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A Guide to the Dutch National Anthem: Het Wilhelmus

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Have you ever heard Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem? It’s one of the oldest anthems in existence, and therefore the lyrics are not always easy to understand, full of old-fashioned words and unusual turns of phrases. It’s an anthem of fifteen verses, but mainly the first (and sometimes also the sixth) verse is sung. However, because of the old nature of the Dutch anthem, not all Dutch know the words or understand the meaning. Why is the Spanish king mentioned in the Dutch national anthem? And what about that mention of German blood? 

As you can see, the Dutch anthem is not free of controversy, and some people even say that it should be changed. However, although the Dutch don’t sing their national anthem very often, when they sing it on special occasions, everybody will sing along, even those that don’t know all the words, as you can always mumble or hum along.

In this article, we will first show you the history of the Dutch national anthem. We’ll then talk about its lyrics, the meaning of the Dutch anthem, and the criticisms it has received.

A Hand Holding the Dutch Flag

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. The History
  2. Explaining the Lyrics of Het Wilhelmus
  3. When is it Played?
  4. Should the Netherlands Find a New National Anthem?
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. The History

Before we have a look at the lyrics of the Dutch national anthem, it might come in handy to first learn more about its history. This way you will be able to understand better what it’s all about.

So, the Dutch national anthem is actually one of the world’s oldest patriotic songs, as it dates back to at least 1572. The lyrics were written at the beginning of the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), also known as The Dutch War of Independence. The Dutch anthem, therefore, tells the story of Willem van Oranje (“William of Orange”) and his fight against the King of Spain in order to gain independence for the Netherlands. The anthem is written from William’s perspective and follows his struggle to remain loyal to the Spanish king, who he has always served, while also serving God and leading his people in the fight against persecution.

But who is Willem van Oranje? He is also known as Willem van Nassau, or in old Dutch Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, which explains the title of the Dutch anthem. He was one of the main leaders of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years’ War and resulted in the formal independence of what now is known as (part of) the Netherlands. He is, therefore, also known as Vader des Vaderlands (“Father of the Fatherlands”). Besides this, he is also the founder of the Orange-Nassau royal family, which makes him the ancestor of the Dutch monarchy. 

It took some time before Het Wilhelmus officially became the Dutch national anthem. At the beginning of the 19th century, the song was mainly sung by supporters of the Dutch royal family. However, they were not particularly popular during this period. So, when Het Wilhelmus became the official Dutch national anthem in 1932, there were protests. 

But what changed in the following years? During the Nazi occupation of the Second World War, the Dutch national anthem regained popularity. This song of victory served as a way to express Dutch national pride and solidarity.

2. Explaining the Lyrics of Het Wilhelmus

So, as you now know the history of the Netherlands’ national anthem, it’s time to have a look at the lyrics of Het Wilhelmus

1- The Lyrics

The Dutch anthem has an impressive fifteen verses; the first letter of all verses originally formed the word Willem van Nassov, another old Dutch way to say Willem van Nassau. However, the Dutch only sing one or two verses of the anthem. It’s mainly the first verse that is sung, sometimes followed by the sixth verse.

Also you may notice, even in the contemporary Dutch version, some of the words have been changed so that they fit the rhythm or so they rhyme. So, don’t worry if you can’t always figure out some of the words.

Verse 1

Old DutchContemporary DutchTranslation
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ick van Duytschen Bloedt,
Den Vaderland ghetrouwe
Blijf ick tot inden doet;
Een Prince van Orangien
Ben ick vry onverveert.
Den Coninck van Hispangien.
Heb ick altijt gheeert.
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ik van Duitsen bloed
Den vaderland getrouwe
Blijf ik tot in den dood.
Een Prinse van Oranje
Ben ik, vrij onverveerd.
Den Koning van Hispanje
Heb ik altijd geëerd.
“William of Nassau,
Am I of German descent
True to the fatherland
I remain until death.
Prince of Orange
Am I, free and fearless
To the King of Spain
I have always given honor.”

Verse 6

Old DutchContemporary DutchTranslation
Mijn schilt ende betrouwen
Zijt ghy, O Godt, mijn Heer.
Op U soo wil ick bouwen,
Verlaet my nimmermeer;
Dat ick doch vroom mag blijven
U dienaer t’aller stondDie tyranny verdrijven,
Die my mijn hert doorwondt.
Mijn schild ende betrouwen
Zijt Gij, o God mijn Heer.
Op U zo wil ik bouwen,
Verlaat mij nimmermeer;
Dat ik doch vroom mag blijven,
Uw dienaar t’aller stond.
De tirannie verdrijven,
Die mij mijn hart doorwondt.
“You, my God and Lord,
Are my shield, on You I rely.
On You I will build,
Never leave me;
So that I may remain pious,
Your servant at all moments.
Dispelling the tyranny.
That wounds my heart.”


2- Why Does the Dutch Anthem Mention Duitsen bloed?

It may have surprised you to read that the Dutch national anthem mentions Duitsen bloed in the first verse. This means “German blood” or “German descent”. And many Dutch also interpret it this way. However, Germany did not exist yet during Willem van Oranje’s life. Some say that it therefore does not refer to Germany but the lowlands area that includes what we now know as the Netherlands and certain areas of Germany, where William of Orange was also born.

3. When is it Played?

The Dutch in general aren’t the most nationalistic people out there. However, there are some occasions when they let their national pride flow. And this is often also the moment where Het Wilhelmus is played. 

It’s probably most likely that you hear the Dutch national anthem during international sporting events, such as the European or World Cup football tournaments. Another popular event is the Olympic Games, where the Dutch anthem is played when a Dutch sportsman- or woman wins an Olympic gold medal. So especially during the Winter Olympics you might be able to enjoy the Dutch national anthem a few times.

    ➜ Do you want to celebrate the Olympic Games with the Dutch? Be sure to check out our useful vocabulary lists on the Summer and Winter Olympics

Furthermore, there are some rare national moments when the Dutch also sing their anthem. And they all happen to take place around the same period: Koningsdag (“King’s day”) on the 27th of april, Dodenherdenking (“National Remembrance Day”), on the 4th of May, and Bevrijdingsdag (“Liberation Day”) on the 5th of May.

A String of Small Orange Flags that Is Mostly Used on Kings’ Day

Finally, another moment when the Dutch anthem is played is when the Netherlands hosts a foreign head of state.

4. Should the Netherlands Find a New National Anthem?

As you might already have guessed, the Dutch national anthem is not free of controversy. German blood, the King of Spain and dispelling tyranny: Het Wilhelmus is more of a historical text than a contemporary national anthem. 

Some attempts to modernize the Dutch anthem have been made, for example by a former lady-in-waiting of Queen Beatrix:

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, 

De Vader van ons land 

Symbool van het vertrouwen,

in onze vaste band. 

Met allen die hier leven, 

In vrijheid en in recht 

Moog dat ons voor altijd zijn gegeven,

zoals ons is toegezegd.

(“William of Nassouwe,

The Father of our country

Symbol of confidence,

in our firm bond.

With all who live here,

In freedom and in justice

May we be given that forever,

as promised to us.”)

However, this nor any other attempts have been successful. Many still see the Dutch anthem as cultural heritage.

Other arguments against the Netherland’s national anthem are related to the difficult melody and lyrics. The rhythm of the song is very slow, making it difficult to sing along. The complex lyrics also do not help: 43% of the Dutch do not know Het Wilhelmus by heart, not even the first verse.

And this also brings us to the core of the problem: many Dutch don’t really know their anthem’s meaning or the historical references it makes. While it would also get more interesting when you really know what you are singing about.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A String of Flags in the Air with the Colors of the Dutch Flag

In this guide, you have learned everything about Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch anthem: from its history, lyrics, occasions to some interesting controversies. You now might even know more about the Dutch anthem than many Dutchies do. What do you think about the Dutch national anthem? Do you know any other interesting things about its history that we forgot to mention? Share them with us in the comments!

DutchPod101 hosts a range of vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources to boost your studies.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you master the Dutch language. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

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

Useful Dutch Classroom Phrases and Vocabulary

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Would you like to study or teach in the Netherlands? Then it might be handy to know the most common Dutch classroom phrases for students and teachers. Whether you’re about to join a study program as a foreign student in the Netherlands, start one of those Dutch language courses, or teach in a Dutch school, you will have to learn how to communicate in the classroom. 

As a student, it will be handy to know how to address your teachers in Dutch, ask questions, and understand instructions. And as a teacher, you might want to know how to ask questions, give instructions, and, yes, how to discipline your students.

From Dutch classroom greetings to Dutch classroom command phrases, you will have to know or understand them. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know as a teacher or a student, from common classroom phrases to useful classroom vocabulary in Dutch.

Happy learning (or teaching)!

Students Paying Attention and Taking Notes in a Classroom

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. School Vocabulary
  2. Teacher’s Phrases
  3. Student’s Phrases
  4. Tests Instructions
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. School Vocabulary

Before we start with the phrases, let’s first see some classroom vocabulary in Dutch. From educational buildings to subjects to supplies, it will help you find your way around the schoolyard or the campus.

1- Educational Infrastructures

GebouwBuilding
SchoolpleinSchoolyard
GangHallway
KlaslokaalClassroom
KantineCanteen
SecretariaatSecretariat
LerarenkamerTeachers’ roo
BibliotheekLibrary
GymzaalGym
CollegezaalLecture hall

2- Subjects

A Girl in Front of a Whiteboard with a Mathematical Calculation

WiskundeMath
BiologieBiology
ScheikundeChemistry
InformaticaComputing
NatuurkundePhysics
KunstArt
TekenenDrawing
NederlandsDutch
FransFrench
EngelsEnglish
DuitsGerman
SpaansSpanish
FilosofiePhilosophy
LatijnsLatin
GrieksGreek
EconomieEconomy
MaatschappijleerSocial studies
GeschiedenisHistory
AardrijkskundeGeography
MuziekMusic
Lichamelijke opvoedingPhysical education (PE)

    ➜ To practice your pronunciation, have a look at our free Dutch vocabulary list on School Subjects, with recorded words and example phrases, on DutchPod101.

2- School Supplies

SchriftNotebook
MapBinder
Vel papierSheet of paper
BoekBook
PenPen
PotloodPencil
GumEraser
PuntenslijperPencil sharpener
EtuiPen case
RugzakBackpack
RekenmachineCalculator
SchaarScissors
LiniaalRuler


2. Teacher’s Phrases

A Teacher in Front of the Class

As a teacher, you need to be able to give instructions, ask questions and, every now and then, bring some discipline to the classroom. And as a student, it’s also very useful to learn these phrases, as it’s important that you understand your teacher. 

Let’s see some of the most common Dutch classroom command phrases.

1- Instructions

Vandaag gaan we vervoegingen leren.
(“Today we are going to learn conjugations.”)
Open je boek op pagina 12.
(“Open your book on page 12.”)
Pak een vel papier.
(“Take a sheet of paper.”)
Steek je hand op als je het antwoord weet.
(“Raise your hand if you have the answer.”)
Luister en herhaal na mij.
(“Listen and repeat after me.”)
Kijk naar de afbeelding op het scherm. / Kijk naar de afbeelding op het bord.
(“Look at the picture on the screen.” / “Look at the picture on the board.”)
Schrijf deze zin op.
(“Write this sentence.”)
Spel dit woord.
(“Spell this word.”)
Maak een zin met het woord “vakantie”.
(“Make a sentence with the word “holiday””.)
Hoe zeg je “tomorrow” in het Nederlands?
(“How do you say “tomorrow” in Dutch?”)
We gaan kleine groepjes vormen.
(“We will form small groups.”)

2- Questions

Begrijp je deze zin?
(“Do you understand this sentence?”)
Wat betekent dat?
(“What does that mean?”)
Wie kan deze vraag beantwoorden?
(“Who can answer this question?”)
Wat is het juiste antwoord?
(“What is the correct answer?”)
Wie wil er hardop voorlezen?
(“Who wants to read aloud?”

3- Discipline

Ga zitten.
(“Take a seat.”)
Stilte alstublieft.
(“Silence, please.”)
Let op.
(“Pay attention.”)
Stop met praten.
(“Stop talking.”)


3. Student’s Phrases

So, let’s now see some useful Dutch classroom phrases that students use: from addressing teachers, to asking questions, to stating your problem.

1- Addressing Teachers

In primary school, school teachers are addressed as :

  • [Male] Meester (Literally: “Master”)
  • [Female] Juf or juffrouw (Literally: “Miss”)

In High school and University, teachers are addressed as meneer (“Mister”) and mevrouw (“Madam” or “Mrs”), often combined with their last name.

So in Dutch classroom greetings, as a student, you could just say Hallo meneer van der Zand (“Hello Mister van der Zand”) or Goedemorgen mevrouw Jacobs (“Good morning Mrs. Jacobs”).

And when talking about the teachers in general, you would refer to them with leraar (“teacher,” male) or lerares (“teacher,” female).

Let’s see some examples on how you could talk about teachers:

  • Onze leraar Frans heeft ons huiswerk gegeven. (“Our French teacher gave us homework.”)
  • Mevrouw Jacobs geeft Duits. (“Mrs. Jacobs teaches German.”)
  • Meneer, ik heb een vraag. (“Mister, I have a question.”)

As a teacher, whether it’s your colleagues or your students, you can simply call them by their names. And if you want to make one of those good Dutch classroom greetings, you could say Hallo allemaal (“Hello everyone”).

2- I have a question

A Student in a Classroom Looking Troubled

Ik begrijp het niet.
(“I don’t understand.”)
Ik begrijp de spelling van dit woord niet.
(“I don’t understand the spelling of this word.”)
Ik heb moeite met het vervoegen van dit werkwoord.
(“I have trouble conjugating this verb.”)
Kunt u dat alstublieft herhalen?
(“Could you repeat that please?”)
Ik weet niet hoe ik dat moet zeggen.
(“I don’t know how to say that.”)
Hoe spreek je het uit?
(“How do you pronounce it?”)
Welke pagina?
(“What page?”)

3- I have a Problem

Ik heb mijn boek vergeten.
(“I forgot my book.”)
Ik heb geen pen.
(“I don’t have a pen.”)
Ik ben mijn schrift kwijt.
(“I lost my notebook.”)
Ik heb een probleem.
(“I have a problem.”)
Kan ik een gum lenen?
(“Can I borrow an eraser?”)
Ik heb wat meer tijd nodig.
(“I need a little more time.”)
Ik ben bijna klaar!
(“I’m almost done!”)
Mag ik naar de wc gaan?
(“Can I go to the bathroom?”)
Ik kan niet bij de volgende les zijn.
(“I can’t be at the next class.”)
Ik heb mijn huiswerk niet gemaakt.
(“I didn’t do my homework.”)
Ik heb mijn huiswerk vergeten.
(“I forgot my homework.”)
Mijn hond heeft mijn huiswerk opgegeten.
(“My dog ate my homework.”)


4. Tests Instructions

Having an exam is already nerve wracking and the last thing you want is to not understand the instructions. So prepare yourself with these Dutch classroom phrases about test instructions. This way you will perfectly understand how the exam will take place and exactly what you have to do.

1- Basic Vocabulary

Examen
(“Exam”)
In the classroom vocabulary in Dutch, there exist different words to refer to a “test”: the word examen is mostly used at university, proefwerk at high school and toets at primary school.
Mondeling examen
(“Oral exam”)
Diploma
(“Degree”)
Surveillant
(“Test supervisor”)
Formulier
(“Form”)
Opstel
(“Essay”)
Instructies
(“Instructions”)

2- Instructions

Students Taking an Exam

Lees de tekst.
(“Read the text.”)
Lees de zin.
(“Read the sentence.”)
Kruis het juiste antwoord aan.
(“Check the right answer”)
Vul de lege plekken in.
(“Fill in the blanks.”)
Maak deze zinnen af.
(“Complete these sentences.”)
Zet deze afbeeldingen in de juiste volgorde.
(“Put these images in the right order.”)
Onderstreep het goede antwoord.
(“Underline the correct answer.”)
Streep de foute antwoorden door.
(“Cross out the wrong answers.”)
Luister naar het voorbeeld.
(“Listen to the example.”)
Beschrijf de afbeelding.
(“Describe this image.”)
Schrijf rond de 200 woorden.
(“Write about 200 words.”)
Vat deze tekst samen in 100 woorden.
(“Summarize this text in 100 words.”)

    ➜ For more Taking Tests vocabulary, be sure to explore our free vocabulary list with audio recordings.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned the most common Dutch classroom phrases, for students and teachers alike. From classroom vocabulary in Dutch, Dutch classroom command phrases for teachers to Dutch classroom greetings, this guide should provide you with a solid foundation for your daily Dutch school life.

Which Dutch classroom phrases will you use the most? Is there any other specific topic you’d like to read more about? Make sure to share with your fellow students in the comments below!

You can start practicing and rehearsing these phrases right away by checking out the free vocabulary lists on DutchPod101. Each list contains a recorded pronunciation of the Dutch words and phrases it covers, making them perfect for getting your pronunciation just right! In addition, we provide a variety of free resources and Dutch online classes for learners at every level. With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch language learning fun and diverse.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

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

Useful Guide with Dutch Restaurant Vocabulary and Phrases

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Going to a restaurant is probably one of the favorite things people do when they are in a foreign country. It’s a great way to go out, enjoy some new food and discover a new hip and trendy restaurant. However, when you don’t speak the language fluently, the whole experience can be unnecessarily stressful. 

How do things work around here? How can I order? And how much should I tip? Knowing the Dutch restaurant vocabulary and phrases is one thing, but learning about the ins and outs of Dutch dining will truly take you to the next level. 

In this article, we’ll go through the three steps of going to a restaurant in the Netherlands and, for each phase, we’ll list the most common Dutch phrases for restaurants, as well as the restaurant etiquette and unwritten rules you need to know. 

So let’s learn how to order food in Dutch and start to really enjoy the Dutch culinary experience.

A Boy Waiting for His Food, with His Cutlery in His Hands

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Before Dining
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Before Dining


A- Booking a Restaurant: When and How?

Making a reservation in a Dutch restaurant is not always necessary, as you can often show up unannounced. However, without a booking, you will not have the guarantee that a table will be available. This is especially the case for the more popular restaurants, or if you’re planning to go out during busier nights like Friday or Saturday night.

So, is it really necessary to make a reservation at a restaurant in the Netherlands? No, but it can be a great way to make sure that your night goes as planned. So how to make a booking in a Dutch restaurant? Some restaurants have their own booking system on their official website, while others use The Fork or other similar third-party services. In most cases, you can also make a phone call, if you prefer to do so. Booking information and phone numbers are usually available on the restaurant information on Google Maps.

B- Conversation Example

Would you like to make a reservation by phone? Let’s learn restaurant phrases in Dutch grammar on reservations, between a client and a restaurant employee:

Hallo, Restaurant “De Bolle Beer”, hoe kan ik u helpen?
(“Hello, “De bolle beer” restaurant, how can I help you?”)

Hallo, ik wil graag een tafel reserveren voor morgenavond.
(“Hello, I would like to book a table for tomorrow evening.”)

Oké. Voor hoeveel personen?
(“Okay. For how many people?”)

Voor vier personen.
(“For four people.”)

Wilt u binnen of buiten eten?
(“Would you like to eat inside or outside?”)

Buiten als dat kan.
(“Outside if that’s possible.”)

Oké. Voor hoe laat?
(“Okay. At what time?”)

Om half acht.
(“At half past seven.”)

Wat is uw naam?
(“What is your name?”)

Mijn naam is Sofia Real.
(“My name is Sofia Real.”)

Oké Sofia. Morgenavond om half acht, vier personen, buiten op het terras. De reservering is gemaakt.
(“Okay Sofia. Tomorrow night at half past seven, four people, outside on the terrace. The reservation has been made.”)

Perfect. Heel erg bedankt! Tot morgen.
(“Perfect. Thank you very much! See you tomorrow.”)

Do you prefer to send an e-mail or message to make the reservation, then you can also write the following message:

Hallo, ik wil graag een tafel reserveren voor morgenavond om 19:30u voor 4 personen. Mijn naam is Sofìa Real.
(“Hello, I would like to reserve a table for 4 people tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm. My name is Sofia Real.”)

2. During Dining

So, you know which restaurant to go to, you might even have made a reservation. Let’s now see some common Dutch phrases for restaurants, such as asking for your table, asking for the menu, and how to order food in Dutch.

A- Asking for Your Table

A Head Waiter Welcoming Clients and Showing Their Table

Did you already book a table? Then this part of the process will be as simple as introducing yourself when entering the restaurant. Let’s learn these restaurant phrases in Dutch grammar:

Hallo, ik heb een reservering op naam van Jack Smith.
(“Hi, I have a reservation under the name of Jack Smith.”)

Goedenavond, ik heb een reservering op naam van Jack Smith, voor zes personen.
(“Good evening, I have a reservation under the name of Jack Smith, for six people.”)

And you will be shown your table.

Didn’t you make a reservation? Then you can ask the following question when you enter the restaurant:

Hallo, hebben jullie nog een tafel vrij voor vier personen?
(“Hello, do you have a table available for four people?”)

Ja, we hebben nog een tafel vrij op ons terras. Loop maar met me mee.
(“Yes, we still have a table available on our terrace. Come with me.”)

The host waiting at the entrance could also ask you directly some questions, such as this eating at the restaurant phrases in Dutch:

Goedenavond, komen jullie om te eten?
(“Good evening, are you here to eat?”)

Ja.
(“Yes.”)

Nee, alleen om wat te drinken.
(“No, just for a drink.”)

Wilt u binnen of buiten eten?
(“Would you like to eat inside or outside?”)

Binnen, alstublieft.
(“Inside, please.”)

Voor hoeveel personen?
(“For how many people?”)

Voor twee personen?
(“For two people?”)

Voor drie personen.
(“For three people.”)

    ➜ You can find more words and practice your pronunciation with our vocabulary list on Restaurants.

B- Asking for the Menu

Many restaurants in the Netherlands already have the menu on the table or give you the menu when you sit down. But in case it’s not there, they forget, or they are really busy, you might have to ask for it.

Pardon. Mag ik de menukaart zien?
(“Excuse me. Can I see the menu?”)

Dutch menus don’t always follow a standard pattern. However, you will usually find the following components: voorgerechten or “appetizers,” soep, which is “soup,” hoofdgerechten, meaning, “main entrées,” dranken, which is “drinks,” and of course the nagerechten, your “desserts.”

    ➜ Are you missing a fork or a spoon? After learning Dutch food vocabulary on Food Utensils and Tableware, you will be able to ask for it without hesitating.

C- Ordering Food and Drinks

A Man Ordering Food in a Restaurant

Now the most exciting time has arrived: you can order that basic food in Dutch. It’s time to move on to some eating at the restaurant phrases in Dutch. But how to order food in Dutch? Don’t be nervous, ordering is usually fairly easy as you can just refer to the menu. 

In the Netherlands, after the waiter shows you your table, he or she will usually first ask you what you want to drink. 

Wat wilt u drinken?
(“What do you want to drink?”, singular or formal plural)

Wat willen jullie drinken?
(“What do you want to drink?”, casual plural)

Ik wil graag een appelsap, alstublieft.
(“I’d like an apple juice, please.”)

Niets voor mij.
(“Nothing for me.”)

Misschien later.
(“Maybe later.”)

    ➜ What drink would you like to order in Dutch? Have a look at our free vocabulary list on Drinks, on DutchPod101.

When you look ready to order, the waiter may ask you: 

Heeft u een keus gemaakt?
(“Have you made a choice?”)

To which you may respond with one of these ‘eating at the restaurant’ phrases in Dutch: 

Nee, we hebben nog wat meer tijd nodig.
(“No, we need a little more time.”)

De varkenshaas, wat is dat?
(“The varkenshaas, what is that?”)

Ja, ik wil graag de pompoensoep vooraf en daarna de steak met frietjes als hoofdgerecht, alstublieft.
(“Yes, I’d like the pumpkin soup first and then the steak and fries for the main course, please.”)

Ja, ik wil graag de saté als hoofdgerecht en de chocolade mousse als nagerecht, alstublieft.
(“Yes, I would like the saté as a main course and the chocolate mousse for dessert, please.”)

When you order in the Netherlands, you usually say alstublieft (“please”) after your order.

Are you not sure what to order? You can always ask the staff for recommendations. The appropriate question in such a situation would be Wat raadt u aan? (“What do you recommend?). 

If you have any allergies or a special diet, then you might also want to say or ask:

Ik ben allergisch voor pinda’s.
(“I’m allergic to peanuts.”)

Zitten er pinda’s in dit gerecht?
(“Are there peanuts in this dish?”)

Wat zijn de vegetarische gerechten?
(“What are the vegetarian dishes?”)

Hebben jullie vegan gerechten?
(“Do you have vegan dishes?”)


3. After Dining

Once you have enjoyed your meal and the waiter sees that you have finished, he or she will probably come to your table and kindly ask you one of the following questions: 

Wilt u nog iets anders? 
(“Would you like anything else?”)

Nee, bedankt. We zijn helemaal voldaan.
(“No thanks. We are completely satisfied.”)

Was alles naar wens?
(“Was everything to your liking?”)

Ja het was heerlijk, dankuwel.
(“Yes, it was delicious, thank you.”)

Wilt u nog een kopje koffie?
(“Will you have a coffee?”)

Ja, graag.
(“Yes, please.”)

A- Asking for the Bill

A Man Sitting at a Table in a Restaurant, Calling the Waiter

If the waiter asks you if you need anything else, you can also ask for the bill:

De rekening alstublieft. 
(“The bill, please.”)

Kunnen wij de rekening krijgen?
(“Can we get the bill?”)

Ja, ik zal de rekening voor u halen.
(“Yes, I’ll get the bill for you.”)

U kunt direct aan de balie betalen.
(“You can pay directly at the counter.”)

Then, when it’s time to pay:

Willen jullie apart of samen betalen?
(“Do you want to pay separately or together?”)

Ik zal voor iedereen betalen.
(“I will pay for everyone.”)

Apart, alstublieft.
(“Separately, please.”)

B- What About the Tip?

The tips in the Netherlands are very rarely included in the price, so it is polite to give tips in restaurants, pubs, and some cafés. About ten to twelve percent would be appropriate. Dutch waiters don’t survive on tips, but they’re rarely paid very well, so a tip is a welcome bonus to their wage.

Tips are usually left on the table in the form of coins, a bill, or in a dedicated tip box at the counter. But you could also ask to add a certain amount or 10% to the bill when paying by card: Voeg maar tien procent toe als fooi. (“Just add ten percent as a tip.”)

    ➜ Would you like to see more common restaurant vocabulary and phrases with recorded examples to work on your pronunciation? Why not stop by our vocabulary list on Key Phrases for Restaurants.

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Man and Woman Having a Fancy Dinner, Making a Toast

In this guide, you have learned everything you need to know when going to a Dutch restaurant. You now know how to make a reservation and how to order food in Dutch. For each step, you know the tips and tricks, as well as Dutch restaurant vocabulary and phrases. Did we forget some specific situations you’d like to learn more about?

You can start practicing speaking Dutch and rehearsing these common Dutch phrases for restaurants by checking out the free vocabulary lists on DutchPod101.com. Each list contains a recorded pronunciation of the words and phrases it covers, making them perfect for getting your pronunciation just right! In addition, we provide a variety of free resources and audio/video lessons for learners at every level.

Would you like some special attention to your Dutch language learning? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

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

Useful Guide to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills

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Did it ever happen to you that you just froze in a Dutch conversation? You went into the conversation with confidence, but in the end, were only able to blurt out a bunch of inarticulate words? Don´t worry about that, it happens to the best. You just need some tips on how to improve your Dutch conversation skills. 

You don’t need to dive into academic lessons or books to be able to master those conversation skills in Dutch, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. You just need to learn some tricks such as reaction words, filler words, or conversation starters. 

This guide will teach you how to improve your Dutch speaking skills: it all starts with making your own unique conversation “cheat sheet” with the words and sentences you might need the most. After that, you only need to learn some common Dutch questions, reactions, and answers, and you will be good to go and start that Dutch conversation. 

This way, nothing will stop you from making new Dutch friends and starting conversations with fellow students, coworkers, or random strangers.

Four People on a Couch Having a Conversation in a Café

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Make Your Own Conversation Cheat Sheet
  2. Learn Dutch Reaction Words
  3. Use Dutch Filler Words
  4. Learn Common Questions and Answers
  5. Use Dutch Conversation Starters
  6. How to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

1. Make Your Own Conversation Cheat Sheet

So, how to improve your Dutch conversation skills? One of the best ways for improving Dutch conversation skills is to prepare yourself with your own personalized conversation cheat sheet.

1- What’s a cheat sheet?

So, what´s a conversation cheat sheet? It’s a list of words, phrases, and conversation lines that you can make for yourself. It’s no one-size-fits-all list, but it’s rather something personalized as it assembles information that refers to YOU, for example, relating to your background, lifestyle, age, and interests. 

2- Why would I need one?

When meeting new people, you will have to introduce and talk about yourself. So, it could come in handy to prepare some self-introduction phrases. This way, you will be able to answer questions about yourself, your story, hobby, interests, background, and, last but not least, what motivates you to learn the Dutch language. 

This will not only make the conversation runs smoother, as you are well prepared and have the vocabulary ready to talk about yourself, but it will also make you more confident when meeting new people. It’s a great way to be able to connect with your conversation partners and establish lasting relationships from the start with your (hopefully) new Dutch friends. 

3- How do I make a conversation cheat sheet?

As a conversation cheat sheet is something personalized, every cheat sheet is unique. It all depends on your story and which information you would like to highlight.

One way to go is to start writing your own self-introduction and then tell something about your hobbies and interests, for example:

Hallo, mijn naam is Julia, ik kom uit Argentinië en ik ben 35 jaar oud. Ik woon in Amsterdam en ik werk hier als socioloog. Daarvoor heb ik 4 jaar in Spanje gewoond, ik studeerde daar sociologie aan de universiteit van Madrid. Ik hou van films kijken, koken en wandelen.
“Hello, my name is Julia, I am from Argentina and I am 35 years old. I live in Amsterdam and I work here as a sociologist. Before that I lived in Spain for 4 years, where I studied sociology at the University of Madrid. I like watching movies, cooking and walking.”

You can elaborate on the individual parts of your conversation cheat sheet and imagine how you would answer specific questions, by gathering phrases and words that specifically apply to your situation:

  • Ik woon sinds twee jaar in Amsterdam. (“I have been living in Amsterdam for two years.”)
  • Ik ging in 2016 in Madrid wonen. (“I went to live in Madrid in 2016.”)
  • Ik wilde nieuwe landen en culturen ontdekken. (“I wanted to discover new countries and cultures.”)

  • Veranderen van carrière (“Changing career”)
  • Een nieuwe studie beginnen (“Starting a new study”)
  • Mijn leven omgooien (“Turn my life around”)

  • Mijn favoriete film is de Notebook. (“My favorite movie is the Notebook.”)
  • Ik houd van de Aziatische keuken. (“I love Asian cuisine.”)
  • Ik maak elke dag een wandeling door de stad. (“I take a walk through the city every day.”)

4- Useful Learning Tools

You now know what a conversation cheat sheet is, why you would need one, and what information you should include. Do you have a hard time creating your own introduction phrases and answers? Don´t worry, there are plenty of resources you can use, depending on your level:

  1. Online translators may have a bad reputation. However, nowadays, they work quite well and can definitely help you with your more basic Dutch introduction phrases. There are many different online translators, but Google translate is the most popular option.

  2. Other online tools such as Reverso context can help you with idioms and expressions. They’re not flawless, but still, it’s a nice resource to use.

  3. DutchPod101 has tons of useful free content, blog articles, and vocabulary lists you can use. The vocabulary lists may especially come in handy if you’re looking for a specific topic. They also provide sentences and vocabulary that suit specific needs.

  4. A personal teacher is a great way to learn fast and efficiently. Your own personal teacher can definitely guide you through the process of writing your conversation cheat sheet and fix any mistakes you may make. Be sure to check our private coaching service from our Premium PLUS offer.

A Businesswoman Offering Her Hand, Ready to Introduce Herself

2. Learn Dutch Reaction Words

With reaction words and expressions, you can fill up those awkward silences and miscommunications. It’s a great way to show that you have been paying attention and are interested in your Dutch conversation partner. They will definitely make your conversations smoother and more lively. So, let’s have a look at some Dutch reaction words that express excitement, curiosity, and disbelief, among other reactions.

1- Great!

A: Ik vind de serie die je me hebt aangeraden heel erg leuk (“I really love the series you’ve recommended me.”)

B: Wat leuk, ik ben blij dat je het leuk vindt! (“That’s great, I’m glad you like it!”)

2- Sorry.

A: Ik heb een notenallergie. (“I have a nut allergy.”)

B: Oh, sorry, dat wist ik niet. (“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”)

3- I can’t believe it.

A: Ik hou niet van kaas. (“I don’t like cheese.”)

B: Echt waar? (“Really?”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Meen je het? (“Are you serious?”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Maak je een grapje? (“Are you making a joke?”) [Casual]

4- That’s a shame.

A: Ik kan vanavond niet komen. (“I can’t come tonight.”)

B: Ah, dat is jammer. (“Oh, that’s a shame.”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Ah, dat is balen! (“Ah, that sucks!”) [Casual]

5- Keep me posted!

A: Ik weet nog niet of ik vanavond kan komen. (“I don’t know if I can come tonight.”)

B: Oké, hou me op de hoogte! (“Okay, keep me posted!”)

6- Thanks for coming!

A: We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond. (“We have enjoyed the party last night.”)

B: Wat fijn, bedankt voor het komen! (“How nice, thanks for coming!”)

    ➜ This is just a quick list of common reaction words and phrases, but you can find more useful information in our blog article on Intermediate Dutch Phrases.

3. Use Dutch Filler Words

So what are filler words? Dutch filler words are those short sounds and words that locals use to fill the gaps when talking. You don’t necessarily have to use them, but they are useful as they give you time to think, and they definitely will make you sound more local.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common Dutch filler words:

1-

DutchLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Uhm…“Uh…”

Ik zou graag wat melk en, uhm… twee eieren kopen. (“I would like to buy some milk and, uh… two eggs.”)

De supermarkt? Uhm, het is de eerste straat naar links en dan zie je de supermarkt aan de rechterkant van de straat. (“The supermarket? Uh, it’s the first street on the left and then you see the supermarket on the right side of the street.”)

2-

DutchLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Maar goed“But good”“But yeah” / “Anyway”

Maar goed, ik ben dus eigenlijk nog steeds boos op haar. (“Anyway, I’m still mad at her.”)

Maar goed, genoeg daarover, hoe gaat het met jou?
(“Anyway, enough about that, how are you?”)

3-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Eigenlijk“Actually”

Maar, eigenlijk, koop ik dit product al jaren. (“But, actually, I’ve been buying this product for years.”)

Eigenlijk eet ik liever binnen. (“Actually, I prefer to eat inside.”)

Hij vind dat eigenlijk helemaal niet zo grappig. (“He actually doesn’t think that’s funny at all.”)

4-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Nou“Well” / “Well then”

Nou, ik denk dat hij het niet leuk vond dat je zo tegen hem sprak. (“Well, I think he didn’t like you talking to him like that.”)

Nou, ik ben het niet helemaal met je eens.
(“Well, I don’t quite agree with you.”)

We gaan nou niet zo snel naar Amsterdam op dit moment. (“Well, we are not going to Amsterdam anytime soon.”)

5-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Dus“So” / “Well”

Dus uhm, ik ga niet mee vanavond. (“So uh, I’m not coming along tonight.”)

Dus, wat is er met je aan de hand? (“So, what’s up with you?”)

    ➜ For more Dutch filler words, example sentences, and how to use them in your conversations, make sure to have a look at our article on Dutch Filler words.

4. Learn Common Questions and Answers

An Image of a Man Saying Something to a Woman, But She Doesn't Understand Him

Asking questions and answering them is part of our daily life. It’s how we get to know each other, how we organize our lives, and how we get a better understanding of someone or something.

Do you already know the golden rules of Dutch questions? Do you know the Dutch question patterns, as well as the most important question words? If you need a refresher, go to our complete article on Dutch Questions and Answers.

Otherwise, let’s dive into some of the most common questions as well as some examples of answers you might want to add to your conversation cheat sheet. Once again, choose the sentences that feel relevant to your personal story and interests.

1- How are you?

  • Hoe gaat het met je? (“How are you”) [Casual]
  • Hoe gaat het met u? (“How are you”) [Formal]

Another informal way to ask this question is: Alles goed? (“Everything fine?”)

Possible answers for this question include:

Het gaat goed met me. (“I am doing great.”)
Ik voel me niet goed. (“I am not feeling well.”)
Het gaat wel. (“I am fine.”)
Ik heb het erg druk. (“I am very busy.”)

2- What’s your name?

  • Wat is je naam?  (“What’s your name?”) [Casual]
  • Wat is uw naam? (“What’s your name?”) [Formal]

Another way to ask this question in Dutch is: 

  • Hoe heet je? [Casual]
  • Hoe heet u? [Formal]

Let’s now have a look at the answers:

Ik heet Sophie. (“My name is Sophie.”)
Mijn naam is Sophie. (“My name is Sophie.”)
Ik ben Sophie. (“I am Sophie.”)

3- Where are you from?

  • Waar kom je vandaan? (“Where are you from?”) [Casual]
  • Waar komt u vandaan? (“Where are you from?”) [Formal]

Let’s have a look at some possible answers:

    Foreign answers
    Ik ben Duits. (“I’m German.”)
    Ik kom uit Frankrijk. (“I’m from France.”)

    Local answers
    Ik kom uit Amsterdam. (“I’m from Amsterdam.”)
    Ik ben een Rotterdammer. (“I’m a Rotterdammer.” – a person from Rotterdam)
    Ik kom uit Brabant. (“I’m from Brabant.”)

4- Do you speak Dutch?

  • Spreek je Nederlands? (“Do you speak Dutch?”) – Casual
  • Spreekt u Nederlands? (“Do you speak Dutch?”) – Formal
  • Spreek je Engels? (“Do you speak English?”) – Casual
  • Spreekt u Engels? (“Do you speak English?”) – Formal

Let’s have a look at some possible answers:

Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands. (“I speak a little Dutch.”)
Ik spreek vloeiend Engels. (“I speak English fluently.”)
Min of meer. (“So-so.”)

5- What do you do?

  • Wat doe je? (“What do you do?”) [Casual]
  • Wat doet u? (“What do you do?”) [Formal]

Or sometimes it’s better to be a bit more specific:

  • Wat voor werk doe je? (“What kind of work do you do?”)
  • Wat is jouw baan? (“What’s your job?”)
  • Waar werk je? (“Where do you work?”)
  • Wat voor een studie doe je? (“What kind of study do you do?”)
  • Wat studeer je? (“What do you study?”)
  • Waar studeer je? (“Where do you study?”)

Some possible answers are:

Ik ben politieagent. (“I’m a police officer.”)
Ik werk in IT. (“I work in IT.”)
Ik werk in een kledingwinkel. (“I work in a clothing store.”)
Ik studeer anthropologie. (“I study anthropology.”)
Ik studeer aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. (“I study at the University of Amsterdam.”)

5. Use Dutch Conversation Starters

A Man and a Woman Drinking a Cup of Coffee and Having a Conversation

It can be hard to start a conversation with random strangers. It may be a little easier when you’re among fellow students, coworkers, or friends, as you have something in common, but you’ll still have to come up with some good opening lines.

It’s even more complex to start a conversation in a foreign language, but it definitely helps to be well prepared. Add some good conversation starters to your conversation cheat sheet and you’ll be good to go!

Here are a few examples for various situations:

  • Ik ga nog een drankje halen. Kan ik iets voor je meenemen?
    “I’m going for another drink. Can I get you something?”

  • Aan welk project werk je?
    “Which project are you working on?”

  • Weet jij een goede plek om te lunchen?
    “Do you know a good place to have lunch?”

  • Woon je al lang in Amsterdam?
    “Have you been living in Amsterdam for a long time?”

  • Wat zijn jouw plannen voor dit weekend?
    “What are your plans for this weekend?”
    ➜ There are many other conversation starters that you can use for a wide variety of situations, from strangers, people you already know, colleagues, schoolmates, and romantic dates to reconnecting with friends. For many more examples, have a look at our full guide on Dutch Conversation Starters.

6. How to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills

So, how to improve your Dutch speaking skills? Let’s give you some useful tips on the best ways to improve Dutch conversation skills.

1- Get as much exposure as possible

Exposure is everything, so listen to Dutch podcasts and music, watch Dutch movies, TV shows, or series, read Dutch books or make some new Dutch friends. There are many different ways to get some exposure to the Dutch language, so choose the exposure that works for you and your situation.

Exposure will help you learn the language without feeling like it’s all boring study work. It helps solidify everything you’re learning in a fun way, as you’ll get to experience words and structures in more natural situations.

Sure, you’ll need some basics before you can start, but there’s no need to wait too long, as recordings can be slowed down and videos can be subtitled.

2- Use every opportunity to practice

Practice is key. It may be a cliché, but it’s definitely true. Having real-life conversations is truly the best way to put your new grammar and vocabulary lessons into practice. 

Do you feel like your Dutch is not good enough to have a conversation? You don’t need more than some basics to get out there and talk to someone. The conversation might not go very far, but you will definitely learn from it.

Of course, if you are not in the Netherlands, it may be harder to find some Dutch language practice opportunities. However, language meet-ups or online chats are all valid ways to practice, as long as you get to talk to a native speaker and experiment with what you’ve learned.

3- Don´t worry too much about grammar or vocabulary

As we already said before, you don’t need to speak Dutch perfectly before you put those conversation skills in Dutch into practice. Don´t worry too much about Dutch grammar or vocabulary, it will hinder you from trying to speak Dutch. Just use the knowledge you have, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn from them.

And if you want to be a bit more prepared, pick the topics you will need and learn the basics. Often you can get quite far when you mix up the words you already know and just make new phrases out of them.

4- Get some feedback

Practicing is very important, but it might be even more important to get feedback. Without feedback, you might run the risk of getting stuck in the same mistakes without being able to spot and correct them.

So how to get that feedback? Finding a language partner (online or in person) is one way to go. Your language partner may be interested in your native language, and this way, you’ll both benefit from the relationship; besides that, it could lead to a nice new friendship.

Another option is a language teacher, as a private teacher will be able to set you on the right path, correct your grammar mistakes and improve your pronunciation. You can probably find a private teacher or classroom-based language course where you live or subscribe to an online service such as our Premium PLUS coaching on DutchPod101.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

A Woman Waving and Saying Hello

In this guide, you have learned how to improve your Dutch speaking skills. One of the best ways to improve Dutch conversation skills is to start with a conversation cheat sheet, then learn about various types of words and expressions that will help you run those conversations more smoothly, from filler words, reaction phrases, common questions, and answers to useful conversation starters.

Is there any other topic you would like to add to your Dutch conversation skills practice? Or are you ready to put these conversation skills in Dutch into practice?

Make sure to explore DutchPod101’s many free resources, such as vocabulary lists with audio recordings. This way, you can practice your Dutch conversation skills and understand your conversation partner even better.

Maybe you would like a private teacher? DutchPod101 also offers personal one-on-one coaching with the premium MyTeacher service. Boost your Dutch with your private teacher’s interactive exercises, personalized feedback, and useful tips.

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

Let’s Talk! A Dutch Conversation Starter Practice

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It’s not always easy to start a conversation the right way, let alone in another language. When you’re dealing with a foreign language, it’s even more difficult: it’s hard to be spontaneous when you’re nervously looking for your next sentence! 

So how to start a conversation in Dutch? Once you are talking to someone, and you’re both engaged in an interesting topic, it’s easier to keep it going. But the difficult part is to get it started and find the right conversation starter suited for the context. Luckily DutchPod101 is here to help with this useful “Dutch conversation starters” lesson. 

Dutch basic conversation starters depend on the situation: are you in a bar or at a friend’s party? At work or at the university? Maybe you’re on a date, or you just want to catch up with an old friend? In any case, we got you covered! Dive into this Dutch conversation starter practice, and let´s get that Dutch conversation started (and going).

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Conversation Starters for Mingling and Socializing
  2. Conversation Starters for a First Day at a New Job
  3. Conversation Starters for a First Day at a New School
  4. Conversation Starters for a First Date
  5. Conversation Starters to Reconnect with a Friend on the Phone, through Text or Email
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Conversation Starters

1. Conversation Starters for Mingling and Socializing 

A Woman and a Man Talk with Each Other at a Party

Meeting new people can be very nice, but it can also be scary if you don’t know how to socialize or what to say. However, luckily there are some tips and tricks on how to start a conversation with a stranger, like asking people about themselves, asking follow-up questions, and showing genuine interest.

So, let’s imagine you are at a party and you want to mingle. What could you say? “How do you know the host?” is a classic, but it doesn’t translate well from English to Dutch. In the Netherlands, we’d rarely call someone “the host,” even when there is someone that is organizing and hosting the event. However, instead, you can use the person’s name:

    Hoe ken je Julia? / Hoe kent u Julia?
        (“How do you know Julia?”)

    Ben je een vriend(in) van Julia? / Bent u een vriend(in) van Julia?
        (“Are you a friend of Julia?”)

    Ben jij een collega van Julia? / Bent u een collega van Julia?
        
    (“Are you a colleague of Julia?”)

As you can see, all these sentences can be used with the casual JE/JIJ or the formal U. However, in most social situations, it’s better to use the casual JE/JIJ. Therefore, in the rest of this Dutch conversation starter practice, we’ll stick to JE/JIJ. However, if you talk to older people or you are in a more formal work environment, you might want to use U.

Let’s now have a look at some other icebreakers:

    Wat ben je aan het drinken? Dat ziet er goed uit. (“What are you drinking? It looks nice.”)
    Wat eet je? Het ziet er lekker uit. (“What are you eating? It looks tasty.”)
    Ik ga meer eten halen. Wil je wat? (“I’m going to get more food. Do you want something?”)
    Ik ga nog een drankje halen. Kan ik iets voor je meenemen? (“I’m going for another drink. Can I get you something?”)
    Kom je hier vaak? (“Do you come here often?”)
    Is het je eerste keer hier? (“Is it your first time here?”)
    Hebben we elkaar al eens eerder ontmoet? (“Have we met before?”)

So these questions may be good if you don’t know the person you are talking to. But how to start a conversation in Dutch with someone you already know? You could use these Dutch basic conversation starters:

    Hoe gaat het? (“How are you doing?”)
    Alles goed? (“Everything fine?”)
    Hoe gaat het sinds de laatste keer dat we elkaar zagen? (“How is it going since the last time we saw each other?”)
    Dat is lang geleden! (“It has been a while!”)

These questions may be good to start the conversation, but how could you keep that conversation going? Try to ask for something you already know about them. Did they go on vacation recently? Ask about it. What about their significant other, pet, or kids? They’ll gladly talk about it.

    Heb je een goede vakantie gehad? (“Did you have a good vacation?”)
    Hoe was je vakantie? (“How was your vacation?”)
    Hoe gaat het met Julia? (“How is Julia?”)
    Kon Julia vanavond niet komen? (“Julia couldn’t come tonight?”)

2. Conversation Starters for a First Day at a New Job

A Man and a Woman Shaking Hands in an Office

Making friends at work might be easier as you already have something in common and you will probably also know some of the same people. Therefore you are able to ask more specific questions, which will help the conversation:

    Ik ben Sophie. Het is mijn eerste dag hier. (“I am Sophie. It’s my first day here.”)
    Ik werk in HR. En jij? (“I’m working in HR. What about you?”)
    Waar werk jij? (“Where do you work?”)
    Werk jij met Julia? (“Are you working with Julia?”)
    Wat voor werk doe je? (“What kind of work do you do?”)
    Aan welk project werk je? (“Which project are you working on?”)
    Hoe lang werk je hier al? (“For how long have you been working here?”)
    Wat deed je voordat je hier werkte? (“What did you do before working here?”)

So these simple Dutch conversation examples are perfect if you don’t know the person you are talking to. But what to say to someone you already know? Here are a few ‘classic’ Dutch workplace conversation starters:

    Waar ben je op dit moment mee bezig? (“What are you working on at the moment?”)
    Hoe gaat het met jouw project? (“How’s your project going?”)
    Heb je het erg druk? (“Are you very busy?”)

And when you’re on a friendly basis, you might even go a step further and talk about non-work-related topics:

    Heb je zin om samen te lunchen? (“Would you like to have lunch together?”)
    Wat heb je gedaan in het weekend?? (“What did you do on the weekend?”)
    Heb je al vakantieplannen? (“Do you already have plans for your vacation?”)
    Zullen we na het werk wat gaan drinken? (“Shall we have a drink after work?”)
    ➜ To talk with your colleagues, you might need some specific work-related words and expressions. Check out our vocabulary list about the workplace and practice your Dutch pronunciation.

3. Conversation Starters for a First Day at a New School

A Girl on the Street Waves to Two Other Students

A Dutch conversation starters lesson cannot be complete without some conversation starters for the first day at a new school. Whether you are having the first day at a middelbare school (“high school”), universiteit (“university”), or a hogeschool (“college”), let’s learn some Dutch conversation starters to be able to meet new people and make friends:

    Mijn naam is Paul, ik zit in mijn eerste jaar. (“My name is Paul, I’m in my first year.”)
    Ik ben nieuw hier. En jij? (“I’m new here. What about you?”)
    Het is vandaag mijn eerste dag. (“It’s my first day today.”)

You can also ask people about their situation:

    In welke klas zit je? (“What grade are you in?”)
    Wat studeer je? (“What are you studying?”)
    Zit je in dezelfde klas als Julia? (“Are you in the same class as Julia?”)
    Heb je binnenkort examens? (“Are you having exams soon?”)

When you don’t know your way around the place, one way to establish contact is to ask for directions:

    Weet jij waar ik de gymzaal kan vinden? (“Do you know where I can find the gym?”)
    Weet jij een goede plek om te lunchen? (“Do you know a good place to have lunch?”)
    Weet jij in welk gebouw de bibliotheek is? (“Do you know in which building the library is?”)

4. Conversation Starters for a First Date

A Man and a Woman on a Date Making a Toast

A date on its own can be nerve-racking, let alone if you have to do it in another language. So how to start a conversation in Dutch on a date? Let´s first break the ice with some more formal Dutch conversation starters:

    Waar kom je vandaan? (“Where are you from?”)
    Waar woon je? (“Where do you live?”)
    Woon je al lang in Amsterdam? (“Have you been living in Amsterdam for a long time?”)
    Heb je broers en zussen? (“Do you have brothers and sisters?”)
    Wat voor werk doe je? (“What kind of work do you do?”)

Then, time to get more personal:

    Houd je van sport? (“Do you like sport?”)
    Houd je meer van honden of katten? (“Do you prefer dogs or cats?”)
    Wat zijn je hobby´s? (“What are your hobbies?”)
    Wat doe je meestal ‘s avonds? (“What do you usually do in the evening?”)
    Heb je veel gereisd? (“Have you traveled a lot?”)

A great way to spark a conversation on a date is to ask about their favorite things. People love to talk about things that they are passionate about, and it might be a great way to find some common ground.

    Wat is jouw favoriete film? (“What’s your favorite movie?”)
    Wat is jouw favoriete serie? (“What’s your favorite series?”)
    Naar wat voor muziek luister je? (“What kind of music are you listening to?”)
    Heb je een favoriet gerecht? (“Do you have a favorite dish?”)
    Wat is het laatste boek dat je gelezen hebt? (“What’s the last book you’ve read?”)

5. Conversation Starters to Reconnect with a Friend on the Phone, through Text or Email

A Guy Talking on the Phone

Not all conversations take place in real life, so you might also need to learn Dutch conversation starters for when you want to reconnect with a friend on the phone or through text or email. This basic Dutch phrase is always a good start:

    Hoi, wat ben je aan het doen? (“Hi, what are you doing?”)

If you have no idea how to start a conversation in Dutch, then use this simple question. It is an easy way to start things off. Many times this is the first thing you will hear when calling someone on the phone.

Other options are:

    Hey, alles goed? (“Hey, is everything okay?”)
    Wat zijn jouw plannen voor dit weekend? (What are your plans for this weekend?”)
    Ik moet je echt iets grappigs vertellen. Wanneer kan ik je zien? (“I really have something funny to tell you. When can I see you?”)
    Het is een tijd geleden. Bel me wanneer je kan. Lijkt me leuk om je weer te zien. (“It has been a while. Call me when you can. I would like to see you again.”)
    Help! Welke jurk is leuker? Blauw of paars? (“Help! Which dress is nicer? Blue or purple?”)
    Wil je iets grappigs horen? (“Do you want to hear something funny?”)

6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Conversation Starters

In this Dutch conversation starters lesson, you have learned more than 60 Dutch basic conversation starters that you can use in a wide range of situations: from meeting new people, greeting friends, starting a conversation with colleagues or fellow students, to making a lasting impression on your date.

Is there any other topic you would like to add to your Dutch conversation starters practice? Or are you ready to learn these Dutch conversation starters and talk to some Dutch strangers?

Make sure to explore DutchPod101’s many free resources, such as vocabulary lists with audio recordings. This way, you can practice your conversation skills and understand your Dutch conversation partner even better.

Maybe you would like a private teacher? DutchPod101 also offers personal one-on-one coaching with the premium MyTeacher service. Boost your Dutch language learning with your private teacher’s interactive exercises, personalized feedback, and useful tips.

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

Countries and Nationalities in Dutch

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What is the most common question you will hear as a foreigner in the Netherlands? Yes, that oh-so common question about your nationality. As someone living abroad, you will have the advantage of having that as the perfect ice breaker to start some small talk: someone is bound to ask you where you’re from. 

This is your time to make a great impression and show your knowledge of the Dutch nationality vocabulary. What would you say about your nationality in Dutch? Saying Ik ben Frans (“I am French”) or Ik kom uit de Verenigde Staten (“I am from the United States”) may not be enough to keep the conversation going. 

This is where this guide may come in handy! By learning more vocabulary on nationalities, as well as the related questions and answers, you’ll be ready to impress with the perfect answer (and follow-up question) for the question: “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Top 20 Nationalities in the Netherlands
  2. Conversations About Nationalities
  3. Country, City, Nationality & Language
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Top 20 Nationalities in the Netherlands

Image of a Hand Holding the Dutch Flag

Dutch nouns for nationalities are actually quite easy, they are often written quite similar and for the feminine version you just have to add a ´se´. You’ll find as well that some of the countries and their nationalities in Dutch can be similar to their English equivalents. Furthermore, in Dutch nationality names, adjectives and country names are also written with a capital letter, just like in English! Easy, right?

Let’s have a look at a few examples:

Country’s nameNounAdjective
Brazilië
(“Brazil”)
Braziliaans, Braziliaanse
(Brazilian male version, feminine version)
Braziliaanse
(Brazilian)
Italië
(“Italy”)
Italiaans, Italiaanse
(Italian male version, feminine version)
Italiaanse
(Italian)
Mexico
(“Mexico”)
Mexicaans, Mexicaanse
(Mexican male version, feminine version)
Mexicaanse
(Mexican)

Let’s see some examples of the adjectives:

  • Het Braziliaanse eten. (“The Brazilian food.”)
  • Het Braziliaanse volkslied. (“The Brazilian anthem.”)
  • De Italiaanse vrouwen. (“The Italian women.”)
  • De Mexicaanse man. (“The Mexican man.”) 
  • Zij houdt erg van Mexicaanse muziek. (“She really loves Mexican music.”)

A Picture of a Brigadeiro, Brazilian Food

As you can see, in Dutch the country´s name, nationality and adjective all start with an uppercase letter.

So now let’s have a look at how this would look like for the 20th most common nationalities in the Netherlands.

Dutch demography statistics show that in 2020 about 4.22 million of the Dutch citizens are of non-Dutch origin and half of these are from six backgrounds alone: Turks (inc. Kurds), Moroccans (inc. Berbers), Indonesians (inc. Moluccans), Surinamese, Germans and Poles.

Let’s have a look at the numbers from 2019, and learn some useful Dutch words in the process!

%English (Country)Dutch (Country)Dutch (Adjective)Dutch (Nationality)
2.37Turkey (inc. Kurds)TurkijeTurks/eTurk / Turkse
2.33Morocco (incl. Berbers)MarokkoMarokkaans/eMarokkaan / Marokkaanse
2.08Indonesia (incl. Moluccans)IndonesiëIndonesisch/eIndonesiër / Indonesische
2.05SurinamSurinameSurinaams/eSurinamer / Surinaamse
2.03GermanyDuitslandDuits/eDuitser / Duitse
1.07PolandPolenPools/ePool / Poolse
0.9Former Netherlands AntillesVoormalige Nederlandse AntillenAntilliaans/eAntilliaan / Antilliaanse
0.69BelgiumBelgiëBelgisch/eBelg / Belgische
0.57SyriaSyriëSyrisch/eSyriër / Syrische
0.53Former Soviet UnionVoormalige Sovjet Unie
0.53Great Britain Groot-BrittanniëBrits/eBrit / Britse
0.51Former YugoslaviaVoormalig JoegoslaviëJoegoslavisch/eJoegoslaaf / Joegoslavische
0.45ChinaChinaChinees/ChineseChinees / Chinese
0.36IracIrakIrakees/eIrakees / Irakese
0.33ItalyItaliëItaliaans/eItaliaan / Italiaanse
0.28AfghanistanAfghanistanAfghaans/eAfghaan / Afghaanse
0.28IndiaIndiaIndisch/eIndiër / Indische
0.27FranceFrankrijkFrans/e Fransman / Franse (or: Française)
0.27SpainSpanjeSpaans/eSpanjaard / Spaanse
0.26United StatesVerenigde StatenAmerikaans/eAmerikaan / Amerikaanse

Knowing these countries, it may also come in handy to get to know the names of the different continents in Dutch:

EuropeEuropaEuropees/Europese
AsiaAziëAziatisch/e
AfricaAfrikaAfrikaans/e
AmericaAmerikaAmerikaans/e
OceaniaOceaniëOceanisch/e

Image of a Globe with the European Continent Highlighted

When you need to be a little more specific, you can use cardinal directions:

NorthNoord
SouthZuid
EastOost
WestWest

For example:

  • Zuid-Amerika (“South America”)
  • Oost-Europa (“Eastern Europe”)
  • Zuidoost-Azië (“Southeast Asia”)
  • Noord-Afrika (“North Africa”)


2. Conversations About Nationalities

When you meet someone new in a foreign country, you don’t know where the conversation might go. But they will surely ask you where you’re from.

    ➜ Are you applying for Dutch citizenship? Then it might also come in handy to be able to talk about your current nationality. This way you can explain your situation and get that Dutch passport.

When you meet a new person in the Netherlands, they might ask you: Waar kom je vandaan? This literally means “Where do you come from?”, but translates better to “Where are you from?” 

If you need to go a bit more formal, you can use U (“You”, formal): Waar komt u vandaan?

To answer, you just say Ik ben, which means “I am,” and then your nationality. So what would you say about your nationality in Dutch?

For example:

  • Ik ben Amerikaans. (“I am American.”)
  • Ik ben Duits. (“I am German.”)
  • Ik ben Braziliaans. (“I am Brazilian.”)

As you can see, in this sentence structure you always take the male version, even if you’re female.

You could also answer with Ik kom uit Duitsland, which means “I come from Germany,”. In that case, in your reply you would have to change the nationality to the name of the country, so “I come from Netherlands.”

For example:

  • Ik kom uit Frankrijk. (“I am from France.”)
  • Ik kom uit Australië. (“I am from Australia.”)

To return the question you can simply say En jij? This means “And you?” 

Last but not least, they could also ask “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch. Saying Wat is jouw nationaliteit? Or asking Ben je [nationality]? (“Are you [nationality]?). So for example, Ben je Fins? (“Are you Finnish?”). To which you could reply:

  • Ja, ik ben Fins. (“Yes, I am Finnish.”)
  • Ja, ik kom uit Finland. (“Yes, I am from Finland.”)
  • Nee, ik ben niet Fins. Ik ben Amerikaans. (“No I am not Finnish. I am American.”)

Or you can use a more advanced reply:

  • Ik ben geboren in Finland, maar ik groeide op in Italië. (“I was born in Finland but I grew up in Italy.”)
  • Ik ben Fins en Italiaans (“I’m Finnish and Italian.”)
  • Ik ben Frans maar ik woon in Finland (“I’m French but I live in Finland.”)
  • Ik ben Duits maar ik woon in Japan. (“I’m German but I live in Japan.”)
  • Ik ben Braziliaans maar ik woon nu al twee jaar in Frankrijk. (“I’m Brazilian but I’ve been living in France for two years.”)


3. Country, City, Nationality & Language

You now know how to talk about countries and their nationalities in Dutch, let’s go back to our list and take it one step further.

Image of Ankara

Country in EnglishCountry in DutchMajor CityNationalityLanguage
TurkeyTurkijeAnkaraTurk/seTurks (“Turkish”)
Morocco MarokkoRabatMarokkaan/seMarokkaans (“Moroccan”)
IndonesiaIndonesiëJakartaIndonesiër/IndonesischeIndonesisch (“Indonesian”)
SurinamSurinameParamariboSurinamer/SurinaamseSurinaams (“Surinamese”)
GermanyDuitslandBerlijn (“Berlin”)Duitser/DuitseDuits (“German”)
PolandPolenWarschauPool/sePools (“Polish”)
BelgiumBelgiëBrussel Belg/BelgischeNederlands (“Dutch”), Frans (“French”) and Duits (“German”)

Belgium has three official languages, however Belgian Dutch, Vlaams (“Flemish”), and Belgian French, Waals (“Walloon”), are mainly spoken there.
SyriaSyriëDamascusSyriër/SyrischeArabisch (“Arabic”)
Great Britain Groot-BrittanniëLonden (“London”)Brit/seEngels (“English”)
ChinaChinaBeijingChinees/ChineseChinees (“Chinese”)
IraqIrakBaghdadIrakees/IrakeseIraaks (“Iraqi”)
ItalyItaliëRome Italiaan/seItaliaans (“Italian”)
AfghanistanAfghanistanKabulAfghaan/seDari
IndiaIndiaNew DelhiIndiër/IndischeHindi
FranceFrankrijkParijs (“Paris”)Fransman/Franse

(Française is also used for the feminine version)
Frans (“French”)
SpainSpanjeMadridSpanjaard/SpaanseSpaans (“Spanish”)
United StatesVerenigde StatenWashingtonAmerikaan/seAmerikaans (“American”)

You can combine all of that when you introduce yourself. Here’s what it could look like:

  • Ik ben Spaans, ik ben geboren in Madrid maar ik woon nu in Parijs, Frankrijk.
    (“I am Spanish, I was born in Madrid but I now live in Paris, France.”)

  • Ik ben Pools maar ik ben in Spanje opgegroeid.
    (“I’m Polish but I grew up in Spain.”)

  • Ik ben Chinees, maar woon al een tijdje in Brussel.
    (“I’m Chinese but I’ve been living in Brussels for some time.”)

  • Ik ben Indiaas en spreek nog niet zo goed Nederlands. Ik ben zes maanden geleden naar Nederland verhuisd.
    (“I’m Indian and I don’t speak Dutch very well yet. I moved to the Netherlands six months ago.”)

  • Ik ben Turks en Marokkaans. Ik ben opgegroeid in Turkije maar spreek geen woord Marokkaans. (“I’m Turkish and Moroccan. I was raised in Turkey but I don’t speak a word of Moroccan.”)

  • Ze is Amerikaanse, spreekt vloeiend Duits en houdt van de Duitse cultuur.
    (“She’s American, she speaks German fluently and she loves the German culture.”)

    ➜ Telling where you’re from and what language you speak is a great starting point. To go a bit further, you can check out our vocabulary list with 10 lines to introduce yourself in Dutch.

A Woman Waving Goodbye

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned everything about countries and their nationalities in Dutch. You also learned some simple as well as complex sentence structures that you can use to answer the popular question Waar kom je vandaan? You even know how to say  “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch.

Are there any other nationality related words you would like to learn? Where are you from yourself and what would you say about your nationality in Dutch?

Let’s start putting this Dutch nationality vocabulary in use with the help of DutchPod101’s vocabulary lists with audio recordings, and other free resources to boost your studies.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal one-on-one coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you master this Dutch nationality vocabulary. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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30+ Useful Intermediate Dutch Phrases to Up Your Game

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Are you having trouble making the leap from the beginner to the intermediate level? It can be challenging to go from using simple structures in the present tense to figuring out the more difficult structures you need for expressing complex ideas or subtle feelings. 

Don’t worry; help is near. Having access to an extensive set of intermediate Dutch phrases may be the final push that will help you make this leap. And once you’re on the other side, you’ll find a lot of satisfaction in improving your skills and tackling the more challenging aspects of the language. 

In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the most useful intermediate Dutch phrases and sentence structures. You’ll get practical phrases for a wide variety of situations: talking about past events, making plans for the future, explaining your reasons, and more. 

Let’s dive in.

A Woman Studying with a Textbook and Her Cell Phone Early in the Morning

Let’s master those intermediate Dutch phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Talking About Past Events
  2. Making and Changing Plans
  3. Explaining Your Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations
  6. Dutch Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Talking About Past Events

When you’re at a beginner level, chances are that you will only use the present tense. But as you bridge the gap toward becoming an intermediate Dutch student, you’ll need to learn how to use the Dutch past tense to talk about past events and share your experiences. Let’s have a look at some useful intermediate Dutch phrases for talking about things that happened in the past. 

We hebben een geweldige tijd gehad.
We had a great time.
Literally: We have had a great time.

We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond. 
We enjoyed the party last night.

Dat was de ergste dag van mijn leven.
That was the worst day of my life.

Ik werk hier nu drie jaar.
I have been working here for three years now.
Literally: I work here three years now.
This Dutch sentence uses the present tense because we’re talking about something that is still ongoing.

Vorig jaar reisde ik naar Argentinië.
Last year, I traveled to Argentina.

Ik had vroeger een hond die Billie heette. 
I used to have a dog named Billie.


2. Making and Changing Plans

Now that we have a better grasp of the past, let’s go to the future. For this, you’ll need to be able to manage the Dutch future tense. As you will gather from the following Dutch phrases for the intermediate level, there are many different ways to use this tense, and they’re all quite simple—so give them a go! Usually, mentioning the date of the event will be enough for the other person to understand you’re talking about the future; from that point on, whether you use the present or future tense is a matter of preference.

Be aware: The Dutch love to plan, so you may have to make plans in advance and avoid canceling at the last minute (as this is viewed as rude).

A How-to Guide

How do you make and change plans in Dutch? Let’s have a look!

Ik ben volgende week beschikbaar.
I am available next week.

Heb je dit weekend tijd?
Do you have time this weekend?

Wil je vanavond pizza eten? 
Do you want to eat pizza tonight?

Mag ik mijn vriend/vriendin meenemen? 
Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend?

Kunnen we het naar volgende week verplaatsen?
Can we move it to next week?

Zouden we een nieuwe afspraak kunnen maken?
Could we make a new appointment?

We hebben het er later over in onze bespreking.
We will talk about it later in our meeting.

    ➜ Do you want to learn more useful phrases for talking about your plans? Then have a look at our free vocabulary list Talking About Your Plans, which comes with audio recordings so you can practice your pronunciation.

3. Explaining Your Reasons

Another essential set of Dutch phrases for the intermediate level consists of those for explaining the reasons behind your actions. Describing your reasons is quite straightforward in Dutch; it only takes a few key words and structures to start talking about causes and consequences. See what we mean by taking a look at the useful intermediate Dutch phrases we’ve listed below. 

Ik eet geen eieren of vis want ik ben allergisch.
I don’t eat eggs or fish because I’m allergic.

Ik hou van deze muziek omdat ik er graag op dans.
I like this music because I like to dance to it.

Ik ben een beetje dronken, dus ik loop terug naar huis. 
I am a bit drunk, so I’ll walk back home.

Omdat ik uitgeput was, sliep ik tot in de middag.
Because I was exhausted, I slept until noon.

Ik praat zachtjes want ik wil haar niet wakker maken.
I’m speaking softly because I don’t want to wake her up.

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

One way to gain a deeper insight and understanding of people is to share our opinions and learn from each other’s experiences. Making recommendations or complaints is a great way to bond with people. Whether you want to recommend a great restaurant to your friends or discourage them from reading a boring book, the following intermediate Dutch phrases will help you get the message across. 

Je moet dit proberen. Het is de beste koffie die ik ooit heb gehad.
You should try this. It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had.

Dit is mijn favoriete restaurant.
This is my favorite restaurant.

Dit is de beste pizzeria van de stad.
This is the best pizza place in town.
Literally: This is the best pizza place of the city.

Ik heb echt genoten van deze film. Ik zou hem graag nog een keer zien. 
I really enjoyed this movie. I would like to see it again.

Ik zou dit boek niet aanraden, ik vond het erg saai.
I would not recommend this book; I found it very boring.

    ➜ Do you want to learn more? Have a look at our vocabulary list Making Complaints in Dutch, which comes with useful audio recordings for pronunciation practice.

5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations

A Man and a Woman Chatting Over Coffee

Get ready for everyday Dutch conversations by learning these useful intermediate Dutch phrases!

Are you interested in improving your Dutch conversation skills? In this section, we’ll teach you some short intermediate-level phrases for reacting to statements and expressing emotions like enthusiasm, curiosity, and disbelief. Being able to react fully (rather than just saying yes or no) is a great step forward in becoming more fluent in Dutch.

1 – Great!

A:
Ik vind de serie die je me hebt aangeraden heel erg leuk.
“I really love the series you recommended to me.”

B:
Wat leuk, ik ben blij dat je het leuk vindt!
“That’s great; I’m glad you like it!”

2 – Sorry.

A:
Ik heb een notenallergie.
“I have a nut allergy.”

B:
Oh, sorry, dat wist ik niet.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”

3 – I can’t believe it.

A:
Ik hou niet van kaas.
“I don’t like cheese.”

B:
Echt waar?
“Really?” [Formal/Casual]

B:
Meen je het?
“Are you serious?” [Formal/Casual]

B:
Maak je een grapje?
“Are you making a joke?” [Casual]

4 – That’s a shame.

A:
Ik kan vanavond niet komen.
“I can’t come tonight.”

B:
Ah, dat is jammer.
“Oh, that’s a shame.” [Formal/Casual]

B:
Ah, dat is balen!
“Ah, that sucks!” [Casual]

5 – Keep me posted!

A:
Ik weet nog niet of ik vanavond kan komen.
“I don’t know if I can come tonight.”

B:
Oké, hou me op de hoogte!
“Okay, keep me posted!”

6 – Thanks for coming!

A:
We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond.
“We enjoyed the party last night.”

B:
Wat fijn, bedankt voor het komen!
“How nice, thanks for coming!”


6. Dutch Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

A Man and Woman Shaking Hands in a Car Dealership

What Dutch etiquette rules do you already know?

Last but not least, to really become an intermediate-level Dutch speaker, you should also know some Dutch etiquette phrases for social and business settings. Even though the Dutch aren’t the most polite people in the world, there is more to Dutch courtesy than just saying alstublieft (“please”) and bedankt (“thank you”). We do appreciate some etiquette, especially in the Dutch business culture. So, let’s have a look at some useful Dutch phrases for intermediate-level students who want to make a great impression in social and business settings.

Doe alsof je thuis bent. 
Make yourself at home.
Literally: Do as if you are at home.

Laat het me weten als je vragen hebt. 
[Casual]
Laat het me weten als u vragen heeft. 
[Formal]
Please let me know if you have questions.

Goede reis!
Have a good trip!

Ik kijk er naar uit om van je te horen. 
[Casual]
Ik kijk er naar uit van u te horen. 
[Formal]
I look forward to hearing from you.

Leuk je te ontmoeten. 
[Casual]
Aangenaam kennis te maken. 
[Formal]
Nice to meet you.

Sorry dat ik je stoor. 
[Casual]
Sorry dat ik u stoor. 
[Formal]
I’m sorry to disturb you.
Literally: Sorry to disturb you.

Gezondheid.
Bless you.
Literally: Health.

This is used when someone sneezes. When someone sneezes three times, some people may add morgen mooi weer (“good weather tomorrow”), but it’s old-fashioned and mostly used as a joke.

    ➜ Would you like to learn more about Dutch etiquette? You’re in luck! We have a complete guide [link] on what’s polite and what’s not in the Netherlands. It’s available for free on DutchPod101.com.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned more than thirty useful intermediate Dutch phrases covering different aspects of our daily lives. As a true intermediate Dutch speaker, you can now talk about past events, make and change plans, explain your reasons, make recommendations or complaints, react to everyday conversations, and even use those tricky Dutch etiquette phrases for social and business settings. 

Are there any other types of Dutch phrases for the intermediate level you would like to learn? Or some useful intermediate Dutch phrases on another topic? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

Try to really practice all of the intermediate Dutch phrases from our list by following these steps:

  • Read the sentence carefully and see if you can understand it.
  • Try and translate it yourself with the words and grammar that you already know.
  • Compare your results to the given translation (and to its literal translation, when needed).
  • Once you understand the words and the grammatical structure, you can make some changes to the sentence to make it more personal or applicable to other situations.
  • Once you’re comfortable enough, you could even try to rephrase it completely or make it more complex.

A Woman Wearing a Graduation Cap and Gown

Yes, you are ready to master the Dutch intermediate level!

You can start mastering these Dutch phrases for intermediate learners with the help of DutchPod101.com. We offer audio and video lessons, vocabulary lists with audio recordings, and other free resources to boost your studies. With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with every aspect of the Dutch language, from the pronunciation of common phrases to the expansion of your intermediate Dutch vocabulary. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

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Guide to the Best Podcasts for Learning Dutch

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Effortlessly learning Dutch: It may sound too good to be true, but it is possible. 

How? 

The solution is really quite simple: Engage in some passive listening. 

Instead of cramming endless vocabulary words and grammar rules into your memory, you can just sit back and listen to something that interests you. As is the case with Dutch movies and series, you can use Dutch podcasts to efficiently practice your listening comprehension and improve your language skills. The key here is to listen to podcasts on a regular basis, as this will give you natural exposure to the language every day. 

Podcasts are very popular these days as they give you the opportunity to listen to something while doing simple daily tasks (cleaning, cooking, walking, commuting to work, etc.). This regular passive listening will help you learn new words and idioms, and it will help solidify the grammar structures you’ve already learned.

There are many different podcasts you could use to learn Dutch, and you can find them on a variety of platforms: Spotify, the internet, or even your phone’s podcast app. 

In this article, we’ll show you the benefits of using podcasts to learn Dutch, list seven of the best podcasts for doing so, and even give you some handy tricks and tips. 

Put on your headphones and get ready to improve your Dutch!

A Woman Using Her Laptop with Headphones On

Let’s start listening to podcasts and learn some Dutch along the way.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Dutch
  2. The Best Dutch Podcasts
  3. Tricks to Help You Learn Dutch More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Dutch

  • Practice when it suits you.
  • Improve your listening skills.
  • Reinforce correct pronunciation.
  • Consolidate your understanding of grammar as you hear different structures in context.
  • Enrich your vocabulary on the topics of your choice.

There are many ways to learn Dutch: taking classes, downloading apps, going through long vocabulary lists, doing fill-in-the-blank exercises… These are all reasonable approaches to learning Dutch, but in this day and age, there is so much more you can take advantage of—such as podcasts!

So, what are the benefits of listening to podcasts in Dutch? How can it help you learn the language? Let’s see!

    → How do you motivate yourself when learning a language? If you’re having trouble keeping yourself motivated, have a look at this vocabulary list to find some useful tips.

1 – Optimize Your Time

Practice makes perfect, so it’s necessary to get some daily exposure to the Dutch language if you want to improve. In addition to the primary method or program you’re using to study, the simple habit of listening to Dutch every day in your car, on the bus, or while doing the dishes will contribute greatly to your learning progress.

Listening to podcasts in Dutch will allow you to study during those short gaps in your busy schedule. This could be when you’re on the metro, on your lunch break, or while exercising. As such, you’ll be able to study regularly and spread your Dutch learning throughout the day. 

A Man Walking Alongside Heavy Traffic while Listening to a Podcast

Listen to Dutch podcasts while commuting.

2 – Different Levels, Different Perks

Because there are so many Dutch podcasts out there, you’ll always be able to find podcasts suitable for your current level. 

As a beginner, you may want to stick to podcasts designed for Dutch learners, as other Dutch podcasts may be difficult for you to understand. Listening to podcasts early on gives you a good sense of how the language sounds and will help you with your pronunciation.

Intermediate learners can dip into Dutch podcasts that focus on subjects outside of language learning. They can use podcasts to enhance their grammar skills, learn new vocabulary, and get more comfortable with Dutch in general. 

Advanced students may benefit the most from podcasts, especially since they’ll be able to listen to the massive amount of content out there for native Dutch speakers. You’ll have many Dutch podcasts to choose from and can listen to those that cover the topics you most enjoy.

    → Do you like listening to Dutch podcasts but need to improve your Dutch listening skills for a better experience? Have a look at our vocabulary list How to Improve Your Listening Skills for some pointers.

2. The Best Dutch Podcasts

As mentioned, there are many Dutch podcasts you can choose from. Some of them are specifically designed with Dutch learners in mind, while others are geared toward native Dutch speakers and cover a variety of topics. 

So, what are the best podcasts for learning Dutch?

1 – One Minute Dutch

  • Level: (True) Beginner
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free

The great thing about the One Minute Dutch podcast is that each episode is only a couple of minutes long and teaches very basic Dutch concepts. There are ten short episodes that cover things like numbers, greetings, and how to introduce yourself. It’s one of the best Dutch podcasts for beginners as it introduces listeners to all the basics they need to get started. 

2 – Zeg Het in Het Nederlands (“Say it in Dutch”)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free

Zeg Het in Het Nederlands (“Say it in Dutch”) is an intermediate-level Dutch language learning podcast that will help you improve your Dutch listening and interpretation skills. In this podcast, the narrators speak Dutch at a slow pace, and there’s even a full PDF transcript so you can follow along with the dialogue. The podcast covers a range of topics, including politics, sports, and entertainment. The episodes aren’t that long (usually under 20 minutes), so you can easily combine them with your daily activities.

3 – SBS Dutch

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: News
  • Free

This Dutch news podcast is produced by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), an Australian multimedia network that has a Dutch radio and podcasting program. SBS Dutch gives listeners a range of Dutch content focusing on both international and local news. You’ll have access to interviews, features, community stories, and news stories in Dutch so that you can strengthen your listening skills, broaden your vocabulary, and improve your pronunciation. 

There are many episodes available, and SBS frequently uploads new ones so you’ll always have new content to listen to. As most episodes are relatively short (between 5 and 15 minutes long), it’s the perfect way to catch up with the latest news while improving your Dutch.

4 – DutchPod101

  • Level: Absolute Beginner to Advanced
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free content + Premium and Premium PLUS subscriptions

DutchPod101 has a great collection of podcast episodes for learners at every level, from absolute beginners to intermediate and advanced students. There are lessons explaining basic Dutch-language concepts, depicting common daily situations, and teaching first-hand information about the country. At DutchPod101.com, you can also complement these podcasts with grammar points, exercises, quizzes, vocabulary lists, and even personal coaching. As there are podcast episodes for every level, you can make use of DutchPod101 throughout your entire Dutch language learning journey.

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Discover the benefits of DutchPod101!

5 – Man met de Microfoon (“Man with the Microphone”)

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Stories
  • Free

This is a great podcast for more advanced Dutch learners. The man met de microfoon (“man with the microphone”) drives around Amsterdam by bus in search of exciting stories from strangers. No two stories will be quite the same, as they depend on the people he encounters on the streets. This show is hosted by Chris Bajema, and each episode is around 15 minutes long. 

6 – Echt Gebeurd (“True Story”)

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Stories
  • Free

Echt Gebeurd (“True Story”) is a Dutch podcast hosted by comedians and writers. It focuses on people telling true stories that are a bit unbelievable. This podcast features a wide range of storytellers recounting funny, beautiful, surprising, and special events that have really happened to them. For advanced Dutch students, it’s a fun way to challenge their Dutch skills. There are many episodes to choose from, and new ones are uploaded weekly. The episodes are about 10 or 15 minutes long, so you can perfectly combine them with your daily activities.

7 – Vloeiend Vlaams (“Fluent Flemish”)

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Theme: History and Stories
  • Free

Are you learning Dutch but plan to use these language skills in Belgium? This podcast offers you a way to improve your Flemish skills. The podcast is relatively new and doesn’t have a lot of episodes yet. However, it tells you stories about Flemish history, and you’ll be able to listen to correct Flemish accents, intonation, and vocabulary. It’s a great way to improve your Flemish listening, comprehension, and pronunciation skills. 

3. Tricks to Help You Learn Dutch More Effectively with Podcasts

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How can you learn Dutch by listening to podcasts?

Now that you have a list of the best Dutch podcasts for learners, you’re ready to start listening. But how can you really take advantage of these podcasts to learn Dutch effectively? 

  1. Pick the right podcast for your level.
    Although it sounds very obvious, it’s important to choose the right podcast for your level so that you don’t get discouraged. It’s better to start off easy so that you can get motivated and ready for more. You can always move on to some more challenging content later.

  2. Select the right topic for you.
    If you find a Dutch podcast with a theme that you really enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it and come back for more. Of course, it’s mainly the advanced students who have the luxury of choice and can choose the topics they’re most passionate about. 
  1. Try out several podcasts.
    There are many podcasts out there, and it’s likely that you won’t find the perfect program from Day One. Try out different podcasts to see which one matches your level and tastes. This will also expose you to more than one voice and accent.

  2. Daily exposure is key.
    Try making your podcast listening part of your routine. For example, you could try always listening to them while commuting or washing the dishes. If you can find the time for a daily podcast session, you will get that necessary exposure to really improve your Dutch. You can combine your podcast listening with many activities, but try to avoid too much multitasking as your ears and brain should be fully available.

  3. Don’t forget to mix it up.
    Passive learning has many benefits, but you’ll benefit more if you combine it with other language learning methods. So mix it up and combine those Dutch podcasts with the classic grammar and vocabulary work. Use podcasts as a complementary activity and not as your main (or only) Dutch language learning tool.

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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Let’s start learning Dutch while having fun!

In this guide, you’ve learned how to boost your studies by using podcasts to learn Dutch. We have shown you our picks for the best Dutch podcasts, and we have given you some tips and tricks to apply for the best experience. 

Are there any other amazing Dutch podcasts you’re following? What do you think is the best podcast for learning Dutch? 

Don’t forget to combine those Dutch podcasts with other language learning methods, such as our vocabulary lists with audio recordings (and other free resources). With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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

80+ Basic Dutch Phrases for Beginners

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How many Dutch phrases do you know? Does it ever feel like you don’t know enough Dutch to handle the different situations that pop up every day? 

It can be frustrating not being able to explain or express yourself due to having a limited vocabulary. But having access to an extensive set of basic Dutch phrases for beginners will surely help you feel more confident about using the Dutch language. 

Luckily, you don’t have to know everything. Learning even a few Dutch beginner phrases will be enough to help you manage yourself in everyday situations and speak with clarity. 

In this article, we’ll list essential Dutch phrases for beginners that will allow you to communicate in Dutch. We have included greetings, self-introductions, goodbyes, courtesy phrases, dining and shopping phrases, and phrases you can use to ask for help. By the time you reach the end, you’ll know the best Dutch beginner phrases for a wide variety of situations.

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Let’s master these Dutch beginner phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes
  2. Courtesy Phrases
  3. Dining and Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes

First, to make a great first impression, it’s important to get your Dutch greetings right. There are different greetings for different situations, from formal gatherings to more casual social encounters. When in doubt, remember that Hallo (“Hello”) is always a great option as it works well in both formal and casual situations.

Hallo. 
[Formal or casual]
Hoi.
[Casual]
Hello.Hi.

Goedemorgen. 
[Formal or casual]
Good morning.

Goedenavond. 
[Formal or casual]
Good evening.

Hallo meneer. 
[Formal]
Hello, sir.

Goedemorgen mevrouw. 
[Formal]
Good morning, madam.

Now that you have given your Dutch greeting, you may want to ask how they’re doing. Here are some basic Dutch phrases you could use:

Hoe gaat het met u? 
[Formal]
Alles goed? 
[Casual]
How are you?
Literally: How are you going?Literally: Everything fine?

Goed, dank u. 
[Formal]
Ja, alles prima. 
[Casual]
I am good, thank you.Yes, everything is fine.
Literally: Good, thank you.

Would you like to keep the conversation going? In case you don’t know the other person, you can use the following Dutch beginner phrases to begin introductions. 

Wat is uw naam? 
[Formal]
Hoe heet je? 
[Casual]
What’s your name?

Ik heet Mark. 
[Formal or casual]
My name is Mark.

Ik ben Kim. 
[Casual]
I am Kim.

Waar komt u vandaan? 
[Formal]
Waar kom je vandaan? 
[Casual]
Where are you from?

Waar woont u? 
[Formal]
Waar woon je? 
[Casual]
Where do you live?

Ik ben Duits.
I’m German.

Ik woon in Parijs.
I live in Paris.

Ik kom uit Argentinië.
I’m from Argentina.
    → Not sure what the Dutch name for your nationality or country is? You can find your nationality (along with its pronunciation) on this vocabulary list and the name of your country on this one.

Hoe oud bent u? 
[Formal]
Hoe oud ben je? 
[Casual]
How old are you?

Ik ben dertig jaar oud.
I’m thirty years old.

Aangenaam (kennis te maken). 
[Formal or casual]
Nice to meet you.
Literally: Nice to get to know you.

You can either say aangenaam by itself or use the whole phrase (aangenaam kennis te maken). Both versions are perfectly fine for formal situations; in more casual settings, it sounds better to just say aangenaam.

Leuk u te ontmoeten. 
[Formal]
Leuk je te ontmoeten. 
[Casual]
Nice to meet you.

Het was leuk u gesproken te hebben. 
[Formal]
Het was leuk je gesproken te hebben.
[Casual]
It was nice talking to you.

All good things must come to an end. Here are some beginner phrases in Dutch that are perfect for ending a conversation and saying goodbye.

A Woman Waving to Someone

How do you say goodbye in Dutch?

Dag! 
[Formal or casual]
Bye.

Tot ziens. 
[Formal or casual]
Goodbye.
Literally: Until seeing you.

Tot later! 
[Casual]
See you later!
Literally: Until later.

Tot morgen. 
[Casual]
See you tomorrow.
Literally: Until tomorrow.

Succes! 
[Formal or casual]
Good luck.

Veel plezier! 
[Casual]
Have fun!

2. Courtesy Phrases

The Dutch might not be the politest people in the world, but there are certain manners that the Dutch highly appreciate. To give you a leg up in social settings, we have included a list of useful Dutch phrases for beginners that are considered polite and courteous in the Netherlands. Make sure to use these courtesy phrases whenever appropriate to leave a good impression on others. 

Excuseer me. 
[Formal]
Sorry. 
[Casual]
Excuse me.
This phrase is used to catch someone’s attention before asking for something, or to apologize in advance for an inconvenience.

For example: 
  • Excuseer me, weet u hoe laat het is? (“Excuse me, do you know the time?”) [Formal]
  • Sorry, weet je hoe laat het is? (“Sorry, do you know the time?”) [Casual]

Alstublieft. 
[Formal]
Alsjeblieft. 
[Casual]
Please.
Literally: If it pleases you.

Bedankt. 
[Formal or casual]
Thank you.

Dank u wel. 
[Formal]
Dank je wel. 
[Casual]
Thank you.

Graag gedaan. 
[Formal or casual]
You’re welcome.

(Dat is) geen probleem. 
[Casual]
That’s no problem.

If, despite your best efforts, you make a mistake and want to apologize for it, you can keep it simple:

Sorry. 
[Formal or casual]
Sorry.

Het spijt me. 
[Formal or casual]
I’m sorry.

Neem me niet kwalijk. 
[Formal]
Excuse me.

A Little Kid Holding Pencils and Pouting

Use these simple Dutch beginner phrases when you’re sorry.

    → A simple sorry might not be enough if you really messed up. In this case, you might want to consult our Common Ways to Say Sorry vocabulary list.

3. Dining and Shopping Phrases

As you travel through the Netherlands, you’ll surely enjoy the country’s dining culture and the many shopping places we have. Even though the staff in shops, bars, and restaurants will surely speak English, wouldn’t it be nice to practice your Dutch?

Do you plan on dining out a lot? Learning these common Dutch phrases for beginners will help you order food, ask for the bill, and more. 

Ik heb honger.
I am hungry.

Mag ik de menukaart zien?
Can I see the menu?

Ik wil graag twee koffie, alstublieft.
I’d like two coffees, please.

De rekening, alstublieft.
The bill, please.

Ik wil graag contant betalen.Ik wil graag pinnen.
I would like to pay in cash.I would like to pay by card.
These phrases will also come in handy for discussing payment options with the cashier at a store. 

We willen graag splitsen.
We would like to split the bill.
When you’re with friends (or even a date) in a bar or restaurant, it’s quite common in the Netherlands to split the bill, or “go Dutch.” In this case, you would just ask the staff if you could each pay your own part.
    → You’ll find many more restaurant phrases in our vocabulary list Useful Phrases for Ordering Food. It even contains recorded examples to help you practice your pronunciation!

Now that you’ve quieted your hunger or thirst in a nice Dutch café or restaurant, it’s time to do some shopping. Here are a few beginner phrases in Dutch that will help you shop like there’s no tomorrow:

Waar is de paskamer?
Where is the changing room?

Ik wil graag deze broek passen.
I’d like to try on these pants.

Hoeveel kost dit?
How much is this?

Ik wil graag deze jas kopen.
I’d like to buy this jacket.

Verkoopt u postzegels?
Do you sell postage stamps?
    → Do you need more shopping words? Make sure to stop by our Shopping vocabulary list.

A Man and a Woman Shopping at a Mall Together

Let’s go shopping with these useful Dutch beginner phrases.

4. Asking for Help

Since you’re reading these basic Dutch phrases for beginners, chances are you’re not fluent yet. This means there will likely be times when you get a little lost and confused. This is perfectly fine, as long as you can explain the situation and move on. The following Dutch beginner phrases will help you do just that, even when you’re dealing with that pesky language barrier! 

1 – Lost in Translation

Are you worried about listening comprehension issues during your visit? While the easiest option would be to switch to English, you should try to stick with Dutch as this will help improve your Dutch language skills. 

Ik spreek niet zo goed Nederlands.
I don’t speak Dutch very well.

Ik begrijp u niet. 
[Formal]
Ik begrijp je niet. 
[Casual]
I don’t understand you.

Hoe zeg je “dog” in het Nederlands? 
How do you say “dog” in Dutch?

Kunt u dat herhalen? 
[Formal]
Kun je dat herhalen? 
[Casual]
Could you repeat that, please?

Ik versta u als u langzaam praat. 
[Formal]
Ik versta je als je langzaam praat. 
[Casual]
I understand you if you speak slowly.

And if you really can’t save yourself in Dutch, then you could always say:

Spreekt u Engels? 
[Formal]
Spreek je Engels? 
[Casual]
Do you speak English?

2 – Asking for Directions

Besides being lost in translation, you might also really get lost when traveling in the Netherlands. When you’re stranded in the middle of a strange Dutch city or you don’t know where the nearest restroom is, you’ll definitely need to know these Dutch beginner phrases for asking directions.

Sorry, waar zijn de toiletten?
Excuse me, where are the toilets?

Waar is het centraal station?
Where is the central station?

Ik ben op zoek naar de Damstraat.
I am looking for the Damstraat.

Hoe kan ik daar komen?
How can I get there?

3 – Getting Out of Trouble

Did you get into trouble in the Netherlands or find yourself in a situation that you really don’t understand? Then these simple beginner phrases might come in handy.

Ik weet het niet.
I don’t know.

Wat is dat?
What’s that?

Wat gebeurt er?
What’s happening?

Het is oké.
That’s okay.

Het maak niet uit.
It doesn’t matter.

Maak je geen zorgen. 
[Formal or casual]
Maak je niet druk. 
[Casual]
Don’t worry.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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These Dutch beginner phrases will surely help you improve your Dutch and start conversing!

In this guide, you’ve learned many phrases in Dutch for beginners: greetings, self-introductions, goodbyes, courtesy phrases, and even phrases for shopping, dining, and getting help.

Can you think of any more basic Dutch phrases you might need to know? 

You can start practicing and rehearsing these phrases right away by checking out the free vocabulary lists on DutchPod101.com. Each list contains a recorded pronunciation of the words and phrases it covers, making them perfect for getting your pronunciation just right! In addition, we provide a variety of free resources and audio/video lessons for learners at every level. With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse. 

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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

A Useful List of 150+ Advanced Dutch Words

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Have you been studying Dutch for a while and feel confident in your ability to conquer more advanced Dutch words? It sure takes a lot of dedication and brainpower to master these words, but once you pull it off, you’ll find that there’s nothing as rewarding as having fluent conversations with your Dutch-speaking friends, colleagues, or classmates. 

In this article, we’ll list a wide variety of advanced Dutch vocabulary words. This includes everything from general advanced words to more nuanced terms for the academic, business, medical, and legal spheres. In addition, we’ll introduce you to more sophisticated alternatives to common words that will help you ace your Dutch language exam. 

With this advanced Dutch wordlist, you’ll be able to express yourself better, understand more advanced conversations, and slowly but surely perfect your Dutch.

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Let’s refine your Dutch vocabulary!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. General Advanced Dutch Words
  2. Academic Words
  3. Advanced Business Words
  4. Advanced Medical Words
  5. Advanced Legal Words
  6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. General Advanced Dutch Words

These are advanced verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and linking words that you could use in a variety of situations. They allow you to express yourself in a sophisticated manner and relay your ideas with greater clarity.

1  – Verbs

ArgumenterenDe leerlingen argumenteren tegen elkaar in het debat.
To argueThe students argue against each other in the debate.

BestedenIk besteed een groot deel van mijn budget aan marketing.
To spend / To payI spend a lot of my budget on marketing.

BevattenSinaasappelen bevatten veel vitamine C.
To contain / To haveOranges contain lots of vitamin C.

DiscussiërenWe zouden hier de hele dag over kunnen discussiëren.
To debateWe could debate this all day.

FluisterenHij fluisterde in mijn oor.
To whisperHe whispered in my ear.

Leiden totDe crisis in de huizenmarkt leidde tot vele problemen.
To lead toThe crisis in the housing market led to many problems.

Verantwoordelijkheid nemenIk neem verantwoordelijkheid voor de risico´s van deze missie.
To take responsibilityI take responsibility for the risks of this mission.

VerkrijgenIk moet een visum verkrijgen om naar Rusland te reizen.
To obtain / To acquireI need to obtain a visa to travel to Russia.

VerzamelenWij zijn data aan het verzamelen.
To collect / To gatherWe are collecting data.

2 – Adjectives

FeilloosHaar kleding is altijd feilloos gestyled.
FlawlessHer clothes are always flawlessly styled.

GedetailleerdHij schreef een gedetailleerd rapport.
DetailedHe wrote a detailed report.

GeschiktWe zoeken een geschikte oplossing.
Suitable / AdequateWe’re looking for an adequate solution.

OnaanvaardbaarDeze resultaten zijn onaanvaardbaar!
UnacceptableThese results are unacceptable!

OnwaarschijnlijkDit lijkt erg onwaarschijnlijk.
UnlikelyThis seems very unlikely.

RaadselachtigDe film is erg raadselachtig.
Puzzling / MysteriousThis movie is very puzzling.

RedelijkDit is een redelijke oplossing.
ReasonableThis is a reasonable solution.

SubtielEen subtiele mix van knoflook en basilicum
SubtleA subtle blend of garlic and basil

VoortreffelijkHet eten was voortreffelijk!
Excellent / OutstandingThe food was excellent!

WillekeurigEr is een willekeurige selectie gemaakt.
RandomA random selection has been made.

3 – Adverbs

AbsoluutHet heeft absoluut geen zin.
AbsolutelyIt is absolutely pointless.

AbruptWe zijn abrupt weg gegaan.
AbruptlyWe left abruptly.

BriljantHij sloeg die bal briljant weg.
BrilliantlyHe hit that ball brilliantly.

GematigdHij praat altijd erg gematigd over dat onderwerp.
ModeratelyHe always talks very moderately about that subject.

LetterlijkHij heeft dat letterlijk gezegd.
LiterallyHe said that literally.

NatuurlijkHet winnen van de wedstrijd maakte me natuurlijk blij.
NaturallyWinning the game naturally made me happy.

PreciesHet is precies andersom.
PreciselyIt is precisely the other way around.

ZekerZe is zeker erg populair.
Certainly / DefinitelyShe’s certainly very popular.

4 – Linking Words

HoewelHoewel mijn oma oud is, is ze nog steeds erg actief.
AlthoughAlthough my grandma is old, she is still very active.

DesondanksHet regende, maar desondanks gingen we wandelen.
NeverthelessIt was raining, but nevertheless, we went for a walk.

NietteminHet is moeilijk, maar niettemin moeten we het proberen.
Nevertheless / NonethelessIt is difficult, but we must try nonetheless.

OndanksOndanks haar vermoeidheid, is ze toch maar gaan fietsen.
DespiteDespite her fatigue, she went cycling anyway.

OngeachtOngeacht wat u ook doet, u zult tot de juiste beslissing komen.
Whatever / No matter whatWhatever you do, you’ll come to the right decision.

TenzijLaten we beginnen, tenzij je wilt wachten.
UnlessLet’s start, unless you want to wait.

TerwijlDe prijzen stijgen terwijl de kwaliteit daalt.
While / AsPrices are increasing while the quality is going down.

Wat betreftWat uw rol betreft, we praten er morgen over.
As forAs for your role, we’ll talk about it tomorrow.

ZodraZodra u klaar bent, kunnen we beginnen.
As soon asAs soon as you’re ready, we can start.

A Woman in a Yellow Sweater Thinking about Something

How about these general advanced Dutch words? Did you already know some of them?

2. Academic Words

The next set of advanced Dutch vocabulary we’ll cover consists of words you would hear, read, or use in an academic setting. You’ll find these words especially useful if you plan to study in the Netherlands! 

Aanleiding Haar slechte prestatie was de aanleiding voor haar ontslag.
Reason / CauseHer poor performance was the reason for her dismissal.

AbstractDe ideeën van de professor waren tamelijk abstract.
AbstractThe professor’s ideas were quite abstract.

AnalyserenAls je wilt weten wat de kenmerken van een verhaal zijn, moet je het eerst analyseren.
To analyzeIf you want to know the characteristics of a story, you have to analyze it first.

ChronologischIk heb het verhaal in chronologische volgorde verteld.
Chronological I have told the story in chronological order.

CiterenHij citeert enkele beroemde filosofen in zijn essay.
To quote / To citeHe quotes some famous philosophers in his essay.

ConsequentBij het opvoeden van kinderen moet je consequent zijn.
ConsistentYou have to be consistent when raising children.

CorrelatieEr bestaat een duidelijke correlatie tussen deze twee factoren.
CorrelationThere is a clear correlation between these two factors.

CyclusDeze cyclus herhaalt zich elk jaar.
CycleThis cycle repeats itself every year.

DilemmaEuropa staat duidelijk voor een dilemma.
DilemmaEurope clearly faces a dilemma.

DiversiteitIn Nederland is er een grote diversiteit aan vogels.
DiversityThere is a great diversity of birds in the Netherlands.

EficiëntAls je efficiënt wilt studeren, moet je je leren focussen.
EfficientlyIf you want to study efficiently, you have to learn to focus.

EmpathieHij is erg egoïstisch en voelt weinig empathie voor anderen.
EmpathyHe is very selfish and has little empathy for others.

FacultatiefDe deelname aan de cursus Spaans voor beginners is facultatief.
OptionalParticipation in the Spanish for Beginners course is optional.

FenomeenHet toenemende gebruik van smartphones is een universeel fenomeen.
PhenomenonThe increasing use of smartphones is a universal phenomenon.

FictiefDit is een fictief verhaal, het is niet echt gebeurd.
FictionalThis is a fictional story; it didn’t actually happen.

GeneraliserenHij generaliseert veel als hij over zijn studenten praat.
GeneralizeHe generalizes a lot when he talks about his students.

HiërarchieIn dit bedrijf is er nog veel hiërarchie.
HierarchyThere is still a lot of hierarchy in this company.

HypotheseVolgens onze hypothese heeft dit fenomeen verregaande gevolgen.
HypothesisAccording to our hypothesis, this phenomenon has far-reaching consequences.

InterpreterenDe opmerking kon op verschillende manieren geïnterpreteerd worden.
InterpretThe remark could be interpreted in different ways.

NuancerenKun je die vraag nog wat nuanceren?
To nuanceCan you nuance that question a bit?

ObjectiefDe beslissing van de minister was gebaseerd op objectieve criteria.
ObjectiveThe minister’s decision was based on objective criteria.

PragmatischDe doorgewinterde politicus neemt altijd erg pragmatische beslissingen.
PragmaticThe seasoned politician always makes very pragmatic decisions.

SynoniemIk ken geen synoniem voor dat woord.
SynonymI don’t know a synonym for that word.

UrgentieGezien de urgentie van het probleem moeten we direct handelen.
UrgencyGiven the urgency of the problem, we must act immediately.

VariërenOm de kinderen geïnteresseerd te houden, moet u uw lesmethoden variëren.
To varyTo keep the children interested, you have to vary your teaching methods.

A Woman in a Graduation Cap and Gown, Holding a Diploma

Are you ready to master these academic Dutch words?

3. Advanced Business Words

As you approach the advanced level in Dutch, you might be considering a job or career in the Netherlands. The following words will give you a leg up in the Dutch business world, whatever direction your dreams take you. 

WinstgevendMijn bedrijf is niet meer winstgevend.
ProfitableMy company is not profitable anymore.

AfdelingIk werk op de marketingafdeling.
Department / DivisionI work in the marketing division.

HoofdkantoorDit is het hoofdkantoor van Heineken.
Head officeThis is the Heineken head office.

UitbestedingDoor uitbesteding kunnen we kosten besparen.
OutsourcingOutsourcing allows us to cut costs.

OntslagOntslag werd overwogen.
Dismissal / ResignationDismissal was considered.

ActivaZe hebben activa om met hun schulden te dealen.
AssetsThey have assets to deal with their debts.

AandelenDe gepresenteerde aandelen worden beoordeeld.
StocksThe submitted stocks will be evaluated.

AandeelhouderIk ben de enige aandeelhouder van mijn eigen bedrijf.
ShareholderI’m the only shareholder of my own company.

RentetariefDe rentetarieven dalen elk jaar.
Interest rateInterest rates are decreasing every year.

PersoneelszakenPersoneelszaken zorgt voor uw contract.
Human resourcesHuman resources are taking care of your contract.

OmzetDe omzet is gestaag gestegen.
Turnover / RevenueRevenues have steadily increased.

FondsenWe moeten fondsen vrijmaken.
FundsWe have to release funds.

DochterondernemingWij zijn een dochteronderneming van dat bedrijf.
SubsidiaryWe are a subsidiary of that company.

TariefU vindt mijn tarief op mijn website.
RateYou’ll find my rate on my website.

LoonstrookIk heb mijn loonstrook nog niet ontvangen.
PayslipI haven’t received my payslip yet.

SamenwerkingsverbandZe heeft net een samenwerkingsverband getekend met ons bedrijf.
PartnershipShe’s just signed a partnership with our company.

ArbeidsmarktVrouwen worden vaak gediscrimineerd op de arbeidsmarkt.
Labor marketWomen are often discriminated against in the labor market.

VergoedenDeze opdracht wordt goed vergoed.
To compensate / To payThis assignment is well compensated.

SolliciterenIk solliciteer voor een nieuwe baan.
To applyI’m applying for a new job.

FiliaalWe hebben een filiaal in Rotterdam.
BranchWe have a branch in Rotterdam.

BoekhoudingIk ben voor een vereenvoudigde boekhouding.
AccountingI vote for simplified accounting.

Failliet gaanMijn bedrijf is failliet gegaan.
To go bankruptMy company has gone bankrupt.

ZakenreisZe gaat op zakenreis.
Business tripShe’s leaving for a business trip.

Vast contract
Permanent contract

Tijdelijk contract
Temporary contract

A Businesswoman Surrounded by Sketches of Lightbulbs

Let’s master the Dutch business world with these advanced Dutch words.


4. Advanced Medical Words

Whether you’re studying medicine in the Netherlands, pursuing a job in the medical field, or sitting in the ER, these advanced Dutch words will help you out in a pinch. 

BehandelingIk probeer een experimentele behandeling.
TreatmentI’m trying an experimental treatment.

GoedaardigDit syndroom is goedaardig.
BenignThis syndrome is benign.

DesinfecterenJe moet de wond desinfecteren.
To disinfectYou have to disinfect the wound.

BesmettelijkDit virus is zeer besmettelijk.
ContagiousThis virus is highly contagious.

ImmuunIk ben niet immuun voor die ziekte.
ImmuneI am not immune to that disease.

AllergieAllergie voor dit product is zeer ongebruikelijk.
AllergyAllergy to this product is very unusual.

BloeddrukHij zal uw bloeddruk meten.
Blood pressureHe will measure your blood pressure.

BreukIk heb een dubbele heupbreuk.
FractureI have a double hip fracture.

RöntgenfotoJe hebt een röntgenfoto nodig.
X-rayYou’re going to need an X-ray.

GipsIk draag sinds januari gips.
CastI’ve been wearing a cast since January.

HartaanvalHij stierf na een hartaanval.
Heart attackHe died after suffering a heart attack.

ImmuunsysteemMijn immuunsysteem was verzwakt.
Immune systemMy immune system was weakened.

BloedingWe moeten de bloeding stoppen.
BleedingWe have to stop the bleeding.

VaccinerenZe willen de hele bevolking vaccineren.
To vaccinateThey want to vaccinate the whole population.

ReceptU kunt dit medicijn niet zonder recept kopen.
PrescriptionYou can’t buy this medication without a prescription.

BijwerkingEr is geen bijwerking bekend.
Side effectThere is no known side effect.

BloedonderzoekU moet een bloedonderzoek ondergaan.
Blood testYou have to do a blood test.

GriepIk kreeg vorig jaar griep.
FluI got the flu last year.

JeukIk begin jeuk te krijgen.
ItchI’m starting to feel an itch.

MenstruatieDit is een middel tegen pijnlijke menstruatie.
MenstruationThis is a remedy for painful menstruation.

NekHet slachtoffer heeft een gebroken nek.
NeckThe victim has a broken neck.

BuikIk heb buikpijn.
StomachI have a stomachache.

WervelkolomDe wervelkolom is delicaat.
SpineThe spine is delicate.

RibbenMijn ribben doen pijn.
RibsMy ribs hurt.

LongenHij ademt slecht want hij heeft last van zijn longen.
LungsHe’s breathing badly because he has lung problems.

A Doctor, a Nurse, a Receptionist, and a Woman Waiting in the Waiting Room

These advanced Dutch medical words will help you feel more comfortable when going to the doctor in the Netherlands.


5. Advanced Legal Words

Learning these advanced legal words will aid your law studies, allow you to engage in more complex conversations, or maybe even help you work out an unfortunate misunderstanding. 

ConformHet bedrijf handelt conform de wetgeving.
In accordance withThe company acts in accordance with the law.

ErkendeIk ben een erkende vertegenwoordiger van de regering.
Authorized / AccreditedI’m an accredited representative of the government.

StrafbladIk heb geen strafblad.
Criminal recordI don’t have a criminal record.

Hoger beroepDe beslissing werd door de rechter in hoger beroep genomen.
AppealThe decision was made by the judge on appeal.

Juridisch adviesWe hebben juridisch advies nodig.
Legal counselWe need legal counsel.

GerechtelijkDit is een gerechtelijke zaak.
JudicialThis is a judicial case.

Schriftelijk bewijsSchriftelijk bewijs van adres
Written proofWritten proof of address

DagvaardenZe dagvaardde de getuige.
To summonShe summoned the witness.

Wettelijke vertegenwoordigerIk ben de wettelijke vertegenwoordiger van dit bedrijf.
Legal representativeI’m the legal representative of this company.

Aangetekende briefIk heb het document per aangetekende brief verzonden.
Registered letterI have sent the document in a registered letter.

GeschilU heeft twee dagen de tijd om een geschil te openen.
Dispute / LitigationYou have two days to open a dispute.

HuiszoekingsbevelIk kom terug met een huiszoekingsbevel.
Search warrantI will come back with a search warrant.

VertegenwoordigerWe zullen een vertegenwoordiger aanwijzen.
RepresentativeWe will appoint a representative.

NotarisHet document is gecertificeerd door een notaris.
NotaryThe document is certified by a notary.

ParaferenJe moet dit contract paraferen.
To initial (a document)I need you to initial this contract.

ClausuleHij heeft alle clausules van het contract gelezen.
ClauseHe read all the clauses of the contract.

RechtszaakEr is een rechtszaak aangespannen tegen het bedrijf.
LawsuitA lawsuit was filed against the company.

Officier van justitieDe officier van justitie wil met u praten.
Public prosecutorThe prosecutor wants to talk to you.

EisenIk eis het recht om deze beslissing te nemen.
To claimI claim the right to make this decision.

OnwettigDeze handel is in dat land volledig onwettig.
IllegitimateThis trade is completely illegitimate in that country.

IllegaalDe goederen die hij in bezit heeft gekregen, zijn illegaal.
IllegalThe goods he came into possession of are illegal.

AanvallerZijn aanvaller was lang en blond.
AssailantHis assailant was tall and blond.

CorruptieCorruptie is een misdaad.
CorruptionCorruption is a crime.

InbraakDe inbraak vond plaats in de nacht van 17 op 18 juni.
BurglaryThe burglary took place on the night of June 17 to June 18.

ChanterenZe hebben me gechanteerd voor vertrouwelijke informatie.
To blackmailThey blackmailed me for confidential information.

A Gavel on Top of a Book

Which advanced Dutch legal words are most useful to you?

6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam

Do you want to take a Dutch language proficiency test? In the Netherlands, there are two official language proficiency tests: the NT2 Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (Staatsexamen NT2) and the Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal, CNaVT). 

    → Are you interested in taking the NT2 Dutch State Exam? Then have a look at our guide with useful information, tips, and tricks. It will definitely help you prepare for this common Dutch language exam.

One way to do well on a Dutch language proficiency test is to show that you have a diverse vocabulary. It also helps to prove that you’re able to express yourself with subtlety instead of relying on the same (simple) terms.

In the final leg of this advanced Dutch word list, you’ll find simple verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, followed by their more sophisticated alternatives and an example sentence. The first column is the simple word, and the second is the alternative you might want to use.

1 – Alternative Verbs

BeginnenAanvangenVoordat de werkzaamheden kunnen aanvangen, moet dit eerst in orde worden gemaakt.
To startTo commenceBefore the work can start, this must be arranged first.

Doorgaan (met)HervattenWe kunnen de vergadering hervatten.
To continueTo resumeWe can resume the meeting.

Laten zienTonenIn deze nieuwe campagne toont het bedrijf de nieuwe modellen.
To showTo showIn this new campaign, the company is showing the new models.

KopenAanschaffenWe willen graag een nieuwe auto aanschaffen.
To buyTo acquireWe would like to buy a new car.

HebbenBezittenIk bezit een huis in Amsterdam en een huis in Frankrijk.
To haveTo ownI own a house in Amsterdam and a house in France.

ZeggenBewerenZe beweert dat ze niets weet.
To sayTo claimShe claims she doesn’t know anything.

2 – Alternative Adjectives

EssentieelNoodzakelijkHet is noodzakelijk om nu te investeren.
EssentialEssentialIt is essential to invest right now.

HandigGunstigHet nieuwe systeem is erg gunstig.
ConvenientConvenientThe new system is very convenient.

VerschillendDiversDe oceaan kent een rijk en divers ecosysteem.
DifferentDiverseThe ocean has a rich and diverse ecosystem.

MakkelijkEenvoudigJe zult zien dat het erg eenvoudig is.
EasyEasy / SimpleYou’ll see that it’s very easy.

3 – Alternative Adverbs

EchtWerkelijkWat zij beweert is werkelijk niet waar.
ReallyReallyWhat she claims is really not true.

Zonder problemenProbleemloosHet evenement verliep probleemloos.
EasilySmoothlyThe event went smoothly.

NuOnmiddellijkKom onmiddellijk naar mijn kantoor!
NowImmediatelyCome to my office immediately!

Vanaf nuVoortaanIk wil dat jij mij voortaan altijd op de hoogte stelt van nieuwe aankopen.
From now onFrom now onFrom now on, I want you to always keep me informed of new purchases.

VoorVoorafgaandVoorafgaand aan het tekenen van het contract, wil ik het huis nog een keer zien.
BeforePriorPrior to signing the contract, I want to see the house again.

VroegerVoorheenVoorheen was het product niet in winkels verkrijgbaar.
BeforePreviouslyPreviously, the product was not available in stores.

Students Writing an Essay in a Classroom

Which alternative Dutch word will you use on your language exam?

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have seen over 150 of the most useful advanced Dutch words in a range of categories. You’ve even been able to discover some alternative Dutch words that will help you ace your Dutch language exam. You might already have known some of them, but now you have them all conveniently gathered in this advanced Dutch wordlist.

Are there any advanced words or categories you think we should’ve included? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll gladly get back to you. 

Ready to start using these 150+ advanced Dutch words? DutchPod101.com hosts a range of vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources to boost your studies.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you master everything on this Dutch advanced wordlist, and then some. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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