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Learn Dutch Phone Call Phrases and Other Useful Words

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Does the thought of having a telephone conversation in Dutch make you feel nervous? It’s normal to feel this way about making or receiving a phone call in another language. There are even people who suffer from “phone anxiety” or “phone phobia.” These people already feel nervous about making a phone call in their own language, let alone in another language.

One way you can get rid of those nerves is to pick up some Dutch phone call phrases. At the very least, this will help you feel more in control of the situation and allow you to navigate those inevitable phone calls during your stay in the Netherlands. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to answer the phone in Dutch and carry a basic phone conversation. We’ll be covering everything from key vocabulary terms to the different parts of a phone call—greetings and introductions, giving the reason for your call, transferring the line, leaving a message, handling connection issues, and ending the conversation.

Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

Someone Holding Their Cell Phone; Sketches of Musical Notes in the Background

Let’s make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Phone Vocabulary
  2. Greeting
  3. Checking
  4. Transferring
  5. Stating Your Reason for the Call
  6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems
  7. Leaving a Message
  8. Ending
  9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

1. Phone Vocabulary

Before we look at specific phrases for a telephone conversation in Dutch, let’s first go over some phone-related vocabulary. Learning these useful words will help you feel more comfortable when talking on the phone or when discussing phone calls in general.

This short vocabulary list includes everything you need, from hardware terms to related verbs.

TelefoonPhone
Mobiele telefoon
Mobieltje
Mobile phone
BatterijBattery
OpladerCharger
SMS
SMS-bericht
Text message
SchermScreen
OproepCall
Telefoonnummer
Nummer
Phone number
BellenTo call
TerugbellenTo call back
Nummer intoetsenTo dial
You could also say nummer draaien, literally meaning “spin the number.” This term dates back to the old rotary phones.
OpnemenTo pick up
OphangenTo hang up
Bericht achterlatenTo leave a message
OpladenTo charge


2. Greeting

Every phone call starts with a greeting of some sort; it’s just basic phone etiquette. However, the greeting used may differ between the caller and the receiver. 

Another factor that could influence the greeting is the expected formality level. You would respond to a professional phone call more formally than you would a phone call with friends. 

Let’s have a look.

A Woman in a White Tank Top Waving to Someone

Which Dutch greetings do you already know?

1 – Calling

Hallo.Hello.
Hallo is the most common way to start a Dutch phone conversation, perfect for both casual and more formal situations. 
Hoi.Hi.
Hoi is another great phone call greeting, though it’s a bit more casual. So you can definitely use it with friends and family members, but watch out at work. Saying this to close colleagues shouldn’t be an issue, but choose one of the other greetings if you’re going for a more formal and professional vibe.
Goedemorgen.
Goedemiddag.
Goedenavond.
Good morning.
Good afternoon.
Good evening.
Want to go formal? Then these greetings are perfect for you. You say goedemorgen until 12 p.m., goedemiddag until 5 p.m., and goedenavond until 12 a.m.

Do you want to use this greeting in a more casual setting? Then you can greet the receiver with goedemorgen when calling in the morning, as this one is commonly used in both formal and casual Dutch conversations.

If you’re the one calling and would like to introduce yourself directly after the greeting, then you can use one of these phrases:

  • Hallo, u spreekt met David de Vries. (“Hello, you are speaking to David de Vries.”) [More formal]
  • Hoi, met David. (“Hi, with David.”) [More casual]
    • You can also just say Met David, without the greeting.

Would you like to introduce yourself further? Then have a look at these 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself.

2 – Answering

Hallo?Hello?
The interrogative Hallo? is a very typical way to pick up the phone in Dutch. 
Hoi?Hi?
Like when calling, you can answer with a simple Hoi? in more casual settings.
Ja?Yes?

Should you say your name when you answer the phone? This is up to you! However, it’s common in the Netherlands to say your name when picking up a landline telephone, or when you receive a call from an unknown number on your mobile phone. If you like to introduce yourself when answering your phone, you can use the same introduction phrases as when you’re calling.

    → There are many different ways to greet someone on the phone in Dutch. You’ll find lots of ideas on our list titled Common Ways to Say Hello.

3. Checking

When making a call or answering the phone in Dutch, you might need to ensure you’re speaking to the right person or inquire about who’s calling. Below are phrases you can use for these situations, respectively. 

1 – Calling

Imagine you’ve called someone and they’ve greeted you, but they have not yet introduced themselves. Now, you have to check to see if you’ve reached the right person or office. 

One simple way to do this is to use the person’s name:

  • David? [Casual, only using their first name]
  • Meneer De Vries? (“Mr. de Vries?) [Formal, only using their last name – Male]
  • Mevrouw De Vries? (“Ms. de Vries?”) [Formal, only using their last name – Female]

Want to go a bit further? Here are a couple of other options:

Spreek ik met David?Am I speaking with David?
Is dit het kantoor van meneer De Vries?Is this the office of Mr. de Vries?

Once you know you’re at the right place, you should introduce yourself (assuming you haven’t done so already). You can use one of the introduction phrases mentioned earlier.

2 – Answering

If you don’t know who’s calling you and they haven’t introduced themselves yet, you’ll probably want to inquire about that:

Met wie spreek ik? [Formal]Who am I speaking to?
Wie heb ik aan de lijn? [Casual]Who is calling?
It literally means, “Who do I have on the line?”

4. Transferring

Some People Working in a Call Center

Learn how to transfer that Dutch phone call like a pro.

1 – Calling

If you’ve reached the secretary or main desk of a company, the next step is for you to be transferred to the right person or service. Below, you’ll find a variety of useful Dutch phone phrases for both formal and informal situations. 

Kan ik Cathy spreken? [Casual]Can I talk to Cathy?
Ik zou graag met Cathy willen spreken. [Formal]I would like to speak to Cathy.
Ik ben op zoek naar mevrouw De Vries. [Formal]I’m trying to reach Ms. de Vries.
Ik probeer David te pakken te krijgen. [Casual]I’m trying to reach David.
Kunt u mij doorverbinden met de klantenservice?Could you transfer me to customer service?

2 – Answering

Met wie spreek ik?Whom am I speaking to?
This phrase can be used for answering your phone, though it’s also typically used to ask on behalf of the person to whom you’ll transfer the caller.
Blijf aan de lijn, alstublieft.Hold the line, please.
Een momentje, alstublieft. 
Een moment geduld, alstublieft.
One moment, please.
One moment of patience, please.
Ik verbind u/je nu door.I am putting you through now.
Hij/Zij is nu niet beschikbaar.He/She is not available right now.
Kan ik een bericht aannemen?Can I take a message?
Ik zal vragen of hij/zij u/jou terug kan bellen.I can ask him/her to call you back.
Mag ik uw/jouw naam en telefoonnummer noteren?Can I take your name and number?

5. Stating Your Reason for the Call

You could be calling for any number of reasons, whether you just want a casual Dutch phone conversation with a friend or need to make a more professional call. Whatever it may be, we’ll cover a few different reasons you can give during your next telephone conversation in Dutch.

Ik bel je om te horen hoe het met je gaat.I’m calling to check on you.
U/Je had me gebeld. You called.
Ik bel u/je terug naar aanleiding van uw/je voicemail bericht.I’m calling you back in response to your voicemail message.
Ik zou graag een afspraak willen maken.I would like to make an appointment.
    → After you’ve stated your reason(s) for the call, would you like to make some small talk? Then have a look at our Using Small Talk Phrases vocabulary list.

6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems

A Woman Who Is Stressed Out while Talking on the Phone

What should you do when you experience problems during your Dutch phone conversation?

Even though we use smartphones nowadays and making phone calls is easier than ever before, we still experience issues from time to time: bad connections, dialing the wrong number, running out of battery…

Here are some Dutch phone phrases to help you handle these kinds of situations:

Ik begrijp je niet. [Casual]
Ik begrijp u niet goed. [Formal]
I don’t understand you.
I don’t understand you very well.
Ik versta u/je niet.I can’t hear you.
De verbinding is slecht.The connection is bad.
Kun je dat nog een keer zeggen? [Casual]
Kunt u dat herhalen? [Formal]
Can you say that again?
Could you repeat that?
De verbinding werd verbroken.The line got cut off.
Mijn batterij is bijna op. My battery’s almost dead.
U heeft het verkeerde nummer gebeld.You’ve dialed the wrong number.
Sorry, verkeerd verbonden.I’m sorry, I’ve dialed the wrong number.

7. Leaving a Message

You’re trying to reach someone but keep getting their voicemail… What will you do? You could hang up or you could summon the courage to leave a message. So, how does one leave a good voicemail

First, here’s a taste of what you might hear upon reaching the voicemail: 

Hallo, dit is het antwoordapparaat van Bruno. Ik kan de telefoon nu niet opnemen, maar u kunt na de piep een bericht achterlaten.Hi, this is Bruno’s answering machine. I can’t answer the phone right now, but you can leave a message after the beep.

A way to respond to this might be:

Hoi Bruno, met Anna. Ik wil je even spreken. Kun je me terugbellen? Mijn nummer is 06-936 5657.Hi Bruno, this is Anna. I would like to talk to you. Could you call me back? My number is 06-936 5657.
    → Do you need to state your phone number in Dutch? Then have a look at our Numbers vocabulary list to get the right word and pronunciation of each number. Good luck!

8. Ending

A Guy Giving the Peace Sign with Both Hands

How do you say goodbye in Dutch on the phone?

Ending the call is probably the easiest part of a telephone conversation in Dutch, as you can use one of the goodbye phrases you already know. It’s just a quick formality that only gets a bit more complicated in professional contexts.

Dag. [Formal]Goodbye.
Doei! [Casual]Bye!
Tot ziens. [Formal]Goodbye.
Tot later. [Casual]See you later.
Fijne dag.Have a good day.
Bedankt voor het bellen.Thank you for calling.
Je bent erg behulpzaam geweest. Dank je.You’ve been very helpful. Thank you.

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned a variety of practical Dutch phone call phrases for both casual and professional contexts. You’re now better prepared to handle every component of a phone conversation, from the initial introductions to saying goodbye. 

Did we forget any important phrases you’d like to learn? 

DutchPod101 has much more to offer, such as our numerous vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources. You’ll also enjoy a wealth of audio and video lessons hosted by native Dutch speakers; each lesson teaches practical language information and introduces you to Dutch culture. We make it fun and easy to boost your Dutch, whether you’re an absolute beginner or an advanced learner looking to take your skills up a notch.

Want more? DutchPod101 also has a special service for our Premium PLUS members: MyTeacher. Let your own private teacher help you practice Dutch grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation through personalized exercises, fun assignments, and useful recorded audio samples. With the help of an expert teacher, you’ll learn these Dutch phone call phrases—and countless other facets of the language—in no time!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch