a double consonant (example: “bassen”) it’ll be a “short a”. Yeah, inconsistencies make learning languages “fun”. The words:
rad = wheel (also “wiel”)
raad = council (both “advice” as well as “a group leading a company or municipality”, also “guess”)
bas = bass or playing bass
baas = boss
kwartaal = quarter of a year (multiple quarters will be “kwartalen” (say: kwar-TAA-len)) Hope this helps!
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