This chapter is not the most exciting way to begin learning Dutch grammar, but it is absolutely essential for a good understanding of the more interesting chapters about verbs, nouns, word order, etc.
Correct spelling is a necessary base for everything else you will learn in this course. Read this chapter thoroughly, and go back to it regularly when going through the rest of the course.
In the following sections, we will deal with both spelling and pronunciation. First, you will learn how to divide a word into syllables. This may seem a trivial affair, but you will find that this is a very useful starting point. Only after you have familiarized yourself with dividing words into syllables, will you be able to determine how a word should be pronounced. A very useful website is www.woordenlijst.org. Enter a Dutch word and the website shows you how it is divided into syllables.
Then, we will move on to the pronunciation of Dutch words. There are sound files available for the example words but you can listen to many more Dutch words at demo.acapela-group.com. Just enter a Dutch word and listen to its pronunciation.