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How 'ja hoor' in the Dutch language can be very tricky

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"What does 'ja hoor' mean in the Dutch Language? You just hear it all the time". This is a question that many students ask me when they follow one of the Beginners courses Dutch. Well, first let’s explain how to pronounce this ‘hoor’. You just have to pronounce it like the English word ‘whore’! Holy moly, yes it is really true because then it means in Dutch just some sort of confirmation of what you just said. So for example when someone asks : Kan ik je fiets lenen (can I borrow your bike), then if you really like your friend and you know that he or she is careful with your stuff you can answer: "Ja hoor!" (yes, be my guest) The ‘hoor’ is to extra confirm the ‘ja’.

Now suppose you do not pronounce the ‘hoor’ like the English word ‘whore’ and you pronounce it like ‘hoer’ with the [oe] sound just like in the English word ‘pull’? In that case you might have a big problem. The word ‘hoer’ means whore! Are you still with me ladies and gents? So let’s be careful….