This unique and free Android app helps you to divide each word in the Dutch language in syllables. That includes the very long words that you typically don’t encounter in English. By learning the right syllables from this app you can better understand how a Dutch word is structured and how it should be pronounced.
Help with your pronounciation of Dutch words
To help you even further with correctly pronouncing Dutch words, this free Android app will give you the following hints:
- Which syllable is emphasized (bold vowels)
- Which e, i or ij you should pronounce as ‘uh’ (underlined)
- Which combinations of leters n-g or n-k in adjacent syllables you should pronounce together as ng- or nk- sound (italics)
- Symbols that indicate if the vowel(s) of the syllable should be pronounced short, long or without emphasis (called: schwa by linguists).
All functions of this unique Dutch spelling app clearly demonstrated in 90 seconds:
Conjugation of Dutch verbs and pronounciation
The above information about pronounciation of your Dutch words is necessary to correctly conjugate Dutch verbs. From the division in syllables you learn what syllable is located just before the -en at the end of a verb. But you also have to know how that syllable is pronounced, to determine the correct stem from a Dutch infinitive.
Dutch words with non-standard emphasizing
Concerning emphasis of syllables, this app is not able to handle exceptions in the Dutch language that concern the wider context of a word and not the spelling of the word itself. For example:
- het onderzoek (the investigation; noun)
- ik onderzoek (I investigate; verb)
- de regent (the regent; noun)
- het regent (it rains; verb)
Finally, there are a small number of homonyms in the Dutch language for which the division in syllables changes with the alternative meanings of that same word. Like the word ‘kwartslagen’:
- kwart-sla-gen (90 degree or quarter turns) and:
- kwarts-la-gen (layers of quartz in the ground)
A computer program is unable to guess which meaning of a word you have in mind, so it picks the most commonly used one. In this case: the first one, the Dutch plural of kwartslag (a quarter turn). Likewise, this app is unable to detect regional variances in which syllable is emphasized for a given word. Therefore, the most common (Netherlands) Dutch version is used.
Despite these exceptions in the complex Dutch language, this app can give you good guidance in almost all cases where you doubt about the right division into syllables or the correct pronounciation of the sometimes very long Dutch words you encounter.
Enter or Paste Dutch words: you choose
You can enter one or more Dutch words into this Android app, but pasting sections of Dutch text from a web page or e-mail is also possible. You will then notice that the entire Dutch text is divided into syllables and bold/underline/italic markers for pronounciation are added. This can help you grasp the ‘melody’ of a complete Dutch sentence with several long(er) words in it.
Words with 2 or more syllables are highlighted in a separate and sorted list, for a beter overview than a large block of marked up Dutch text. From this list you can save words as favourites, to quickly review the division into syllables and hints for pronounciation of those Dutch words. That will help you to better understand words in the Dutch language and how you should pronounce them.
Free for your Android smartphone or tablet: unique Dutch syllables app
Enjoy this app and good luck with mastering the complex but beautiful Dutch language!