You’re going on holiday in Holland. Great decision! Now all that’s left to do is master the language. Ok, that might be a little overambitious. But learning some basic Dutch phrases is definitely a good idea. This lesson in Dutch 101 will cover the essentials, so that you can get around during your trip and impress the locals at the same time!
If you’ve ever heard the Dutch language, you’ll know that the pronunciation is hard to grasp. In the table, you can see the most important pronunciation differences between Dutch and English.
*The Dutch a is slightly shorter than the a in star
**The Dutch aa is longer than the a in animal. Stretch the sound out: aah
We’ll start with the basics: how to chat with a local.
Hello Hallo Hallo
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can try a good old good morning instead. However, I must warn you, this is only for the real daredevils. The pronunciation of the g in goedemorgen requires a certain set of skills. There is no similar variant in the English language. One makes a more guttural sound than usual, almost like clearing your throat. A good thing to try is pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth at the point where the uvula hangs down.
I’m [insert name]. Ik ben [insert name] Ik ben [insert name]
What’s your name? Hoe heet jij? Hoo hate yiy?
How are you? Hoe gaat het? Hoo gaat het?
Note: in this sentence you use the same guttural g as in goedemorgen.
Sorry Sorry Sorree
Bye Doei Dooey
Tickets to a T
Now that the small talk is out of the way, we’ll move on to more serious matters: tourist attractions. Buying tickets for a museum will become a walk in the park with these Dutch phrases.
One ticket, please Een kaartje, alstublieft Ain kaart-yuh, als-too-bleeft?
Two adults and one child Twee volwassenen en een kind Tvey foll-vassunun en ain kind
How much does it cost? Hoeveel kost het? Hoo vale kost het?
Thank you Dankjewel (informal) Dank-yuh-vel
Finding your way in a foreign country can be difficult and exciting at the same time. Wandering around is fun, but when you’re really lost, the locals are the best people to ask for directions.
Pardon Pardon Pardon
Where is…? Waar is…? Vaar is…?
I’m looking for… Ik zoek… Ik zook…
Left Links Links
Right Rechts Regts
Straight ahead Rechtdoor Regtdoor
Note: the ch is pronounced the same way as the g.
The following Dutch sentences will come in handy when ordering at a restaurant. Whether you go Dutch (see what we did there) or not, you’ll have to ask for the bill.
I would like to order [insert food] Ik wil graag [insert food] bestellen Ik vil graag [insert food] bu-stell-un
Can I have the bill, please? Mag ik de rekening, alstublieft? Mag ik duh ray-ku-ning, als-too-bleeft?
Renting a bike
You’re in Holland, so do as the Dutch and hop on a bike. Many of our holiday parks offer bicycle rental. Check out our parks that are suitable for cycling. All you have to do is ask!
Can I rent a bike, please? Mag ik een fiets huren, alstublieft? Mag ik un feets huren, als-
- ain 20. tvintig
- tvey 21. ain-en-tvintig
- dree 50. five-tig
- feer 100. honderd
- five 200. tvey-honderd
- zes 1000. dauzend
Hopefully this crash course has prepared you for your trip to the Netherlands. And if you end up with your mouth full of teeth (Dutch expression, sorry), then don’t worry! The Dutch are usually pretty competent when it comes to the English language. They won’t mind when you are unable to address them in their own language. However, they will definitely be impressed by your efforts if you at least try. So what are you waiting for? Give it a go!
Holiday in the Netherlands
Did this blog give you inspiration for a holiday in Holland? Take a look at our holiday parks in Holland.