Nether Nether Land (OT)

Michiel Prior michiel.prior at
Mon Sep 21 01:04:11 CEST 2009

C. Geraci wrote:

> I am having to learn a Dutch/English accent for a play, and my research on the
> internet, on CDs, in dialect books, etc. has yielded examples of Dutch-English
> accents that do not resemble one another in the least! I believe these are all
> native speakers, but none of them sound alike.
> Can someone direct me to the "classic" or most typical Dutch-English accent?

Try this clip of an interview with director Paul Verhoeven:

The accent of any individual varies with the degree in which said
individual has mastered English. Dutch actors working in the USA, like
Rutger Hauer or Famke Janssen, will strive to speak English without
accent. Therefore, the way they speak wouldn't reveal much about Dutch

Paul Verhoeven, on the other hand, doesn't try to hide his
nationality. He speaks English with a strong Dutch accent. Note how he
doesn't quite grasp the many variations of /th/ in English:
"some[f]ing", "[f]ink", "heal[s]". This is very typical for

The play you're in must be very serious, as you're going to such
lengths to gather information. Consider whether your character is
cultivated enough to have mastered English flawlessly. If so, just
don't bother with the accent. However, too many Dutch politicians and
university professors speak horrible English.


Michiel Prior from Groningen, the Netherlands

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