Dutch 101

Dutch is written using the Latin alphabet, see Dutch alphabet. The diaeresis is used to mark vowels that are pronounced separately, and called trema. In the most recent spelling reform, a hyphen has replaced the trema in a few words where it had been previously used: zeeëend (seaduck) is now spelled zee-eend. The acute accent (accent aigu) occurs mainly on loanwords like café, but can also be used for emphasis or to differentiate between two forms. Its most common use is to differentiate between the indefinite article 'een' (a, an) and the numeral 'één' (one). The grave accent (accent grave) is used to clarify pronunciation ('hè' (what?, what the ...?), 'appèl' (call for), 'bèta') and in loanwords ('caissière' (cashier), 'après-ski'). In the recent spelling reform, the accent grave was dropped as stress sign on short vowels in favour of the accent aigu (e.g. 'wèl' was changed to 'wél'). Other diacritical marks such as the circumflex only occur on a few words, most of them loanwords from French.)

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