Originally Posted by Lady Kathleen
I don't think it's that simple. When I listen to Dutch speakers on the internet pronounce Willem, it sounds more like the English "v" sound.
I listened to these examples:
Pronunciations for willem in Dutch
To my ears, it sounds just like the English "v" sound in most of those examples, or perhaps in between "v" and "w" for some of them.
Exactly, the english W is 'rounder' than the Dutch 'w' which is indeed somewhere in between the 'v' and 'w' in English.
My husband's name starts with the same letters and he needed to Americanize the pronunciation of his name for people to understand it was supposed to be written with a 'w'. The Dutch 'v' on the other hand ('van Oranje') hardly differs in pronunciation from the 'f'.