Learning to speak any new foreign language is hard work, even saying basic Dutch Phrases takes focus, dedication, and determination. Of all of the stages while studying a new language, being a beginner is probably the hardest part. Everything that you hear sounds foreign, you get easily confused, and even easy things like saying hello can leave you feeling unsure of yourself.

But despite the initial hardships of learning a language, there is nothing quite like when you break through to the other side and find yourself communicating fluently. Learning a new language is worth the effort, even in countries like the Netherlands, where much of the population speaks English as a second language. Despite being bilingual, Dutch people appreciate seeing people taking the time to learn even a few basic Dutch words and phrases. Dutch people do not expect you to be fluent, but Dutch people do highly appreciate you demonstrating your genuine interest in their language, culture, and country.

Dutch is a beautiful language spoken by over 23 million people around the world. While the language originates in the Netherlands, it is also the national language of Suriname in South America, Aruba and the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean. So if you are planning a trip abroad, why not try to pick up some of the languages common terms.

The best way to do that is by learning some new Dutch words and expressions. Below you will find some useful Dutch phrases that you can use in a variety of situations. The below words and phrases are written in English, Dutch and then have a helpful Phonetic pronunciation in brackets. This tailormade Dutch phrasebook is for people who don’t speak Dutch but are either interested in learning the language or at least want to try an introduction to the language even if they can only say a few words by the end of it. Trying to memorize these Dutch words and phrases will help you to have a better experience of Dutch culture. Because once you start speaking to Dutch people in their native language, they will not only look at you differently, but they will also be more open to you.

Basic Dutch Phases That Everyone Can Try

Try to memorize these four basic Dutch phrases so that when you meet a native speaker of Dutch, you can wow them with the fact that you are trying to speak Dutch. No matter your level of skill or ability when it comes to learning languages these four words are so similar to English that you should be able to remember them and use them fluently.

  1. Hello: Hallo (Ha-Low)
  2. Goodbye: Doei (Doo-Ee)
  3. Yes: Ja ( Yah)
  4. No: Nee (Nay)
Basic Dutch phrases that everyone can try
Wow the locals with the fact that you are trying to speak Dutch. Photo Source: Unsplash

Demonstrate Excellent Etiquette With These Common Dutch Phases

The Dutch are a very polite culture, despite being modern and moving with the times. They have still managed to retain good manners as the social standard. Whether it is saying good morning when you walk into your local shop or thanking someone for helping you with something. Good Manners goes a long way in most cultures, and when speaking Dutch, this is no exception.

Nothing shows good manners more than knowing how to say the following phrases. While these phrases are still basic, they are longer than the basic phrases above and so might take a bit longer to learn Dutch London. But once you use them with a Dutch native, you will be hooked, because they will be so happy that you have tried to speak their mother tongue.

  1. Good Morning: Goedemorgen (Who-Da More-Gah)
  2. Good Afternoon: Goedemiddag   (Who-Da Mid –Dag)
  3. Good Evening: Goedenavond (Who-Dan A-Vand)
  4. Thank You: Dankuwel (Dan Que Vel)
  5. You Are Welcome: Graag Gedaan ( Heir-He-Dan)
  6. Please: Alstublieft (Alls-Too-Bleaft)
  7. Excuse Me: Neem Me Niet Kwalijk (Name My Neat Ca- Val-Lick)

Useful Dutch Phases For Conversation And Making New Friends

Granted these phrases won't help you have a full discussion in Dutch but they will give you a few golden nuggets to sprinkle throughout the conversation.  These simple Dutch phrases will especially get you started in conversation.

If you can be creative and add a big smile, when you speak, these social phrases could become a great opener to allow you to meet some Friendly locals. While correctly pronouncing the phrases is not essential, it is important to smile, have fun and give it a try. Any native person that you meet will not be able to resist either helping you with the phrases or just stopping to have a chat. The sense of accomplishment that you will feel from this result may be enough to motivate you to continue to learn the language.

  1. Cheers: Proost  (Praw-St)
  2. How Are You?: Hoe Gaat Het Met U  (Who-Hat - Tett-Met-Oou)
  3. I Am Fine: Het Gaat Goed   (Het-Hat-Hood)
  4. And You?: En Met U? (En-Met-Oou)
  5. What Is Your Name? : Hoe Heet Je  (Who-Haj-Yeh)
  6. I Am (Name): Ik Heet ( Ick Hate ..)
  7. Nice To Meet You: Aangenaam  (Ann-Her-Nam)
  8. Can I Have Your…(Facebook/Email/Whatsapp)?: Mag Ik Jouw_Hebben? ( Mac-Ick-Yaw….Heaben?)
Most people just revert to speaking English.
Trying to memorize these Dutch words and phrases will help you. Photo Source: Unsplash

Simple Dutch Phases For Survival

Every now and then things can go wrong, and while it wouldn't be too difficult to find help in Amsterdam where almost everyone will speak English. The further out you venture from the capital is the further that you may find yourself from people who speak English. In other Dutch speaking countries, the number of English speakers maybe even less. So it is always important when traveling to be prepared for all eventualities.

Making sure you are prepared includes making sure that you have your tickets, your passport, money, and your suitcase. But it is also often advised to carry a small first aid kit with you when you travel help you with any superficial health issues. While this may all be very obvious, much less obvious can be your linguistic first aid kit. While most of us these days have apps on our phone that can help with translations, hold dictionaries, phrasebooks or even speak for you. What would happen if your battery dies or you lose your phone. It is always worth knowing a few words to make sure that you can get help should you need it.

  1. Do You Speak English?: Spreekt U Engels? (Spray Oo Ang-Uhls)
  2. Where Is The?: Waar Is De? (Var Iz Day)
  3. Bathroom: Toilet / Wc (Twa-Let / Vey Say)
  4. Airport: Vliegveld (Vleaf-Felled)
  5. Hospital: Ziekenhuis (Ze-Ken-House)
  6. I Don’t Understand: Ik Sanp Het Niet (Ick Snup-Het-Niv)
  7. Call The Police: Bel De Politie (Bell-Da-Polit-See)
  8. Call The Doctor: Bel Een Arts (Bell-En-Artz)
  9. Stop: Halt (Hald)

 Dutch Vocabulary Which Is Very Similar To English Words

Language and culture in the Netherlands are incredibly interesting. When you travel and learn new languages, you not only gain the ability to communicate and grow as a person. But you also get the unexpected benefit of being able to learn more about your own language and culture. While Dutch has its roots in the Germanic language, English has integrated so many Dutch words into the language that it might surprise you.  It could be surprising to know that English and Dutch share many words so you may already speak more Dutch than you think.

Have a look inside a Dutch book to learn super fast.

While all of those words are not listed here, below you will find some of the more popular ones. While they have the same meaning, they are pronounced with a different accent and intonation in almost all cases. The phonetic is not added here because you will be understood saying it in your usual way. I have highlighted where the spelling is different, with the English first and the Dutch second.

  1. Sorry
  2. Taxi
  3. Hotel
  4. Beer: Bier
  5. Tea: Thee
  6. Lunch
  7. Dinner: Diner
  8. Coffee: Koffie
  9. Water
  10. Pen
  11. Laptop
  12. House: Huis
  13. Supermarket: Supermarkt
  14. Bank
  15. Bus

By watching movies in Dutch you will learn very fast.

Funny Common Dutch Phases To Impress The Locals

So if you enjoy getting into the local dialect, when you are traveling. Here are three bonus phases which are quite funny when translated literally from Dutch into English. I haven't added the phonetic here as these are here to make you smile and give you an exciting talking point when you make friends with some Dutch-speaking natives.

  1. I Am Enjoying My Meal:
      •  Alsof Er Een Engltje Over Je Tong Piest
      •  (Literal Translation - As If An Angel Is Peeing On Your Tongue)
  1. I Can’t Understand:
      • Daar Kan Ik Een Chocola Van Maken –
      •  (Literal Translation -  I Can't Make Any Chocolate From That)
  1. This Is An Exclamation When You Are Amazed:
      • Nu Breekt Mijn Klomp
      • (Literal Translation - Now My Wooden Shoes Is Breaking.)
Don't be afraid to speak even with mistakes.
A major part of learning any language is being courageous. Photo Source: Unsplash

So that wraps up our phrase book, out of this list I hope you can find a few words that you can use on your next trip to a Dutch-speaking country. I hope that you have an enjoyable time on your language learning experience and can soak up Dutch culture which is rich in history.

Remember a significant part of deciding to learn any language is courageous. Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself with mistakes that are bound to happen while you are learning. These mistakes are an opportunity to learn and improve. We all have to remember that when we are learning a new language that we are our own biggest critics. While we are kicking ourselves for being unable to grasp the last word we have discovered. People around us are inspired by the fact that we are even trying.

In a world where most people revert to speaking English and expect that everyone else should follow suit. When you learn to speak a language, you step out of the box to reveal yourself as someone who loves and respects different cultures.

So which is the first Dutch word that you are going to try?

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Ava is a dedicated world traveller, motivated to see, explore and experience the world and culture first hand. She has followed her dream of travel to over 80 countries worldwide and also excitedly pursues her other hobbies of yoga, painting, and photography.