Belgium Euro 2016 squad

Here is a guide to the pronunciation of Belgium’s Euro 2016 roster in Dutch or French, the two main official languages in Belgium, based on what seems more appropriate according to what is known about the player’s language background, followed by suggested approximations in English in parentheses. For some names, pronunciations in both languages are given (e.g. when the surname comes from the other major language, or when it is neither Dutch or French in origin but the player speaks both languages).

  • Manager: Marc Wilmots (Belgium) French pronunciation: [maʁk wil.mɔts]Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɑrək ˈʋɪl.mɔts] (MARK WIL-mots [ˈmɑːɹk ˈwɪl.mɒts])
  • Thibaut Courtois Dutch pronunciation: [ti.ˈboː kur.ˈtwaː], French pronunciation: [ti.bo kuʁ.twa] (tee-BOH koor-TWAH [tiː.ˈboʊ̯ kʊə̯ɹ.ˈtwɑː])
  • Jean-François Gillet French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃.fʁɑ̃.swa ʒi.lɛ], (ZHAHN-frahn-SWAH zhi-LEH [ˌʒɒ̃.fɹɒ̃.ˈswɑː ʒɪˈ.leɪ̯])
  • Simon Mignolet Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsiː.mɔn mi.ɲo.ˈlɛː], French pronunciation: [si.mɔ̃ mi.ɲɔ.lɛ] (SEE-mon min-yoh-LEH [ˈsiː.mɒn ˌmɪn.joʊ̯.ˈleɪ̯])
  • Toby Alderweireld Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtoː.bi ˈɑl.dər.ʋɛi̯.rəlt] (TOH-bee A(H)L-dər-wair-əlt [ˈtoʊ̯.bi ˈɑːld.əɹ.wɛə̯ɹ.əlt])
  • Laurent Ciman French pronunciation: [lɔ.ʁɑ̃ si.mɑ̃, lo-] (lo-RAHN si-MAHN [lɒ.ˈɹɒ̃ sɪ.ˈmɒ̃]
  • Jason Denayer French pronunciation: [dʒe.zən də.na.jœːʁ, -nɛ.jœːʁ], Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdʒeː.sən də.ˈnɑ.jər] (JAY-sən də-NY-ər or də-NAY-ər [ˈʤeɪ̯s.ən də.ˈnaɪ̯.əɹ, -ˈneɪ̯‿əɹ])
  • Christian Kabasele French pronunciation: [kʁis.tjɑ̃ ka.ba.se.le] (krist-YAHN ka(h)-bə-SEL-eh [ˌkɹɪst.i‿ˈɒ̃ ˌkɑːb.ə.ˈsɛl.eɪ̯])
  • Jordan Lukaku Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʒɔr.dɑn lu.ˈkaː.ku], French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁ.dan lu.ka.ku] (ZHOR-da(h)n loo-KAH-koo [ˈʒɔːɹd.ɑːn lu.ˈkɑːk.u])
  • Thomas Meunier French pronunciation: [tɔ.mɑ mø.nje] (to-MAH mön-YEH [tɒ.ˈmɑː ˌmɜːn.i‿ˈeɪ̯])
  • Thomas Vermaelen Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtoː.mɑs vər.ˈmaː.lən → ˈtoː.mɑs.fər.ˈmaː.lən] (TOH-ma(h)ss vər-MAHL-ən [ˈtoʊ̯m.ɑːs vəɹ.ˈmɑːl.ən])
  • Jan Vertonghen Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn vər.ˈtɔŋ.ən] (YA(H)N vər-TONG-ən [ˈjɑːn vəɹ.ˈtɒŋ.ən])
  • Yannick Carrasco Dutch pronunciation: [jɑ.ˈnɪk kɑ.ˈrɑs.ko], French pronunciation: [ja.nik ka.ʁas.ko] (ya(h)-NIK kə-RA(H)S-koh [jɑː.ˈnɪk kə.ˈɹɑːsk.oʊ̯])
  • Kevin De Bruyne Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkɛ.vɪn də.ˈbrœy̯.nə] (KEV-in də-BRÖYN-ə [ˈkɛv.ᵻn də.ˈbɹɔɪ̯n.ə])
  • Mousa Dembélé Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmuː.sa dɛm.ˈbeː.le] (MOO-sə dem-BEL-eh [ˈmuːs.ə dɛm.ˈbɛl.eɪ̯])
  • Marouane Fellaini French pronunciation: [ma.ʁwan fɛ.laj.ni]Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɑ.ru.wɑn fɛ.ˈlɑj.ni] (MAR-wa(h)n fe-LY-nee [ˈmɑːɹ.wɑːn fɛ.ˈlaɪ̯n.i])
  • Eden Hazard French pronunciation: [e.dɛn a.zaːʁ] (ED-ən a(h)-ZAR [ˈɛd.ən ɑː.ˈzɑːɹ])
  • Radja Nainggolan Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɑ.dʒa ˈnɑjŋ.ɡɔ.lɑn] (RA(H)-jə NYNG-go-la(h)n [ˈɹɑːʤ.ə ˈnaɪ̯ŋ.ɡɒ.lɑːn])
  • Axel Witsel French pronunciation: [ak.sɛl wit.sɛl] (ak-SEL wi-TSEL [æk.ˈsɛl wɪt.ˈsɛl])
  • Michy Batshuayi French pronunciation: [mit.ʃi bat.ʃu.a.ji] (MITCH-ee ba(h)t-shoo-EYE-ee [ˈmɪʧ.i ˌbɑːt.ʃu.ˈaɪ̯.i])
  • Christian Benteke French pronunciation: [kʁis.tjɑ̃ bɛn.te.ke] (krist-YAHN ben-TEK-eh [ˌkɹɪst.i‿ˈɒ̃ bɛn.ˈtɛk.eɪ̯])
  • Romelu Lukaku Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroː.me.lu lu.ˈkaː.ku], French pronunciation: [ʁɔ.me.lu lu.ka.ku] (ROH-mel-oo loo-KAH-koo [ˈɹoʊ̯m.ɛl.u lu.ˈkɑːk.u])
  • Dries Mertens Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdris ˈmɛr.təns] (DREESS MAIR-tənss [ˈdɹiːs ˈmɛə̯ɹ.təns])
  • Divock Origi Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdi.vɔk o.ˈri.ɡi] (DEE-vok o-REE-ghee [ˈdiːv.ɒk ɒ.ˈɹiːɡ.i])

Many of these names are not of Dutch or French origin due to the various backgrounds of the players. For instance, the Lukaku brothers and Michy Batshuayi were born to parents from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also the birthplace of Christian Benteke and Christian Kabasele. Marouane Fellaini has Moroccan parents and Divock Origi has Kenyan parents. Yannick Carrasco has a Portuguese father, Mousa Dembélé has a Malian father, and Radja Nainggolan has an Indonesian father. To a limited extent, the origin of these names have been taken into account in recommending the appropriate pronunciations in English, notably in giving penultimate stress for names like Batshuayi and Benteke.

Jason Denayer is a French speaker, but has an English given name and a Dutch surname. While the traditional French pronunciation of Jason is [ʒɑ.zɔ̃], the English pronunciation JAY-sən [ˈʤeɪ̯s.ən] is imitated in both French and Dutch; for Denayer, də-NY-ər [də.ˈnaɪ̯‿əɹ] approximates the Dutch pronunciation as well as one of the possible pronunciations in French, while də-NAY-ər [də.ˈneɪ̯.əɹ] approximates the other French pronunciation which is widely heard in the media.

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2 thoughts on “Belgium Euro 2016 squad

  1. boz75 10 July 2016 / 8:19 am

    Denayer’s French pronunciation is actually [də.na.jœːʁ]

    Like

    • pronouncer 16 July 2016 / 4:26 pm

      Thanks. [də.nɛ.jœːʁ] is widely used in the Belgian francophone media, so that is what I put initially, but it’s a Dutch surname after all and Marc Wilmots says [də.na.jœːʁ], so I’ve edited it to give both pronunciations, with [də.na.jœːʁ] given first. I haven’t been able to find a clip of Jason Denayer pronouncing his own name, however, so any leads would be appreciated.

      Like

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