Get 40% off with the Now or Never sale. Hurry! Ends soon!
Get 40% off with the Now or Never sale. Hurry! Ends soon! Blog
Learn Dutch with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Site Features' Category

The Dutch Carnaval: Who Wants Another Beer?

If you grew up celebrating Halloween, then you already have a good idea of the main component of Carnaval celebrations in the Netherlands: dressing up in costume! But what about the bar-hopping? Or the insane float parades? And how exactly did this holiday originate? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the key aspects of Carnaval in the Netherlands and provide you with a list of useful vocabulary to know for the holiday. Enjoy!

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

1. What is Carnival in the Netherlands?

A Giant Clown Float

Carnival (also spelled Carnaval) is a three-day Christian celebration observed in several countries around the world. The Dutch Carnaval is mainly celebrated in the nation’s southernmost regions—especially in Limburg and Brabant—which are largely Katholiek (Catholic)

The holiday originated from a pagan tradition that encouraged heavy feasting prior to winter food shortages. Over time, Carnival became more associated with Catholicism and eventually came to be celebrated as a way to indulge and use up perishable food before Lent.

However, even in the more religious regions of the Netherlands, Carnival has lost most (if not all) of its religious meaning. From a social point of view, the holiday is also a time to reverse societal roles: those who are poor can mock the rich by wearing silly clothing, people can show defiance toward authorities, and everyone is expected to dress like—and become—a different person or character for the duration of the holiday. 

Carnival in the Netherlands is really just a time of fun, laughter, and letting go of one’s daily worries and frustrations. It can be a crazy time, but also an opportunity to make great memories! 

2. Dutch Carnival Dates

Because the dates of Carnival depend on the dates of Easter and Lent, it takes place on a different day each year. The holiday immediately precedes the other major religious holidays of Vastenavond (Shrove Tuesday) and Aswoensdag (Ash Wednesday). For your convenience, here’s an overview of its start and end dates for the next ten years. 

  • 2021: February 14 – February 16
  • 2022: February 27 – March 1 
  • 2023: February 19 – February 21
  • 2024: February 11 – February 13
  • 2025: March 2 – March 4
  • 2026: February 15 – February 17
  • 2027: February 7 – February 9
  • 2028: February 27 – February 29
  • 2029: February 11 – February 13
  • 2030: March 3 – March 5

3. Traditions for the Dutch Carnival 

Men Hanging Out at a Pub

This vibrant traditie (tradition) begins once a “key to the city” has been given to the Carnival Prince, a member of the region who has been chosen by the Carnival Committee. Once the keys have been handed over, it’s time to unlock the fun! 

From this moment on, you can find myriads of people in any given kroeg (pub). Drinking is a major part of this holiday, and rightfully so—Carnival is meant to be a time of lightheartedness and jest. It’s also the perfect occasion to feesten (party) and don a unique kostuum (costume). Many people verkleden (dress up) as clowns, jesters, royalty, animals, food items, and even as the opposite gender!

People perform a popular dance during this holiday called the Polonaise. This is a traditional Polish dance (Polonais is French for “Polish”), and it was first incorporated into Dutch Carnival celebrations in the 1400s. It is a slow style of dance done in triple meter. Another popular dance style is the hossen, during which a group of people jumps up and down together. 

If you want to experience a Carnival parade, the Netherlands will have plenty of them! Special Carnival associations often put on parades featuring outlandish floats, which often depict political and/or religious leaders, as well as recent events, in a less-than-stellar light. Many of the parades will start at 11:11 or 12:11 (because eleven is seen as a fool’s number), and you can find these parades in most southern and eastern regions. Keep reading for additional information on where to visit for the best experience. 

4. Best Places for Carnival in the Netherlands

Are you planning to visit the Netherlands for Carnival in the near future? Then you should prepare your trip in advance by deciding which locations you’ll want to hit! Keep in mind that, during the three days of Carnival, all participating cities change their names. 

Here are a few Limburg and Brabant Carnaval celebrations you shouldn’t miss.


  • Carnival Name: Mestreech 

The Maastricht Carnival celebrations are the largest in the entire country, with a range of events and activities to take part in. If you want to experience a lot of festivity in a shorter amount of time, this is the place to be! 

The most notable event is the eleven shots fired at exactly 12:11 in the afternoon of the first celebration day, which takes place after the raising of the Prince’s Flag. From that point on, you can look forward to an exciting, largely outdoor Carnival experience. From a brass band competition to dancing, parades, and family-friendly events, there’s something for everyone! A short hour’s drive away, you’ll also find plenty of celebrations going on in Eindhoven. 


Tilburg is most known for its orchestras, concerts, and pub crawling—the perfect combination, don’t you think? Of course, you can also enjoy watching the Tilburg Carnaval parade with a drink (or two) in hand! 

Den Bosch

Den Bosch may simultaneously have the most family-friendly and the most unique celebrations in the Netherlands. It’s notorious for its Youth Carnival, featuring a parade geared toward younger audiences (no inappropriate floats like you’re bound to see in other parades). To end the Den Bosch celebrations, a doll dressed as a farmer is buried; this is a symbolic show of respect for someone named Knillis who is said to have founded the city. 


  • Carnival Name: Jocus Riék

The first thing you should know is that while Maastricht might have the largest celebration, Venlo has the oldest. If you visit Venlo for Carnival, you can look forward to 12+ parades, a Boétezitting event, and a farmer’s wedding event. Check it out! 

5. Vocabulary to Know Before Carnival

Traditional Dutch Wooden Shoes with Tulips in Them

To conclude, let’s take a look at some useful vocabulary associated with Carnival in the Netherlands:

  • Kermis (Fair) – feminine noun 
  • Kroeg (Pub) – masculine noun 
  • Kostuum (Costume) – neuter noun 
  • Vastenavond (Shrove Tuesday) – masculine noun 
  • Verkleden (Dress up) – verb
  • Limburg (Limburg) – neuter proper noun 
  • Praalwagen (Float) – masculine noun 
  • Katholiek (Catholic) – adjective
  • Traditie (Tradition) – feminine noun 
  • Polonaise (Polonaise) – feminine noun 
  • Aswoensdag (Ash Wednesday) – masculine proper noun 
  • Feesten (Party) – verb
  • Kater (Hangover) – masculine noun
  • Brabant (Brabant) – neuter proper noun 

If you would like to practice your pronunciation, head over to our Carnival vocabulary list, where you’ll find recorded audio pronunciations of each word! 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our article on Carnival in the Netherlands and that you’re craving even more cultural knowledge now! 

Do you celebrate Carnival in your country, or maybe a similar holiday? Tell us about it in the comments! 

If you can’t wait to feel the Netherland’s soil beneath your feet, but don’t yet feel confident in your language skills or cultural know-how, you’re in the right place. Here are some more blog posts from we think you’ll enjoy:

And this barely even scratches the surface of everything we have in store for our students! Create your free lifetime account today to gain access to hundreds of video and audio lessons, themed vocabulary lists, and our spaced repetition flashcards. It’s our aim to make learning Dutch fun, easy, and effective. 

Happy learning from the team!

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

Driekoningen: The Dutch Epiphany Celebration

Nearly a quarter of the Dutch population identifies as Roman Catholic, making this the most prominent religion in the country. As such, it should come as no surprise that many Dutch people celebrate the Christian holiday Driekoningen (Epiphany), also known as Three Kings Day.

In this article, you’ll learn what Epiphany is all about and explore a variety of Dutch traditions for this holiday. Let’s get started!

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

1. What is Epiphany?

Silhouette of the Three Wise Men

Epiphany is a religious feestdag (holiday) on which Christians commemorate the three wise men who followed a bright star to find Baby Jesus. This is not a public holiday in the Netherlands, though it is still an important holiday for Catholic and Protestant believers in the country. 

The story behind the Epiphany holiday is as follows:

Three wise men named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar noticed an unusual star in the sky while they traveled. Amazed by the sight, the trio decided to follow after it and were led to the birthplace of Jesus. Seeing this as the openbaring (revelation) of their Savior being born, they offered Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Many Christians consider this a key event in the story and life of Jesus. During Christmas services several days before, many kerken (churches) read the story from the Bible or host a play outlining the story. 

2. When is Epiphany Celebrated?

Each year, most countries celebrate Epiphany on January 6. Some churches, however, hold their celebrations on the Sunday following this date. 

3. How is Epiphany Celebrated?

A Baby Being Christened

Despite Epiphany not being a public holiday, there are plenty of celebrations each year. 

One of the most common Three Kings Day traditions is for primary schools to host plays or skits at their local church. These plays will involve kinderen (children) dressing up in costumes to represent the different characters and figures in the story: the three wise men, Mary, Joseph, King Herod, Baby Jesus, and even the animals! 

There is an annual parade in Maastricht during Epiphany, so make sure to check it out if you get a chance. The main feature is several men fully costumed to look like koningen (kings), riding on horses and donkeys. They are accompanied by people dressed as shepherds, as well as Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. Sometimes, children will march alongside the procession carrying lantaarns (lanterns).

In times past, Epiphany was associated with baptism and doop (christening). This tradition still carries over to some extent, with baptism water being consecrated on this day. This consecrated water is then used to bless people’s homes, after which the letters C+M+B are written with chalk on their doors. There are two schools of thought concerning what these letters mean: 

1. They could stand for the Latin phrase meaning, “Christ, bless this house.”

2. They could also represent the names of the three wise men (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar).

Epiphany in the Netherlands is a favorite holiday among children, if for no other reason than all of the sweets and geld (money) they receive! Similar to Halloween, children dress up in costumes representing the three wise men and go from door to door while carrying lanterns. They sing songs at each door and are then rewarded with a variety of sweets and candies (and sometimes even money). The act of carrying lanterns originates from the belief that the lantern light wards off evil; the giving of treats is rooted in the pagan tradition of sacrificial meals. 

4. King’s Cake

As most good holidays are, Epiphany is also a time to enjoy some delicious food! 

While traditional holiday foods are common on this day, the most popular food item is King’s bread. This sweet treat is a round-shaped loaf of bread made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, yeast, milk, and almond paste. 

Inside the bread, one bakes three uncooked beans: two white beans and one dark. The person who receives the dark bean in their slice of bread is considered ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for that day. Some believe this also predicts luck for the coming year.

    → We have an entire lesson dedicated to Sweets and Desserts in the Netherlands. If you have a sweet tooth on you, make sure to check it out!

5. Essential Vocabulary for Epiphany

A Dutch Paper Lantern

To conclude, let’s review some of the Dutch words used in this article, plus a few more! 

  • Geld (Money)
    • noun, neutral
  • Snoep (Candy)
    • noun, neutral
  • Kind (Child)
    • noun, neutral
  • Kerk (Church)
    • noun, feminine
  • Feestdag (Holiday) 
    • noun, feminine
  • Bijbel (Bible) 
    • noun, feminine
  • Zingen (Sing) 
    • verb
  • Lied (Song) 
    • noun, neutral
  • Driekoningen (Epiphany) 
    • proper noun, masculine
  • Lantaarn (Lantern) 
    • noun, masculine
  • Koning (King) 
    • noun, masculine
  • Openbaring (Revelation) 
    • noun, feminine
  • Verkleden (Disguise) 
    • verb
  • Doop (Christening) 
    • noun, masculine

You can also visit our list of Dutch Vocabulary for Epiphany to hear the pronunciation of each word and practice along with the audio. 

Final Thoughts

While Epiphany is not as big a deal in the Netherlands as it is in many other European countries, there are still plenty of holiday traditions associated with this day. Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, how do your traditions compare to those in the Netherlands? 

We hope you enjoyed learning about this little slice of Dutch culture with us and that you feel inspired to continue learning. is the best place to learn about Dutch culture alongside the language. Most of our lessons combine grammar points, vocabulary lists, and cultural insights so that you get the most out of your study time. We provide lessons and other learning materials for learners at every level, so you can jump right in no matter where you are on your language learning journey.

Not sure where to start? How about reading more articles on popular Dutch holidays? We recommend the following:

Happy learning!

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

Animal Lovers Unite! World Animal Day in the Netherlands.

If you have a pet, I’m willing to bet you think of them as part of your family

You spend quality time with them, feed them from your plate sometimes, and let them get away with things the rest of your family can’t. 

Pets are an integral part of life for many people in the Netherlands, and this is reflected in Dutchies’ participation in World Animal Day. In this article, you’ll learn how this holiday got started, how people celebrate it, and more. 

Let’s get started!

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

1. What is World Animal Day?

A Group of Animals

Wereld dierendag (“World Animal Day”) got its unofficial start in 1925, when Heinrich Zimmermann proposed a date to focus on the welfare of animals. Originally, he wanted this holiday to take place on the feast day of Franciscus van Assisi (“Saint Francis of Assisi“), on October 4. However, due to a lack of available venues, the very first celebration took place in March. Zimmermann continued to promote the October 4 holiday until 1931, when World Animal Day became official.

Each year on October 4, World Animal Welfare Day sees some serious devotion from the Netherlands. 

This is an international feestdag (“holiday”) dedicated to improving the lives of animals everywhere. As stated on the official website, participation can take numerous forms depending on the country and the status of each participating individual. However, there is a singular World Animal Day theme each year to help unite the animal-loving community in their goals. In 2020, the theme will be “Man and Dog.”

Today, we’ll focus on what World Animal Day looks like in the Netherlands.

2. World Animal Day Celebrations 

A Dog and a Cat Against a White Background

Dutchies love their animals! In the Netherlands, the majority of households have at least one huisdier (“pet”). Cats, dogs, fish…the list goes on. This makes World Animal Day a big deal here.

The most common World Animal Day activities are those that include pampering one’s pets. People may take their dog for a nice, long walk through a forest, or let them roam free in an open field or park. Cats may get extra cuddles or treats, and maybe even some time outdoors. People who are really ready to splurge may buy their pets special treats, such as a beer designed for animals, slobber juice, or even a day at a pet spa.

Sometimes, people will set up their own events for the holiday, usually aimed at promoting voorkomen van dierenmishandeling (“prevention of cruelty to animals”). These may include speeches, fundraisers, or educational events to guide people on how to improve animals’ lives. It’s not uncommon for restaurants or businesses to get in on the action, too: for example, in 2012, an Amsterdam restaurant held a vegetarian meal special for World Animal Day.

    → October is such a great time to head outdoors with your furry friend. Great weather, beautiful scenery… Why not learn the Must-Know Autumn Vocabulary to make the most of it? 😉

How to Celebrate World Animal Day Yourself

World Animal Day is more popular in some countries than in others. If you want to participate, but don’t know how, keep reading.

If you have a pet, the easiest thing you can do is make the day special for them. If you have the time and means, your dog, cat, or even rodent, may love some supervised outdoor time out in the countryside or in a large park. Treats, cuddles, and toys are always welcome, too. Do you have a pet that’s less resilient to the outdoors or not as…cuddly? There are plenty of ways you can pamper them, too! 

Even if you don’t have a pet, you can still participate in making the world a better place for animals. If you’re not sure where to start, the official World Animal Day website has some practical ideas for you!

3. Most Popular Pets in the Netherlands

You know that Dutchies love their pets, but do you know which one is most popular?

As of 2019, cats were the most popular pet in the Netherlands, with around twenty-seven percent of households owning at least one cat. It’s estimated that the Netherlands is home to around three million pet felines! 

Dogs were the second-most-common pet, with roughly twenty percent of households owning a dog. 

4. Essential Vocabulary for World Animal Day

A Veterinarian Checking a Dog’s Heart Rate

Let’s review some of the Dutch vocabulary words from this article! 

  • Dier (“Animal”) — noun, neuter
  • Feestdag (“Holiday”) — noun, feminine
  • Huisdier (“Pet”) — noun, neuter
  • Oktober (“October”) — noun, masculine
  • Wereld dierendag (“World Animal Day”) — noun, masculine
  • Activisme (“Activism”) — noun, neuter
  • Dierenarts (“Veterinarian”) — noun, feminine
  • Franciscus van Assisi (“Saint Francis of Assisi”) — masculine
  • Recht (“Right”) — noun, neuter
  • Voorkomen van dierenmishandeling (“Prevention of cruelty to animals”) 
  • Dierenrechten (“Animal right”)

Remember that you can find each of these words and their pronunciation on our World Animal Day vocabulary list.

Final Thoughts

Is World Animal Day as popular in your country as it is in the Netherlands? If so, what are your favorite ways to celebrate? Do you have any World Animal Day ideas we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments! 

We hope we encouraged you to take part in this fun but important holiday this year, and that you have a better idea of Dutch culture. If you would like to learn even more, see the following blog posts on

If you’re serious about learning Dutch, create your free lifetime account today. You’ll be speaking Dutch in minutes and fluent before you know it, thanks to our fun and effective lessons for learners at every level. We hope to see you around. 😉

Happy World Animal Day from the DutchPod101 team! 

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

Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning


Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Dutch quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Dutch tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of and myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. DutchPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Dutch teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by in Dutch Language, Dutch Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Dutch, Site Features, Speak Dutch, Team DutchPod101

Pasan: Celebrating Easter Monday in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Easter Monday is a public holiday, celebrated just as much as—if not more than—Easter Sunday. The Dutch celebrate this major religious holiday with a range of fun and adventurous traditions, some of which you may be familiar with!

In this article, you’ll learn about Easter in the Netherlands, how it’s celebrated, and gain some new vocabulary while you’re at it. Let’s get started.

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

1. What is Easter Monday?

On Easter, Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion. According to Christian belief, he died to take on the sins of the world and then resurrected to prove his triumph over death.

Easter Monday is the day following the actual Easter holiday. In the Netherlands, Easter Monday is a continued celebration of Easter Sunday, with lots of fun and unique traditions, beginning on Carnival Day, before Lent.

2. When is Easter Monday in the Netherlands?

A Calendar Marking Monday

The date of Easter Monday varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17
  • 2029: April 2

3. Easter Celebrations in the Netherlands

Painted Easter Eggs with Spring Flowers

Aside from the holiday’s religious meaning, family (familie) is a major aspect of how people in the Netherlands celebrate Easter. Children enjoy going on an Easter egg (paasei) hunt, indulging in sweet treats, and painting their own Easter eggs, much like they do in the United States. On Easter Monday, children also participate in other egg-related games; one such game is an egg-cracking competition, also called an eiertikken contest.

Entire families or groups of friends may also have a good time going to the beach (strand) or out shopping (winkelen) for Easter deals. Easter markets in the Netherlands often sell chocolates, Easter eggs, and paint sets for children to use for egg decorating.

Dutch Easter traditions always involve a large lunch (lunchen) with friends and family. Easter food in the Netherlands is typically prepared on Easter Sunday, and leftovers are eaten on Easter Monday. Some of the most common foods include various types of bread and pastries, smoked fish, and certain breakfast items. The Dutch often grace the Easter brunch table with decorated willow branches.

Other popular Easter traditions in the Netherlands include burning bonfires, playing sports, going to amusement parks, riding bikes—basically anything that involves enjoying the great outdoors in early spring!

4. From Holland to Italy

Did you know that the Easter flowers in St. Peter’s Square in Rome are provided by Holland?

Each year at the end of his Easter speech, the Pope gives Holland a little extra attention for this reason. He says, “Thank you for the flowers,” in broken Dutch!

5. Essential Easter Monday Vocabulary

A Sandy Beach

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important vocabulary for Easter Monday!

  • Maandag (n) — “Monday”
  • Strand (n) — “Beach”
  • Pasen (n) — “Easter”
  • Druk (adj) — “Crowded”
  • Festival (n) — “Festival”
  • Familie (n) — “Family”
  • Winkelen (n) — “Shopping”
  • Amsterdam (pr. n) — “Amsterdam”
  • Lunchen (n) — “Lunch”
  • Paasei (n) — “Easter egg”
  • Vrije (adj) — “Free”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to visit our Dutch Easter Monday vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Easter Monday in Dutch culture with us, and that you were able to take away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Easter in your country? If so, are traditions there similar or pretty different from those in the Netherlands? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you want to learn even more about Dutch culture and holidays, has you covered:

Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn the Dutch language or immerse yourself in the culture, know that is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone.

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us. 🙂

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

Prinsjesdag: Prince’s Day in the Netherlands

Each year, the Netherlands observes Prinsjesdag, or “Prince’s Day.” Because this is the day the country officials go over the country’s budget proposals and new bills, many people also call this “Budget Day.” In the Netherlands, Prince’s Day is also a special day of celebration, and is the only time many people will ever see the Golden Carriage (which we’ll talk more about later).

In the learning about Prince’s Day, you’ll also gain insight into certain aspects of the culture in the Netherlands. And as any successful language-learner can tell you, this is a vital step in mastering any language. can make this part of the learning process both fun and informative!

Let’s get started with a little more about what Prince Day is.

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

1. What is Prince’s Day in the Netherlands?

On Prince’s Day, Netherlands’ King gives the “Speech from the Throne,” or Troonrede Prinsjesdag, and the Minister of Finance presents the national budget proposal in a special briefcase to the Dutch House of Representatives. The national budget and the budget memorandum for the new year consist of new bills. Before ratification, these are debated in advance in the House and Senate.

The famous briefcase the Minister of Finance uses to submit the budget memorandum has been in existence since 1947. The Minister of Finance at the time, Lieftinck, wanted to make Prince’s Day a little snazzier and decided to carry the documents with him in a classy briefcase. This practice remained customary for ten years until Minister Hofstra broke tradition, carrying the national budget with him in his bag. This didn’t sit well with many students, and they decided to just offer up a small briefcase to the Minister himself. The briefcase the Minister uses now has been in use since 1964.

2. When is Prince Day?

Prince's Day is in September

Each year, the Dutch celebrate Prince’s Day on the third Tuesday in September. For your convenience, we’ve composed a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: September 17
  • 2020: September 15
  • 2021: September 21
  • 2022: September 20
  • 2023: September 19
  • 2024: September 17
  • 2025: September 16
  • 2026: September 15
  • 2027: September 21
  • 2028: September 19

Earlier in history, around 1850, Prince’s Day fell on the third Monday in September, but since that meant some legislators had to leave on a Sunday, the date was moved to a Tuesday, thus the current date of the third Tuesday in September.

3. Prince’s Day Traditions

The Hague

Prince’s Day is the only day the Golden Carriage ever ventures out. The Golden Carriage stays put almost the entire year in the Royal Stables behind the Noordeinde Palace (North-end Palace) in The Hague. Prince’s Day is the only day the carriage is permitted to venture out, traveling only a few miles to the Binnenhof parliamentary complex of the States-General and back.

Only with rare exception is it possible to view the Golden Carriage up close. The Golden Carriage was once on display for all to admire up close at an exhibit in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, but this exhibit was only there for a year.

Of course, Prince’s Day is also famous for the King’s speech and the fancy briefcase mentioned earlier.

4. Long Live the King

Do you know what famous phrase ends the King’s annual speech?

After the Speech from the Throne is delivered, the president of the Senate presiding over the Joint Session shouts “Long live the King!” to which everyone else in attendance responds, “Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!”

After that, the King leaves the hall for the Queen’s Chamber in the adjacent room.

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Prince’s Day

A Carriage

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Prince’s Day!

  • Hoed — “Hat
  • Dinsdag — “Tuesday”
  • Paleis — “Palace”
  • Politiek — “Politics”
  • September — “September”
  • Prinsjesdag — “Prince’s Day”
  • Miljoenennota — “State’s budget”
  • Troonrede — “Queen’s speech”
  • Koningin — “Queen”
  • Beleid — “Policy”
  • Volkslied — “National Anthem
  • Minister — “Minister”
  • Regering — “Government”
  • Gouden koets — “Golden carriage”
  • Grondwet — “Constitution”
  • Koets — “Carriage”

To hear the pronunciation of each vocabulary word, check out our Dutch Prince’s Day vocabulary list!

Let DutchPod101 be Your Guide to the Dutch Language

What are your thoughts on the Prince Day Netherlands holiday? Is there a similar holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Dutch culture and the Dutch language, explore We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a range of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a variety of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps to learn Dutch anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

If you’re interested in a one-on-one approach to learning Dutch, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Dutch teacher who will help you put together a personal learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Becoming truly fluent in any language is no easy task, but know that you can get there! And DutchPod101 will be here with you on each step of your language-learning journey.

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

Dutch Gestures: 20 Hand Gestures for Fluency Without Words


Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands but aren’t so confident in your Dutch language skills? If so, becoming familiar with Dutch gestures can make your upcoming visit much smoother! 

Even if you’re nearly fluent in Dutch, it’s good to know the country’s hand and body gestures. This knowledge will help you understand the people better, allow you to convey meaning without words, and will most certainly impress your Dutch interlocutors. Once you start learning the common gestures and begin incorporating them naturally into your daily interactions, you’ll appear to be even more fluent!

So what are the most common gestures in the Netherlands? Does the Netherlands have a greeting gesture? Dive into this fun topic and become more fluent in Dutch without even using words. In this Dutch gestures guide, we’ll provide you with useful information about Dutch communication and introduce you to twenty fun Dutch hand and body gestures.

Dutch Hand Gestures

What Dutch hand gestures do you already know?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. An Introduction to Dutch Communication: From Verbal to Non-Verbal
  2. Greetings
  3. Positive Gestures
  4. Negative Gestures
  5. Neutral Gestures
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

1. An Introduction to Dutch Communication: From Verbal to Non-Verbal

Before we teach you all about the Dutch hand and body gestures, we first want to tell you more about how the Dutch communicate. In both verbal and non-verbal communication, the Dutch have their own style of interacting with others.

Communication Style

The Dutch communication style is very direct. They speak frankly and don’t beat around the bush. Foreigners often misunderstand this direct approach as being rude, but the Dutch themselves view it as a clear and open way of communicating.

Something else that is typical of Dutch communication is its down-to-earthness. The Dutch generally don’t like people who over-exaggerate or those who are being excessively polite. In fact, the latter may cause a sense of distrust; the Dutch will perceive this excessive politeness as fake and lacking in the “Dutch directness.”

Dutch Formality

In the Dutch language, there is a formal way of speaking (U, the formal way of saying “you”) and an informal way of speaking (Jij/Je, the casual way of saying “you”). Now, the Dutch are generally not the most formal group of people. However, when speaking to an elder, it’s polite to use U until he or she indicates that you can use the casual form of speaking. In Dutch, the term tutoyeren refers to one’s ability to use the casual Jij or Je with someone.

On the other hand, this formal way of speaking is also used in workplaces and within some families. It really just depends on the situation. Whenever you’re in doubt, try to follow the example set by the people around you.

Personal Space and Physical Contact

The Dutch like their personal space and are not very touchy-feely, so try to give them their space. When talking to a Dutch person, try to maintain an arm’s-length distance from them. 

Among friends and family, it’s okay to use physical contact. Light touching of the arms, shoulders, and hands, or giving a hug or kiss when saying hello or goodbye is generally acceptable in these cases. However, it’s not common to have physical contact with strangers, acquaintances, or colleagues.

Eye Contact, Body Language, and Dutch Gestures

As we said before, the Dutch are direct. For this reason, they like their conversation partner to make eye contact. This is seen as a show of sincerity and confidence. However, you should occasionally divert your gaze as making too much eye contact might make the other person uncomfortable.

Regarding gestures, the Dutch make more use of words than they do of their body language. However, there are some Dutch gestures you should know about. There are a variety of gestures for use in different contexts and situations, such as whether you’re chatting with friends or conversing with a stranger. 

In the following sections, we’ll show you the most common gestures in the Netherlands, what they mean, and when to use which Dutch body or hand gesture.

2. Greetings

Most interactions begin with a friendly hello, so let’s look at some typical Dutch gestures used when greeting others. 

1 – Hallo!

How:Raise your hand and wave it by moving it from side to side with a swaying motion.
Where / When:This is one of the most common greeting gestures in the Netherlands. It’s an informal way to say hello or goodbye. It may substitute the handshake or kiss when there are many people to greet or when you’re out of arm’s reach. Don’t use it in more formal situations, as it’s too casual for serious business settings.
Waving Common Dutch Gesture.

Waving is a common Dutch gesture.

2 – Handen schudden 

Meaning:To shake hands
How:The Dutch like firm and short handshakes, with one or two up-and-down movements. You should look the person you’re greeting straight in the eyes.
Where / When:In the Netherlands, shaking hands is the most common way to greet colleagues or strangers. It may also be used between male friends and family members.
The Dutch Handshake

The Dutch Handshake

3 – Drie kussen

Meaning:Drie kussen means “three kisses.” It’s a very typical Dutch greeting custom.
How:Lean forward and slightly brush cheeks with the other person while mimicking a kiss (with the sound and the lips gesture). Switch cheeks and repeat, and then switch cheeks again and give a last kiss.
Where / When:It’s complicated… Have a look at our guide on how to introduce yourself in Dutch, where you can read everything you need to know about this Dutch greeting! It’s mostly used between a man and a woman, or between two women who are good friends or family. However, it is more common among young people today to give each other a hug or just one kiss on the cheek.
A Man and Woman Greeting with the Three Kisses Gesture

What do you think about the Dutch “three kisses” gesture?

4 – Hoi!

A Woman Holding Popcorn and a Drink, Making the Dutch Hoi Gesture


5 – Alles goed?

Meaning:“What’s up?”
How:Sharply nod your head upward.
Where / When:This is another way to greet someone from a far distance. It’s a way of showing someone that you recognize and greet them, without making it very personal. It’s mostly used between men who don’t know each other that well. It’s like saying “Hey, what’s up?” without really expecting an answer. It can sometimes be interpreted as mildly aggressive or direct, as it’s connected to a macho attitude or to marking one’s territory.
    ➜ As you can see, there are many Dutch gestures to choose from when greeting someone. To back up your gestures with words, check out our list of Common Ways to Say Hello with audio recordings.

3. Positive Gestures

Are you impressed with something your Dutch friend said? Or maybe you’ve just finished eating a delicious meal and want the cook to know how much you loved it? Here are a few Dutch body language gestures you can use to express your positive feelings about something. 

6 – Leuk!

Meaning:“Good!” or “I like it!”
How:Make a fist and extend your thumb upward to give the “thumbs-up” gesture.
Where / When:This true classic is also used in the Netherlands to show that you like something or think that something is going great. It’s not the coolest Dutch hand gesture to make, but it’s a nice way to show someone your appreciation.
Dat Vind Ik Leuk!

Dat vind ik leuk!

7 – Mmmmm, lekker!

Meaning:“Yummmm, tasty!”
How:Place your hand to the side of your face and wave it back and forth.
Where / When:If your mouth is full with something very tasty, make this Dutch hand gesture to show that you like the food: Mmm, lekker! You might also make it when someone is talking about good food or drinks to show that you like it. It’s quite an informal hand gesture and some people may view it as a bit childish. However, it’s a great gesture to give some positive food vibes.

8 – Slim!

How:Tap your temple several times.
Where / When:You can use this Dutch hand gesture when you want to indicate in a funny way that someone has done something smart. But you can also use it when you think you have done something smart. This hand gesture is a bit cheeky, so it’s mostly used in informal situations.

4. Negative Gestures

Life is not always gumdrops and lollipops, so you should also be aware of the most common negative Dutch gestures. 

9 – Niet leuk…

Meaning:“Not good.” or “I don’t like it.”
How:Make a fist and extend your thumb downwards to make the “thumbs-down” gesture.
Where / When:Yes, this classic negative hand gesture is also used in the Netherlands. People use it to show that they don’t like something. However, it’s not used in very personal situations or in direct conversations, as this would be viewed as rude. It’s mostly used to show that you don’t like something or someone you’re talking about, but no one personally involved will see you make this gesture. For example, you could use this when talking with a friend about a certain celebrity.
The Classic Thumbs-down Sign

The classic thumbs-down sign

10 – Dat is niet mijn probleem.

Meaning:“Not my problem.” or “Not my fault.”
How:Raise your hands slightly over your shoulders, palms toward the other person, with your head and shoulders defensively held back.
Where / When:This Dutch body gesture is used to show that you don’t have anything to do with something—and you don’t want to. It’s an indifferent gesture, saying “Leave me out of it.”
The Dutch Shrug

The Dutch shrug

11 – Poeffff! 

Meaning:“Whew!” (an expression of “muchness”)
How:Pass your hand across your forehead. Meanwhile, draw your fingers from open to closed-tipped out beside your head, as if you’re wiping your sweaty forehead. 
Where / When:This Dutch hand gesture might be used when someone is exaggerating a lot or making a lot of drama. It indicates that someone is a lot to handle. However, it has an additional meaning: it’s also used when “surviving” a tricky situation, as if you’re wiping your forehead after working hard.
Man Swiping His Sweat Forehead

Just like wiping a sweaty forehead…

12 – Gek!

Meaning:“Crazy!” or “That’s nuts!”
How:Grasp your hand in front of your nose, by first lowering your index finger to the thumb and then having your other fingers follow.
Where / When:This Dutch hand gesture might be used in a good-humored way between friends, good colleagues, or family members. It is a playful way to say that the other person is acting crazy. But in other circumstances, it might also be used in a serious manner to say that someone is nuts.

13 – Boeiend…

Meaning:“I don’t care.” or “I am not interested.” 
Boeien literally means “fascinating,” but in this case it’s used in a sarcastic manner to indicate disinterest.
How:Stick your hands in your pockets or cross your arms.
Where / When:This is considered a rude body gesture in the Netherlands as it’s seen as a sign of disinterest. Try to avoid this body language as it will be viewed negatively.
A Woman Crossing Her Arms

Crossing your arms in the Netherlands is considered rude.

14 – Ben je dom?

Meaning:“Are you stupid?”
How:With your index finger, give the center of your forehead one or several taps. 
Where / When:This Dutch hand gesture is used sarcastically to ask if someone is stupid. You might use this gesture in a conversation when talking about someone else, or use it directly with the other person. But watch out! It is a rude and aggressive gesture. Depending on the situation, you can also use this gesture to say that someone is crazy.

5. Neutral Gestures

Of course, you should also become familiar with Dutch body language for neutral, day-to-day interactions. Here are just a few of the most common gestures. 

15 – Geen idee

Meaning:“No idea.”
How:Spread your arms open with palms up. Raise and lower your shoulders.
Where / When:This Dutch body gesture is mostly used to indicate that you’re doubtful or indecisive—you don’t know or you just have no idea. However, be careful when using this gesture as it can also express a more negative message when someone is asking you something. For example, it could be viewed as meaning “It’s not my fault,” “There is nothing I can do,” or “Don’t ask me.”
The Shrugging No Idea Gesture

I have no idea, geen idee

16 – Goed kijken

Meaning:“Watch carefully.”
How:Using your index finger, pull down the bottom lid of one eye.
Where / When:This Dutch hand gesture is used when you’re telling something secretive to another person, or something they might not have noticed (such as a secret, trick, or scam). It says “Pay attention and watch carefully.”
The Watch Carefully Gesture

Watch carefully!

17 – Ssst, stil!

Meaning:“Shhh.” or “Keep quiet.”
How:Extend your index finger and place it vertically across your mouth.
Where / When:You probably know this one already. It’s used to indicate that someone should be quiet. It may be used with or without the “shhh” sound.
The Ssssh! Gesture


18 – Geld

Meaning:“Money” or “It’s expensive.”
How:Rub your thumb against the tips of your index and middle fingers.
Where / When:This informal Dutch hand gesture is used in many situations where lots of money is involved. It’s most commonly used to indicate that something is expensive, but it can also mean that something is lucrative so that you or someone else can become rich because of it.
The Money Gesture

Money, money, money.

19 – Min of meer

Meaning:“So-so.” or “More or less.”
How:Place your hand in front of you, palm down, and tip it from left to right several times.
Where / When:This Dutch hand gesture is mostly used in casual situations to indicate that something is going so-so. For instance, if you’re not having a great day, you could use it when someone asks how you’re doing.
The So-So Gesture

More or less

20 – Oh yooo! 

Meaning:“Oh no!” or “Wow!”
How:Raise your hand in front of your chest and shake it loosely, as if trying to revive your numb fingers.
Where / When:This is not the most common Dutch hand gesture, and it’s mostly used between boys to express amazement or to indicate that someone is in trouble. It’s good to be able to recognize this gesture, but if you’re an adult, it’s better not to use it.
The Oh No! Gesture


6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned many Dutch body gestures and hand gestures for a variety of contexts. We have given you insight into the world of Dutch communication, both verbal and non-verbal. This knowledge will help you strengthen your Dutch speaking skills and sound more like a native in your interactions.

Do you feel ready to practice these gestures and spice up your conversations in Dutch? Or would you first like to hone your Dutch verbal communication so that you can find the words to complement these gestures?

Either way, is the best place to continue your Dutch studies. We have plenty of free resources for you, such as our collection of themed vocabulary lists to strengthen your knowledge of Dutch words and their pronunciation.

You can also make use of our Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching from your own private teacher. What better way to really internalize the Dutch gestures and the words that match them? Your teacher will provide you with interesting exercises, useful recorded audio samples, and personalized feedback so that you can truly master all aspects of Dutch communication.

Happy learning!

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

The Complete Guide to Dutch Internet Slang Words


Do you use a lot of slang when you talk online or text your friends? English slang words like LOL (laughing out loud), WTF (what the f**k), BRB (be right back), and NVM (nevermind) are quite popular online and you’ve probably used them before. 

Using slang is part of every culture, and every country has its own text and internet slang. The Netherlands is no exception! 

As a Dutch learner, it may come in handy for you to learn some Dutch internet slang words. This will allow you to understand your Dutch friends online and impress native speakers. However, you should never use these terms in formal situations; Dutch text / internet slang is mainly used between friends. 

In this article, we will… 

  • …discuss why learning text and internet slang is important.
  • …give you more information about the culture behind Dutch text and internet slang.
  • …provide you with some great examples of the most popular Dutch text / internet slang terms. 

Let’s learn how to chat like a Dutch local!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Why is Text / Internet Slang Important?
  2. More About Text / Internet Slang in Dutch
  3. The Most Popular Dutch Internet and Text Slang Terms
  4. Famous English Slang Used by the Dutch
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Why is Text / Internet Slang Important?

So, why is it important to learn internet slang and text slang? Slang, including that which we use in our virtual communication, is a part of language. For this reason, learning about Dutch text / internet slang will help you better understand the language—not to mention it can also be a lot of fun! 

Here are five key reasons why it’s important to learn about Dutch internet slang:

  1. Using slang saves you time.
  2. You can say more with fewer words.
  3. You learn something about another culture.
  4. Slang terms work like fun codes; using them shows that you’re an “insider.”
  5. They can help you understand the locals better.

It may be a difficult world to navigate, as you need some basic knowledge of Dutch to understand it, but it’s well worth it in the end!

2. More About Text / Internet Slang in Dutch

Before we look at specific Dutch slang expressions for texting and the internet, let’s talk a little more about what the slang scene is like in the Netherlands. 

A- Slang Culture in the Netherlands

So, what about the Dutch slang culture? The Dutch love to use slang, from some pretty foul language to borrowed English words and plenty of Dutch proverbs. And let’s admit it: This doesn’t make it any easier for you to understand them. Luckily, the Dutch don’t use a lot of slang in more formal situations…but when it comes to casual interactions, you’ll just have to get used to it.

B- How the Dutch Use Slang on the Internet and in Texts

Most Dutch slang terms used on the internet and in texts are abbreviations of other words, as the Dutch like to communicate directly and efficiently. These abbreviations are a great way to save precious time! 

You can always use these internet slang words in casual situations, and some of them may even be used in certain semi-formal situations. However, avoid them in more formal settings, such as talking to your (very formal) boss online, responding to an email about a job interview, or talking to the grandparents of your Dutch partner.

3. The Most Popular Dutch Internet and Text Slang Terms

You’re now ready to master those Dutch internet / text slang words. So, where to start? With our Dutch slang dictionary, of course! Here are some of the most popular Dutch internet and text slang words you should know as a learner of the language:

Dutch Text Slang

1 – Wdj

Short for: 
Wat doe je?

“What are you doing?”

How to use it in a sentence:
Wdj vanavond? / “What are you doing tonight?”

When to use it: 
This Dutch text slang word is used in casual situations, such as when talking online or texting friends. It’s mainly used by younger people, but some older Dutch people may use it as well due to its efficiency. Do keep in mind, however, that it’s not the most common Dutch slang word—you may even encounter some Dutch people who don’t know it.

2 – Idd

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
Ik ben het daar idd niet mee eens. / “I indeed disagree with that.”

When to use it: 
Inderdaad is a formal word and this is definitely the most casual way to use it. Therefore, you can use it in more casual situations as well as those that are considered semi-formal (for example, when texting with colleagues). However, don’t use it in very formal situations as you may appear lazy for not making the effort to write the whole word.

3 – Ff

Short for: 

“Briefly” / “Quickly” / “For a short time”

How to use it in a sentence:
Ik ga ff lopen. / “I am going for a short walk.”

When to use it: 
This may be one of the most casual words of all! It’s mainly used by younger people in casual situations (e.g. among friends or close family). Don’t use it in more formal online contact with colleagues, as it may make you appear a bit stupid.

4 – Gwn

Short for: 

“Normal” / “Just”

How to use it in a sentence:
Ik ga gwn naar school morgen. / “I’m just going to school tomorrow.”

When to use it: 
Gwn is another Dutch text slang word that should only be used in the most casual situations; it’s also mainly used by younger people.

5 – Vgm

Short for: 
Volgens mij

“I think”

How to use it in a sentence:
Vgm is het zaterdag zijn verjaardag. / “I think Saturday is his birthday.”

When to use it: 
This Dutch slang word is mainly used by adults in casual or semi-formal situations. So you can use it with your family and friends and with (closer) colleagues. It’s a great way to quickly indicate that you are expressing your opinion or what you believe to be the truth.

6 – Mss / Miss

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
Hij gaat morgen miss niet mee stappen. / “He’s maybe not going out tomorrow.”

When to use it: 
This word is used by young and old alike, and in both casual and semi-casual situations. Some people use miss while others use mss; they mean the same thing, but mss may be considered more casual.

7 – Wss

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
Hij komt wss morgen op kantoor om het contract te tekenen. / “He’ll probably be at the office tomorrow to sign the contract.”

When to use it: 
Here’s another word that’s mainly used by adults and perfect for both casual and semi-formal situations. You can actually use this while texting or writing Dutch colleagues who you’re working with closely.

8 – Sws

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
Ik kom morgen sws even langs. / “I will definitely come by tomorrow.”

When to use it: 
This Dutch text slang word can be used in both casual and semi-formal situations. It’s quite common to use this abbreviation of the word in order to reply more quickly. However, don’t use it in the most formal situations.

9 – Suc6

Short for: 

“Good luck”

How to use it in a sentence:
Suc6 vanavond! / “Good luck tonight!”

When to use it: 
This is a very informal Dutch internet slang word, only used in casual situations. It’s used mostly by young people, but you may find some adults who still use it as well.

10 – W8

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
W8, ik kom er nu aan. / “Wait, I am coming over right now.”

When to use it: 
Like suc6, w8 is very informal and best for use with your friends or family. It’s used mainly by younger people, but some adults use it as well. It’s a handy abbreviation of the word wacht (“wait”), as the number 8 in Dutch is acht.

A Bunch of Kids Sitting Around a Laptop Laughing

W8 is a Dutch internet slang word mostly used by kids.

11 – Wrm

Short for: 


How to use it in a sentence:
Wrm reageer je niet? / “Why are you not responding?”

When to use it: 
This abbreviation may seem like a perfect candidate for semi-formal situations, but it’s really a more casual way of saying waarom (“why”). Wrm is not often used in formal situations, as it has a more informal ring to it. So use it mainly with friends, family, or very close colleagues.

12 – Bijv

Short for: 

“For example”

How to use it in a sentence:
Ik kan morgen bijv wel de klant bellen. / “I can, for example, call the customer tomorrow.”

When to use it: 
This is one of those words that can be used in both informal and semi-formal situations. It’s also used by both young and old, and with family, friends, and colleagues. However, as is the case with all slang words, you shouldn’t use it in the most formal interactions.

13 – Ipv

Short for: 
In plaats van

“Instead of”

How to use it in a sentence:
Mijn moeder komt morgen eten ipv vrijdag. / “My mother is coming to dinner tomorrow instead of Friday.”

When to use it: 
The official abbreviation of in plaats van is i.p.v. However, for internet and text slang purposes, people use it without the dots: ipv. This is a more informal way of using this abbreviation, but it’s still perfect for semi-formal situations (such as talking to colleagues or making an appointment with a professional) as well as casual situations.

14 – Ivm

Short for: 
In verband met

“Due to” / “Relating to”

How to use it in a sentence:
Ivm de hoge kosten, wil ik graag mijn abonnement veranderen. / “Due to the high costs, I would like to change my subscription.”

When to use it: 
As is the case with the abbreviation of in plaats van, in verband met also has an official abbreviation: i.v.m. However, it’s also used without the dots: ivm. This is a more informal way of using this abbreviation, great for semi-formal and casual situations.

15 – Iig

Short for: 
In ieder geval

“Anyway” / “In any case”

How to use it in a sentence:
Zij gaat iig niet mee winkelen vandaag. / “She, in any case, is not going shopping today.”

When to use it: 
This is a versatile word, used in both casual and semi-formal situations, by young and old alike.

16 – K / Hr / Zn / Das / T

Short for: 
Ik / Haar / Zijn / Dat is / Het

“I” / “Her” / “His” / “That is” / “It”

How to use it in a sentence:
K ga vanavond niet met hr moeder of zn vader naar t café, das heel saai. / “I am not going to the bar tonight with her mom or his dad, that is very boring.”

When to use it: 
These are all just abbreviations of some basic Dutch words that can be thrown into any Dutch internet slang sentence. However, this is a very casual way of texting or writing someone online, so save these for informal interactions with friends when you just want to send something quickly.

4. Famous English Slang Used by the Dutch

Several Abbreviations and Slang Terms in Colorful Thought and Speech Bubbles

Which of the English internet slang words do the Dutch use?

The Dutch use a lot of English words in their language, including on the internet. You probably already know these words, but we’ll just show you which ones are most common in the Dutch online world:


In English, it means “Laughing Out Loud.” It translates to Gieren van het Lachen in Dutch.

This word is incorporated into Dutch internet slang, but it’s mainly used by younger people and only in casual situations.


In English, it means “What the f**k,” which translates to the Dutch phrase What de f**k

This word is also incorporated into Dutch internet and texting slang, but as you can imagine, it’s only used in casual situations.


In English, it means “You Only Live Once.” It translates to Je Leeft Maar Één Keer in Dutch. 

This English slang term is mainly used by younger people and only in casual situations.


In English, it means “Oh My God.” In Dutch, it translates to Oh Mijn God. As the Dutch also say oh mijn god quite a lot, this abbreviation may also come from the Dutch version. 

This one is also used mainly by younger people and should only be used in casual situations (e.g. among friends or close family).

    → Would you like to learn some more Dutch texting slang? Have a look at this vocabulary list from DutchPod101: Most Common Texting Slang.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

Someone Texting on Their Phone while Sitting in Front of Their Laptop

Let’s master these Dutch text slang words together!

In this guide, you’ve learned everything about Dutch slang words for texting and the internet. You should have a better idea of why it’s important to learn about Dutch text / internet slang, how the Dutch use it, and what exactly typical slang usage looks like. While you may have known some of these already, you now have them conveniently gathered in one place! 

Can you think of any more slang words? What else would you like to learn about Dutch internet slang?

Would you like to improve your Dutch so that you can really make use of these Dutch slang words? Have a look at DutchPod101’s vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources to boost your studies. With DutchPod101, you can keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse.

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

Suc6 with learning Dutch on!

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

10 Useful and Beautiful Untranslatable Dutch Words


Have you ever been to a Dutch dinner party and all of sudden the Dutch were praising everything with lekker, talking about natafelen and the need to go uitbuiken…and you just couldn’t understand what they were saying?

That’s why it’s important to study untranslatable Dutch words. You may at first think that there’s no way to learn these Dutch words with no English equivalent, but it’s worth making the extra effort. 

Exploring these words is a great way to familiarize yourself with Dutch culture, and learning them will make you sound much more fluent, as only true locals use them. They may also make Dutch conversations and television shows easier to understand. 

What you’ll find here at DutchPod101 is a list of genuinely useful and contemporary untranslatable words in Dutch that are still used by native speakers on a daily basis. 

So have fun and incorporate these funny, useful, and beautiful untranslatable Dutch words into your vocabulary. 

A Man Confused about Stuff Written on a Blackboard

Stop the confusion and learn these untranslatable Dutch words.

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Gezellig
  2. Natafelen
  3. Uitbuiken
  4. Uitwaaien
  5. Borrelen
  6. Spannend
  7. Lekker
  8. Meedenken
  9. Voorpret
  10. Overzichtelijk
  11. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Gezellig

MeaningA warm feeling of coziness; it can also refer to having a nice time with friends or family.
ContextGezellig can be used in any situation where you’re having a good time, for example when you’re enjoying a nice and cozy evening with your friends or family. Gezellig can be used as an adjective or as an adverb. It can form part of a sentence, but it can also just be used as a single-word reaction to something.
ExampleHet was vandaag erg gezellig met oma Mieke.
“Today was very nice with Grandma Mieke.”

Gezelligheid kent geen tijd.
“Coziness doesn’t know any time.” 

With this Dutch saying, the Dutch express their love for gezelligheid (“coziness”). When things are gezellig, it doesn’t matter if it’s getting late.

2. Natafelen

Literally“To after table”
MeaningNatafelen is actually a verb and it means to stay seated at the table after dinner to talk and to keep enjoying each others’ company.
ContextNatafelen is used to describe the scene after dinner where everybody stays seated at the table to talk a bit more and to have some more drinks (usually wine or something stronger). It can last just a little while, though it can also last until very late, as it’s quite gezellig.
ExampleNa het eten bij Monique hebben we nog tot heel laat nagetafeld.
“After dinner at Monique’s, we stayed and talked until very late.”

People Having Natafelen with Wine

So what do you do after a nice dinner? Yes, natafelen.

3. Uitbuiken

Literally“To out belly”
MeaningIt’s used to describe that feeling when you’re full after a good meal and just have to sit for a while as your body digests your food.
ContextYou know how after a nice and filling meal, your body just needs some time to process your food? Well, there’s an untranslatable Dutch word for this feeling and process—uitbuiken—and it often happens together with natafelen. This verb describes the act of sitting back after a long meal and letting your “belly out,” or giving yourself some room to digest. This term is typically used after an extensive dinner.
ExampleNa het kerstdiner moet ik altijd even uitbuiken. 
“I always have to relax and digest after Christmas dinner.”

Bij het natafelen bij Monique moest ik echt even uitbuiken.
“After dinner at Monique’s, I really needed to relax and digest.”

4. Uitwaaien

Literally“To blow out”
MeaningTo take a refreshing break outdoors in windy weather
ContextUitwaaien is the activity of walking in the wind with the goal of getting some fresh air and to freshen up. You can do this anywhere, though the beach is a favorite spot to go uitwaaien. The Netherlands can be a windy country and that’s why people enjoy this quite a lot. However, uitwaaien is mostly done in the autumn and the winter, when the country has its windiest weather.
ExampleNa de lunch zijn we even lekker een rondje gaan lopen om uit te waaien.
“After lunch, we went for a walk to get some fresh air.”

A Couple Walking Together with Their Baby in a Stroller

The Dutch love to go uitwaaien together and just get some fresh air.

5. Borrelen

Literally[No translation]
MeaningTo have a drink
ContextBorrelen refers to having some drinks and chatting with friends or family. It often involves alcohol and also some snacks (with the famous Dutch bitterballen being a favorite). The term comes from the word borrel, which is an alcoholic beverage of some sort. Borrelen can happen indoors or outdoors (depending on the weather) and you can either do it in the afternoon or in the evening.

In the Netherlands, it’s quite common for employers to organize after-work drinks on Friday afternoons, commonly known as vrijmibo, which comes from vrijdagmiddagborrel (“Friday afternoon drinks”).  
ExampleVrijdag na werktijd gaan we altijd borrelen.
“We always have a drink on Friday after work.”

6. Spannend

MeaningThis word is used when something is kind of scary or thrilling. Spannend comes from the Dutch word spanning, which means “tension” or “suspension.”
ContextSpannend is an adjective. It can be used in many different ways, but it always relates to situations that make you feel a bit nervous. For example, when you have to do a presentation or when you’re riding on a rollercoaster… Or when you’re going on a first date with someone you really like.
ExampleIk vind het heel spannend dat ik morgen een sollicitatiegesprek heb. 
“I am very nervous about having a job interview tomorrow.”

A Nervous Woman Biting Her Thumb Nail

Are you nervous about something? Just say that you think it’s spannend.

7. Lekker

MeaningThis word can mean almost anything depending on the context. In principle, it’s used to describe that you’re enjoying something or someone.
ContextLekker is mostly used to describe things that taste good, but it doesn’t stop there. A good-looking person can be lekker. People even say lekker ding (“tasty thing”) about people they find attractive. You can also wish someone goodnight by telling them slaap lekker (“to sleep well”). Or you can enjoy a long walk and refer to it as lekker wandelen. So this term can be used for almost anything you enjoy.
ExampleIk vind de taart van die bakker altijd erg lekker.
“I always really like the cake from that bakery.”

Ik heb vannacht heel lekker geslapen.
“I slept very well last night.”

8. Meedenken

Literally“To think with”
MeaningThinking together
ContextMeedenken is kind of like brainstorming, but it’s more than that. It’s used to refer to deliberately making sure that everyone who should be involved is included in discussions. This Dutch word with no English equivalent describes how the Dutch work together in a collaborative and quite horizontal way.
ExampleKun je even met mij meedenken over een oplossing voor dit probleem?
“Can you think with me about a solution to this problem?”

9. Voorpret

LiterallyLiterally translates to “pre-fun”
MeaningThat feeling of excitement you get even before an event actually takes place
ContextVoorpret is a word that refers to the anticipation we often feel before an exciting event (such as a party or vacation). The word roughly translates to “enjoy having positive expectations.”
ExampleIk heb altijd veel voorpret bij het plannen van mijn vakantie.
“I always enjoy planning my vacation.”

A Man Leaning Back in His Seat with Arms Raised in Success

What kind of voorpret do you enjoy the most?

10. Overzichtelijk

Literally“Clear” / “Organized” / “Comprehensible”
MeaningAlthough dictionaries state that overzichtelijk translates to “clear,” “organized,” or “comprehensible,” these words alone aren’t quite perfect stand-ins. This adjective is a combination of these words and generally applies to things that have a clear overview. Overzichtelijk comes from the Dutch word overzicht, which means “overview.”
ContextOverzichtelijk is a popular word for referring to the organization of something, particularly if that organization is clear, organized, and comprehensible. It’s often used in work-related situations, for example to describe the organization of your work. But you could also use it when describing the organization of your home, for instance.
ExampleIk vind het wel zo overzichtelijk om op het werk mijn doelen duidelijk voor ogen te hebben.
“I think it is quite organized to have my goals clear at work.”

11. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this article, you learned 10 useful Dutch words with no English equivalent. You now know how to use the most funny and beautiful untranslatable Dutch words out there, from lekker to uitwaaien and beyond. 

Are you ready to start sounding like a native speaker by forming your own phrases with these words? Or would you first like to get some help in mastering these untranslatable words in Dutch?

Then is the place to be. With our numerous vocabulary lists featuring audio recordings and our other useful free resources, you’ll definitely boost your Dutch studies from day one. Practice is key!

Would you like some one-on-one coaching? Remember that DutchPod101 also has the Premium PLUS MyTeacher service. Here, you can discover more about Dutch culture with your own private teacher and really master the Dutch language. Through personalized feedback and pronunciation advice, you’ll get the hang of these untranslatable words in Dutch before you know it. 

Happy learning on!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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

Dutch Movies Guide: The 10 Best Movies to Learn Dutch


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could improve your Dutch by, say, watching movies? Yes, learning Dutch could really be that fun. Supplementing your Dutch language course with Dutch movies could really boost your understanding of the language! 

Watching movies in your target language is a unique way to practice your listening comprehension skills in a relaxed environment, without the pressure you may feel in a real-life conversation. Is there something you don’t understand? Then just turn on the subtitles or pause the video while you look it up. 

In this article, we’ll first explain how watching Dutch movies can boost your Dutch. After that, we’ll give you tips on where to watch Dutch movies and provide you with a selection of movies for every proficiency level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Have fun “studying” Dutch!

A Man Binge-Watching Something on TV

Let’s get you hooked on these Dutch movies.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. 4 Reasons Why Watching Dutch Movies Will Help You Learn Dutch
  2. Where to Watch Dutch Movies
  3. Dutch Movies for Beginners
  4. For Intermediate Learners
  5. For Advanced Learners
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. 4 Reasons Why Watching Dutch Movies Will Help You Learn Dutch

Learning a language while watching a movie—it almost sounds too good to be true. But watching movies in Dutch really can help you improve your language skills! Here’s how.

1. It gives you the opportunity to learn by observation.

When you’re talking with someone in Dutch, you don’t have much time to think about what the other speaker is saying. Luckily, watching a Dutch movie does afford you this luxury! You’ll have the time to reflect on the Dutch dialogue, see how the speakers use certain words, and expand your vocabulary in the process. And if there’s something you don’t understand, you can just pause the movie to look it up (or take notes and look it up later).

2. It will teach you about the Dutch culture.

To learn a language, you also need to become familiar with the culture surrounding it. However, unless you’re living in the Netherlands, it can be hard to do this. The good news is that watching Dutch movies can be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture, regardless of where you live! You’ll get to see how people interact, learn more about Dutch humor, and discover new popular Dutch phrases. 

3. It stimulates multiple senses.

When you watch something, your eyes and ears are stimulated simultaneously; this stimulation of multiple senses helps your brain make connections between sounds and images. For example, if someone is talking about a jacket in a Dutch movie while showing it to the camera, your brain will connect the image with the sound of the word’s pronunciation. This little trick can help you retain new words much quicker!

4. It makes learning Dutch fun.

Who said learning can’t be fun? Learning a language may get dull at times, especially when you’re trying to master certain grammar rules or when you’re trying to memorize a lot of vocabulary at once. However, there are many fun learning activities you can do to spice up your learning process, such as watching Dutch movies. 

This will also keep you motivated to keep on learning Dutch. When something is fun, there’s a greater chance that you’ll stick with it. 

2. Where to Watch Dutch Movies

A Woman Watching a Movie on the Couch with Popcorn

So, how can you watch these Dutch movies from the comfort of your couch?

There are several places you can check out to watch the best Dutch movies of all time:

  • NPO: You can watch many Dutch movies on the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (“Dutch Public Network”) online, for free. However, the page doesn’t always allow you to see everything when you’re abroad. But still, even from abroad, you can watch a nice selection of the best Dutch movies.
  • RTL: This is a Dutch Commercial Network with five different channels: RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8, and RTL Z. You can also find some Dutch movies online on RTL XL
  • Netflix: There are a few Dutch movies on Netflix you can enjoy. The collection here may not be extensive, but the titles you can find are pretty impressive. Netflix also allows you to watch the Dutch movies with English subtitles, a feature which sets it apart from the previous options.
  • YouTube: You can find some Dutch movies on YouTube, from the classics to more recent ones. While there is an extensive offering, it can be hard to find the whole movie. 

Now that you know where to watch the best movies to learn Dutch, check out our vocabulary lists for television and YouTube!

3. Dutch Movies for Beginners

Let’s begin our Dutch movies list with films that are best for beginners. The following titles are all Dutch children’s films that are just as enjoyable for adults. The simple language and plot structures will make it easier for you to understand what you’re hearing, and the stories are sure to keep you entertained while you build a strong language foundation. 

1. Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster


Title translation: “Yes Nurse! No Nurse!”

The story: Four unique individuals are residing in Sister Klivia’s rest home. Together, these residents cause trouble for the angry neighbor Barend Boordevol, who does everything in his power to get the nurse and her residents out of the house.

Why it’s worth watching: Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster is a classic Dutch comedy musical from 2002, based on the original story by the famous Dutch children’s book author Annie M.G. Schmidt. It’s therefore a true classic, full of classic Dutch songs that will make watching the movie even more fun.

Cast: Loes Luca, Tjitske Reidinga, Waldemar Torenstra, and Paul de Leeuw

Important words or quotes: 

    De buurman (“The neighbor”)
    De inbreker (“The burglar”)
    Mijn opa (“My granddad”)
    Samen met u onder de paraplu (“Together with you under the umbrella”)

2. Minoes


The story: This story is about the cat Minoes, who has turned into a young woman. While Minoes looks like a charming young lady, she still has some cat habits and can also talk with cats. This ends up being beneficial for her, as befriended cats tell her human secrets which she uses to help the sympathetic, insecure journalist Tibbe, in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

Why it’s worth watching: Minoes is a Dutch film from 2001, directed by Vincent Bal. It’s a film adaptation of the famous children’s book by Annie M.G. Schmidt from 1970, making it another true classic. 

Cast: Carice van Houten, Theo Maassen, Pierre Bokma, Hans Kesting, and Olga Zuiderhoek

Important words or quotes: 

    De allerslechtste journalist van Killendoorn (“The worst journalist of Killendoorn”)
  • Poes Minoes (“Cat Minoes”)
    Merkwaardige juffrouw (“Strange lady”)
    Er is iets vreselijks gebeurd (“Something terrible happened”)

3. Het zakmes


Title translation: “The pocketknife”

The story: Mees has a problem: He took his best friend’s pocketknife home with him by accident. Unfortunately, his best friend is moving the next day and it’s too late to return the pocketknife. His parents are too busy to help, so little Mees goes on searching for his friend all by himself. Eventually, he enters a talent contest, hoping to get a message to his friend through a song.

Why it’s worth watching: The movie is based on a classic children’s novel by Dutch writer Sjoerd Kuyper. The book was first published in 1981 and was adapted for film in 1992. This cute Dutch classic won several awards. 

Cast: Olivier Tuinier, Verno Romney, and Adelheid Roosen

Important words or quotes: 

    Het zakmes (“The pocketknife”)
    Ik ben pas zes, Tom ik heb je mes. (“I’m only six, Tom I have your knife.”)

Is it hard for you to remember words? Have a look at these fifteen tips on how to remember Dutch words

Do you need to improve your Dutch before watching these movies? Then dive into these Top 10 FREE Dutch Lessons You Can’t Miss.

4. For Intermediate Learners

Now we’ll continue with some of the best Dutch movies to watch at an intermediate proficiency level. These films will have slightly more advanced vocabulary and more complex storylines, but they shouldn’t be too difficult to understand with some basic Dutch knowledge. 

1. Alles is liefde


Title translation: “Love is all”

The story: This romantic comedy interweaves different storylines about love against the backdrop of Amsterdam around the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas. In this movie, six couples discover that love is everywhere. But love is like Sinterklaas: You have to believe in it, otherwise it won’t work. Follow crown prince Valentijn, saleswoman Kiki, lifeguard Victor, divorced mother Klaasje—and their children, parents, and other relatives—as everyone becomes entangled in the (im)possibilities of love.

Why it’s worth watching: The story is inspired by the movie Love Actually, but this version is all about the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas. It will therefore give you some good insight into the celebration of this classic Dutch holiday. The movie was such a success that there was a sequel: Alles is familie (“Everything is family”).

Cast: Carice van Houten, Paul de Leeuw, Wendy van Dijk, and Daan Schuurmans

Important words or quotes: 

  • Liefde is als Sinterklaas. Je moet erin geloven. Anders wordt het niks. (“Love is like Sinterklaas. You have to believe in it. Otherwise it won’t work.”)
  • De ware (“The one”)
  • Liefde (“Love”)

2. Aanmodderfakker


The story: Thijs, 32, is the eternal student without any ambition. He goes through life carefree, filling his time with beer, women, and hanging out with his roommate Walter. He lives on donations from his mother and what he earns from a part-time job in an electronics shop. That life changes when he meets his sister Simone’s sixteen-year-old babysitter Lisa. This young woman has ambitions and a beautiful plan for her life, and is exactly the opposite of Thijs.

Why it’s worth watching: Aanmodderfakker gives some funny insight into the life of a lazy Dutch student and his relationship with his family. Although the story of Thijs may be quite extreme, it will tell you something about the Dutch culture and family relationships.

Cast: Gijs Naber, Yannick van de Velde, Roos Wiltink, and Anniek Pheifer

Important words or quotes: 

  • Aanmodderen (“Muddle through”)
  • Eeuwige student (“Eternal student”)
  • Ik hou van je (“I love you”)
  • Zachtgekookt ei (Literally, “soft-boiled egg,” meaning “a softy”)

3. Gooische vrouwen


Title translation: “Women of the Gooi”

The story: The life of the women of the Gooi, a fancy area in the Netherlands, is anything but smooth. The ladies are in desperate need of a holiday to regain their peace of mind. They pack their bags and leave for France, where they realize the importance of their friendship. Together they’re strong, and they try everything to solve their problems at home.

Why it’s worth watching: Gooische Vrouwen is a Dutch movie based on the popular drama series of the same name. The movie was also a huge success—in fact, it’s one of the most successful Dutch films of all time.

Cast: Linda de Mol, Susan Visser, Tjitske Reidinga, and Lies Visschedijk

Important words or quotes: 

  • Ik ga bij papa wonen. (“I am going to live with daddy.”)
  • Reis naar onze innerlijke zelf. (“Journey to our inner selves.”)
  • Oh heerlijk, in Frankrijk. (“Oh lovely, in France.”)
  • Ik heb je nodig. (“I need you.”)

4. De Eetclub


Title translation: “The dining club”

The story: Karen and Michel move to a high-end neighborhood with their daughter, and Karen soon finds friendship within a close circle of women from a dining club. One of the club members commits suicide, which puts pressure on everyone involved…what secrets lurk in the eetclub

Why it’s worth watching: De Eetclub is based on the popular book of the same name by Saskia Noort. This Dutch thriller movie will keep you hooked from the beginning to the end.

Cast: Peter Paul Muller, Angela Schijf, Bas Keijzer, Birgit Schuurman, Mattijn Hartemink, Irma Hartog, and Thom Hoffman

Important words or quotes: 

  • Wil je misschien wat drinken? (“Would you like to have a drink?”)
  • We hebben een eetclub. (“We have a dining club.”)
  • Vriendenclubje (“Group of friends”)
  • Verhouding (“Affair”)

5. For Advanced Learners

Let’s see some of the more advanced stuff. These are the best movies to learn Dutch if you already have some Dutch knowledge and experience.

1. Zwartboek


Title translation: “Black book”

The story: In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during WWII, the Jewish singer Rachel infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance. To do so, she hooks up with a German officer. In a failed attempt to free a group of resistance fighters, Rachel is seen as a traitor by both the resistance and the Germans.

Why it’s worth watching: This movie is directed by the famous Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. This thriller was filmed in the Netherlands and won several national and international awards. This thrilling movie will get you hooked and tell you more about Dutch history.

Cast: Carice van Houten, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn, and Sebastian Koch

Important words or quotes: 

  • Het verzet (“The resistance”)
  • Verrader (“Traitor”)
  • Hoe ver zou je met hem willen gaan? (“How far would you go with him?”)
  • Voor het vaderland (“For the fatherland”)

2. Bankier van het Verzet


Title translation: “The resistance banker”

The story: After witnessing the devastation wreaked by the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, Dutch banker Walraven van Hall decides to fight back. He comes up with a method to finance the Dutch resistance and his fake “Sailor’s Fund” becomes the most elaborate hoax known to Dutch banking. As the operation grows larger, the stakes become higher and the risks more intense. 

Why it’s worth watching: The movie tells the true story of the resistance fighters and bankers Walraven van Hall and his brother Gijsbert van Hall. Even though the story is largely true, some changes to the story have been made to keep it exciting and easy to watch. In spite of these changes, the movie will teach you more about Dutch history and the Dutch resistance.

Cast: Jacob Derwig, Barry Atsma, Pierre Bokma, and Fockeline Ouwerkerk

Important words or quotes: 

  • NSB´er (“Dutch Nazi”)
  • Tijd om terug te vechten (“Time to fight back”)
  • Een ondergrondse bank (“An underground bank”)
  • We hebben geen andere keuze. (“We have no other choice.”)

3. Layla M


The story: Born and raised in Amsterdam, 18-year-old Layla is smart, stubborn, and idealistic. Struggling to fit her religious beliefs in with a society that seems increasingly intolerant of them, she’s starting to radicalize more and more, posting movies online and distributing political flyers while flirting with the charismatic Abdel. When she’s arrested together with her peaceful brother, she decides to leave her parental home. She marries Abdel and flees to Jordan.

Why it’s worth watching: This suspenseful movie shows the story of the young Layla, who struggles to fit her religious beliefs in with her place in Dutch society. It’s a good depiction of some of the current social struggles of the Netherlands related to integration, migration, and discrimination.

Cast: Nora El Koussour, Ilias Addab, and Hassan Akkouch

Important words or quotes: 

  • Radicaliseren (“To radicalize”)
  • Waarom ben je altijd zo boos? (“Why are you always so angry?”)
  • Zie de Koran als een geheel. (“See the Quran as a whole.”)
  • Je bent mijn dochter niet meer. (“You’re not my daughter anymore.”)

Want to watch a Dutch movie in the cinema? Have a look at these useful words and phrases for going to the movies.
Do you think you’ll need a little help with your listening comprehension? Learn here how to improve your listening skills.

Top Verbs

6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Woman Shushing Someone in a Movie Theater

Sit back, be quiet, and observe that Dutch movie.

In this guide, we’ve given you an overview of the best Dutch movies so that you can boost your Dutch knowledge while having fun. You’ve also learned that you can find these (and many other) Dutch movies on Netflix, NPO, RTL X, or YouTube. Get hooked, sit back, observe, and learn many new Dutch words, how to use them, and cultural insights with these popular Dutch-language movies.

Which of these movies are you most excited to watch, and why? Are there any good ones we missed? 

Would you like to improve your Dutch to better understand these Dutch movies? Have a look at DutchPod101’s many free resources, such as vocabulary lists with audio recordings to practice your listening comprehension skills. 

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

Happy learning!

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