Dutch Words You Must Know

You’ve booked your flight, composed your three-day itinerary, and ready to rock and roll. Well, almost. Here’s a list of Dutch words you must know before you head to the beautiful capital of the Netherlands: Amsterdam! Make sure you listen to the audiofiles recorded by our native Dutch speaker, me.

#1 Gezellig – ge-zel-lig


Wherever we are, whatever we do, as long as it is gezelllig, it’s all good. Wikipedia describes it as “convivial, cozy,fun, or nice atmosphere, but can also show someone belonging, time spent with loved ones, the fact of seeing a friend after a long absence, or the general togetherness that gives people a warm feeling.” Learn to use and pronounce the word gezellig, you will definitely make a lasting impression!

#2 Doei – doo-ee


A nice informal way of saying goodbye. Either to a friend, a shop attendant or the bartender. I think it’s a fun and uplifting way of saying bye to someone, so use this a lot.

#3 Dankjewel – dahnk-ye-vel


You should know how to say thank you in whatever country you are. This is the Dutch version. Try to say this with a big smile on your face. It’ll be a guaranteed winner!

#4 Biertje – bee-r-chuh


When you go to a bar in Amsterdam, you’re sure to get a big smile if you order your beers in Dutch. One beer in Dutch: “een (ayn) biertje”. More than one beer? Just add an -s, “twee (tway) biertjes” .

#5 Proost – pr-ow-st


OK, now you’ve ordered “twee biertjes“, said “dankjewel” and it’s very “gezellig“. It is time to raise your glass and have a good time, “proost“.

Enjoy practising your Dutch when you get to Amsterdam. If you need any help in pronouncing the words or you want to learn more Dutch, let me know in the comments and I’ll leave you a personalised audio file! Doei!

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  1. Fiona on October 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Love this post and it added so much value to have the audio. I visited Amsterdam many years ago now, but this would have been helpful!
    Also I have started “word of the day” with my kids where we use the magnetic letters on the fridge to write the word and everone guesses. Then we reveal the answer. Think I’ll be adding these, then let the kids hear them. I’ll stump them for sure when it’s my turn.

    • Richard Corporaal on October 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Hey Fiona, it’ll be awesome to teach your kids some Dutch! Next month Patrick and I will be travelling to Lisbon, so gonna give Portuguese a whirl. That’ll be great for the fridge game!

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