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Rounded & Unrounded Vowels

  Group 1
  active tongue
  Group 2
  inactive  tongue
  • OE
  • Y/EI vs UI
  • EE vsEU
  • IE vs UU
  • I vs U
  • In English 'OE' is OO, like in shoe, book, took.
  • With group 1 (OE) the tongue lifts up to a mid-air position.
  • Group 1 has no unrounded alternative.
  • Because the sound is in English, it is easy to make. Please become aware of your tongue, as it is suspended when you make the sound. Being tongue-aware helps in doing the Group 2 rounded vowels.
  • All Group 2 rounded vowels also have unrounded compliments.
  • Step 1: Make the sound of the unrounded vowel. You will notice the tongue is not active, it lies at the bottom of your mouth.
  • Step 2: Try rounding these sounds, by only rounding your lips and the appropriate sound will form. Pay close attention NOT TO LIFT YOUR TONGUE! For English speakers the temptation will be very strong to lift the tongue, only to produce an "OE" sound -- oops! Pay special attention to these rounded/unrounded versions of the same vowels.

Oefen - Practice

Note: Word examples below mix real and fake words. Please focus on the pronunciation and not the meaning.

Y/EI > UI
  inactive tongue
unround > round With other sounds
(prefixes are in bold)

say  > urn + east

lei/ly > lui
krei/kry > krui
mei/my > mui
blei/bly > blui
pei/py > pui
belei
verklein
onteien
beskeie
bilyne
luie
kluin
uien
skuipe
luine
verkuit
ontbuik
bebuile
geduik
hersuil
ontgyl
beguil
hersuip
besypel
ontsuiker

 

EE > EU
  inactive tongue
unround > round With other sounds
(prefixes are in bold)

see  > neuro-surgeon

lee > leu
kreet > kreut
krete > kreute
bleek > bleuk
bleke > bleuke
kleer
verkleur
teen
teun
been
meur
meer
teun
teen
leun
verkeut
ontkeet
bebeule
gebele
herseul
ontgeel
begeul
herseep
beseupel
ontseke

 

IE < UU
  inactive tongue
unround > round With other sounds
(prefixes are in bold)

see  > see  at lower tone

lies > luus
krite > krute
kriet > kruut
blike > bluke
piek > puuk
verliek
verkline
ontdien
geskiet
billiene
luuks
kluun
tuul
skuut
muur
verkuut
ontbuuk
bebule
gebuke
hersuur
ontgiel
beguul
hersiep
besupel
onsiker

 

I > U
(semi-rounding - short)
  inactive tongue
hi > low With other sounds
(prefixes are in bold)

sit  > earth

lis > lus
krit > krut
kis > kus
blik > bluk
pik > puk
verlik
verkluk
ontdis
geskut
bitsig
lusse
klug
tuks
sip
mus
verkug
ontbind
bebus
gebind
hersukker
ontgil
begulle
hersip
besup
onsikker
OE
 active tongue
rounded (only) With other sounds
(prefixes are in bold)

e.g. book

boek
skoen
moen
geboel
ontsoen
gedoen
bedoeke
hersoeke
moenie
oefen
oester
oekie
toelie
koelie
poelie