Neuken in de keuken? Allemachtig prachtig! Those are probably the first words you’ll learn in the Netherlands. The Dutch are the best non-native English speakers. For this reason it is harder to learn Dutch in the Netherlands than for example Arabic in Egypt. Most people will switch to English as soon as they hear you do not speak Dutch well. Some people say its ‘useless’, ‘not worth the effort’ and ‘too time consuming’ to learn Dutch. We think you should at least learn a few words to impress your waiter, the tram conductor or the person you are in the elevator with.
1. Lekker – Dutch Words
Translation: tasty, nice, delicious, well done, good-feeling. The word ‘lekker’ is used for everything that gives you a good feeling. Lekker is mostly used for food, but you can also say: ‘That swimming practice was really ‘lekker’. It means that it gave you a satisfying feeling. A ‘lekker-ding’ is someone real hot. ‘Lekker gedaan’ means that something is nicely done. Lekker is a word the Dutch love saying, it’s catchy and easy to say. People from the Southern province Limburg say ‘lekkor’. The waiter will love it when you tell him/her: ‘This sandwich was really lekker’.
2. Doei – Dutch Words
Translation: Bye! Doei is a funny word in the sense that it doesn’t sound like anything. The Flemish even tell the Dutch ‘DOEI’ because they find it funny that the Dutch are screaming ‘DOEI’ to each other. You pronounce it as DO-EY. Tell the waiter ‘DOEI’ when you are leaving the restaurant (and will never come back).
3. Gezellig – Dutch Words
Translation: cosy, intimate, sociable, homey. The Dutch say that there is no translation for the word ‘gezellig’ into English. And yes it’s hard. It’s a feeling you have when the atmosphere is good. You could say: ‘This birthday party was really gezellig’. Tell the waiter: ‘Gezellig, come sit with us.’
4. Dankuwel – Dutch Words
Translation: Thanks. Dankuwel is a polite way of thanking someone. The U in the middle means that you are speaking to someone unknown, older, or of a higher status. When receiving your coffee from the waiter you could say ‘Dankuwel’.
5. Alstublieft – Dutch Words
Translation: please or here you are. Here again the U in the middle means that you are speaking to someone unknown, older, or of a higher status. The waiter will tell you ‘alstublieft’ on the moment he puts your coffee on your table. But you may also say: ‘Can I have a tuna sandwich alstulieft?’
6. Neuken in de keuken – Dutch Words
Translation: making ‘love’ in the kitchen. This phrase is widely taught to non-Dutch speakers because it rhymes and the meaning is funny. Don’t tell this to your waiter as he’ll take you to the kitchen or he’ll ask you where you have learned those bad words.
7. Mooi – Dutch Words
Translation: nice, beautiful, pretty, fine, handsome, good-looking, fair. The waiter didn’t take you to the kitchen after telling him: ‘Neuken in de keuken’. That is mooi. That is nice. When you get a plate which is looking very nicely you may say that looks really ‘mooi’.
8. Fiets – Dutch Words
Translation: bike, bicycle. The Netherlands has more bikes than people and that’s exactly why you should know this word. When the waiter asks you: ‘How did you get here?’ You can say: ‘by fiets’.
9. Grachtengordel – Dutch Words
Translation: canal belt. In Amsterdam we have a lot of canals in the city center and they are beautiful. You are very privileged when living on a ‘gracht’. You could tell the waiter: ‘We are now at the grachtengordel’. Especially the ‘G’-sound is going to be hard and it might sound like a kind of gurgling.
10. Hagelslag – Dutch Words
Translation: chocolate sprinkles. Lots of Dutch people weekly or sometimes daily have chocolate sprinkles on their bread. Hagelslag literally translated means ‘hailstorm’. You could ask the waiter: ‘I would like Hagelslag on my bread’. Take care of this hard G sound at the end of the word again.