10 Basic Dutch Phrases You Must Know

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10 Basic Dutch Phrases You Must Know

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2022)

Dutch Language

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and is closely related to the English and German language. The majority of the population of the country (90 to 93%) speak the native language, and nearly 71% of the country’s population are German speakers.

Dutch is considered to be a melodic language. If you’re going to be traveling in the Netherlands soon, you’ll want to know how to speak some basic Dutch phrases. The Dutch people are generally very friendly and helpful, but the Dutch language can be quite tricky if you don’t have any practice with it beforehand.

These 10 common phrases will help get you started on the basic conversation when interacting with the locals or native speaker!

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1) Thank you

In Dutch, thank you is “dank u”—and it’s a good phrase to know. Say it anytime you receive service, food, or drinks (say yes when someone offers you something to drink!).

2) Please

“Alstublieft” is a polite way to say please. It is usually used when you want someone to give you something or do something for you, like open a door or hold a chair for you.

While other European languages also use it to say please, it does not have quite as much of an insistent tone to it as in English—it is more soft and courteous in Dutch.

3) I don’t speak Dutch

Most Dutch speakers will appreciate it if you say “Ik spreek geen Nederlands” to tell them that you don’t speak Dutch.

4) How are you?

“Hoe gaat het?” (How’s it going?). You might be surprised to learn that Dutch is a Germanic language, but its syntax and structure are far more similar to French.

5) Good morning

Goedemorgen or Goeiemorgen. It is usually said in a more friendly way by saying, “Morgen“. Good afternoon: “Goedemiddag” or “Middag”. This is often said as a response to another person who says goedemiddag.

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6) I don’t understand

The simplest way to ask for clarification when you don’t understand is, “Ik begrijp het niet”.

7) Good night

“Goedeavond” when leaving at night. Saying good night before going to sleep is “slaap lekker”, which translates directly into “sleep good”. Know this about Fun and interesting facts about languages.

8) Do you speak English?

A nice phrase to know is ‘Spreek je Engels?’ (Do you speak English?). This will be a great conversation starter for when you arrive in Amsterdam. Once you establish that both of you speak English, try asking them if they know any basic Dutch phrases. They’ll appreciate your effort to learn their native language, and if they’re not native-English speakers i.e they are only Dutch speaker, then it’s a win-win situation.

9) Excuse me

Excuse me: “pardon” or “sorry”. This is the most commonly used and a handy phrase in Dutch, and it can be a real help to know when traveling to Amsterdam or other major Dutch cities.

10) Sorry

A language learner’s best friend, “sorry” is a must-know in any language. Apologizing in Dutch is simple, just say “sorry” (a Dutch word spelled the same as its English counterpart).

When you know how to apologize in Dutch, it also increases your chances of appearing more polite and respectful.

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How do I learn basic Dutch?

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands although the Dutch language can be tricky still you can learn some basic phrases. You can do your approach to language learning by downloading a language learning app. There are many apps available and Duolingo is the best for beginners. Duolingo app provides audio phrases that help you understand more. A much more practical approach is to go for a private tutor who has language experience as real-life conversation for learning is quite better. Consult a private tutor and explain your needs and discuss availabilities.

How do you greet in Dutch?

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