Dutch Language Blog

Can You Say This Correctly? – 1: Arla Biologische Volle Melk – Long and Short Klinkers Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Dutch Language

One of the hardest things about learning Dutch is pronunciation. Whether it is about the ui-klank (the “ui” sound), the G-klank (the “G” sound) or other sounds you might have a hard time with. This series, called “Can You Say This Correctly?”, is about providing a speech example that I recorded. I will give the Dutch text, a translation, and I will add one comment or more for parts that you have to heed for pronunciation. If there are any sounds that you would like to see a post about, let me know in the comments!

Part 1 is a small text from a pack of milk – Arla Biologische Volle Melk. I will explain a great and easy-to-follow rule for the pronunciation of long and short klinkers today.


Part 2: Innocent Goedgemutste Smoothie – how to pronounce ei, ij, ie, -je, -pje, -tje

Part 3: Tony’s Chocolonely Melk Passievrucht Yoghurt – how to pronounce the c

Part 4: Tony’s Chocolonely Puur – how to pronounce samenstellingen

Part 5: Can You Say This Correctly? – 5: Fair Trade Basmatirijst – How to pronounce ij

Arla Biologische Volle Melk!

Arla Biologische Volle Melk



Wat is biologische volle melk?

Deze volle melk is puur biologisch. Omdat onze koeien de ruimte krijgen. In hun stallen én in de buitenlucht. Waar ze mals gras grazen. In weilanden met hier en daar een lekkere bloem.

En die volle, romige melk staat nu, zonder gedoe bij jou op tafel.

100% (honderd procent) natuurlijk. Zonder kunstmatige toevoegingen. Dus puur van de koe zonder gedoe. En dat proef je!


What is organic whole milk?

This whole milk is wholly organic. Because our cows have space. In their stables and in the outside air. Where they graze tender gras. In pastures with here and there a tasty flower.

And that full, creamy milk is now without ado on your table.

100% (a hundred percent) natural. Without artificial additives. So purely from the cow without ado. And that, you can taste!


volle, gras grazen

The text provides great examples for when to pronounce a short klinker (vowel) and a long klinker.

Volle has a short “o” because it is followed by two medeklinkers – then the klinker before is always short!

Gras has a short “a” because after the medeklinker (consonant) s, the word ends – then the klinker before is always short!

Grazen has a long “aa” because after the medeklinker z, there is another klinker – then the klinker before is always long!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Ronni:

    When I click on the sound file, I get a message that the file is not found. I am really interested in hearing this post. Thank you for going to the trouble of putting it up; I just wish I could hear the audio.

    • Sten:

      @Ronni Hi Ronni!

      I was not sure whether it would work this time… Sometimes, the embed player works, sometimes it doesn’t… I replaced it now for a link that you can click on. It will lead you to a page with an audio player where it will work. Good luck!

  2. Ronni:

    Thank you Sten!

    I was able to listen to the text — yaay! The file plays, but it now takes up the whole screen, so listening and reading is not possible. I just copied the text to another file so I could read and listen simultaneously. I’m just starting to learn Dutch, and pronunciation is hard. Thank you again for your post!

  3. Errol:

    Hi Sten
    This is very interesting, many thanks. Unfortunately I was also not able to hear the recording. In my case, I can’t find a link to click on anywhere. Any ideas?

    • Sten:

      @Errol Hi Errol,

      As Ronni indicated, the audio file is accessible by clicking on the link under THE RECORDING.
      The best way to go is to hold the ctrl key (or cmd key on Mac) and then click on the link. This will open the recording in a new tab, which you can then play in the background, while having the post open in the other tab. I hope that helps!
      Sorry for the inconvenience, I wish the Audio Player would just work!

  4. Ronni:

    Under the heading THE RECORDING, click on the text link “Arla Biologische Volle Melk Text” to play the sound file.

  5. Eleanor R Clark (Called Teddy):

    Wow – this is great! -thank you!!!
    After the last grazin, I have a small audip icon and arrow.


    I tried copy and pasting this link and it worked for me, if you want to give it a try