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How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Dutch

How to Say Merry Christmas in Dutch

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Dutch? DutchPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Dutch Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Dutch speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, DutchPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Dutch!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in the Netherlands
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in the Netherlands

Christmas Words in Dutch

Christmas season is the time of year when shopping streets are decorated with lights and pine branches, making a truly delightful family celebration!

Let’s talk about how Dutch people celebrate Christmas!

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

Which flower takes center stage at Christmas time and even has its own Christmas carol?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Christmas Eve, or [kerstavond], in Dutch marks the beginning of the Christmas celebrations. Most Dutch people go to church on this evening, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Midnight Mass, or [nachtmis], on Christmas Eve is the busiest church service of the year.

Unlike in the United States, Dutch people actually celebrate two Christmas days. The three major holidays in Holland, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, all enjoy a second day of vacation following the main holiday. One of the reasons for this extra day is that it provides people with more than just a church trip. Many people use this day to go shopping, or to visit other family members or friends.

December 25 is the first Christmas day and the first day of the Christmas celebrations. The best and most beautiful Christmases in most people’s minds are those that bring a fresh load of snow, or [sneeuw], in Dutch. When new snow greets the dawn on Christmas morning, Dutch people call it “witte kerst” meaning “White Christmas”.

Dutch people usually celebrate Christmas day at home with their families. In the evening, everyone gets together and enjoys a wonderfully delicious Christmas dinner, or in Dutch [kerstdiner]. The traditional dishes eaten during the Christmas season are turkey and rabbit, which some people like to slather in cranberry sauce.

In many Dutch and Flemish communities, you’ll see people burning a Christmas tree, or [kerstboom]. Every year in the Netherlands, Dutch people hold an event called a “Christmas Tree Burning” at the beginning of the New Year. This tradition dates back a long, long time, to a time when people believed fire held a “cleansing” sort of power, making it a good way to start out a new year. However, beyond the traditional aspects, it’s also a way of keeping the streets clean of old Christmas trees that have been thrown out.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What flower takes center stage at Christmastime in Holland and even has its own Christmas carol?

The answer is the snowdrop, or in Dutch [sneeuwklokje]. Snowdrops are beautiful white flowers that bloom from January through April. The flower grows on a stem about 25 centimeters tall, with the long, slender flower petals bulging around the pistil to make the flower look a bit like a church bell.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Vrolijk Kerstfeest!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Dutch? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Gelukkig Kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Een gelukkig nieuwjaar!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Gelukkig Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Heb een geweldige wintervakantie!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Zie je volgend jaar!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

Warme wensen!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Dutch Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Fijne feestdagen!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Dutch, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Geniet van de vakantie!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Dutch, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Beste wensen voor het nieuwe jaar!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Dutch! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At DutchPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Kerstmis

This is the Dutch word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Dutch will include this word!

2- Snow

sneeuw

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

sneeuwvlok

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

sneeuwpop

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

kalkoen

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

kerstkrans

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

rendier

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Kerstman

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

elf

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolf het rendier met de rode neus

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

noordpool

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

slee

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

cadeau

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

bel

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

schoorsteen

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

open haard

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

kerstdag

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

versiering

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

kous

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

hulst

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

peperkoekhuis

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

zuurstok

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

maretak

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Dutch, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Dutch! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. DutchPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

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We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, DutchPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Dutch. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in DutchPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in Dutch

How to Say Thank You in Dutch

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power - use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Dutch
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in Dutch? You can learn easily! Below, DutchPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways Dutch speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Dutch

1- Thank you.

Dank je wel.

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

Dat is erg aardig van u.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Bedankt voor je vriendelijke woorden!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Dank jullie wel dat jullie wilden komen vandaag.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with Dutch speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your Dutch guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Bedankt voor uw begrip.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Ontzettend bedankt !

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in Dutch. Use this in an informal setting with your Dutch friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Leerkrachten als jij zijn niet makkelijk te vinden.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your DutchPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Dank jullie wel dat jullie de tijd met ons wilden doorbrengen.

Any host at a gathering with Dutch speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your Dutch language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Dank u wel voor uw geduld en om me te helpen beter te worden.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal Dutch teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in Netherlands, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee - gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Je bent de beste leerkracht ooit!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Bedankt voor het cadeau.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

Dankzij u heb ik ontzettend veel geleerd.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

On the run to Netherlands? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the Dutch language will only improve their impression of you! DutchPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in Dutch in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in Dutch

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in Dutch, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of Dutch in Netherlands!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At DutchPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in Dutch that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in Netherlands, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in Dutch’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language - it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would DutchPod101 be the perfect choice to learn Dutch?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in Dutch - why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special Dutch friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

DutchPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At DutchPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and DutchPod101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak Dutch in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in Dutch on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now - you will thank us for it.