"I like this world. I like drinking champagne. I like not smoking. I like Dutch people speaking Dutch."
For this fortnight’s blog post, I wanted to share with you my new language interest. Over the bank holiday weekend, which i decided to spend in Utrecht, The Netherlands, I seem to have developed a bit of a thing for Dutch. I know I should be faithful to my working languages, but I just can’t help it…
As a linguist, I am quite used to muddling through in various foreign languages when I am abroad, but even with my (very) limited knowledge of German, Dutch is where I become a bit unstuck. The throaty sounds and endless strings of consonants all seem to merge together and leave me rather frustrated.
However, from the small amount of Dutch that I did manage to grasp, I have compiled a comprehensive list below of the bare essentials you need to get by.
You really can’t get around in Utrecht without your fiets (bike). Upon arriving, find Fietspunt B.V. on Nobelstraat and ask for one of these.
Tasty balls of goodness. Suitable for lunch, dinner, a snack or as nibbles to compliment your beer. With this word up your sleeve, you are sure to not go hungry.
Everything is lekker. Food is lekker, the weather is lekker, the dutch men are lekker. If in doubt, say lekker.
Okay so this isn’t technically a word, but it is definitely necessary when you need to explain to the ticket man why you haven’t swiped your OV-chipkaart (Holland’s equivalent of an oyster card). When you hear the sound, you’ll know what I mean, and you’ll thank me. Common usage see below.
Can be used as a verb:
“I’m sorry, I forgot to boop’
Also can be used as a noun:
“I couldn’t find the boop at the station’.
Note: high pitched voice and hand gestures help to get your point across.
Meaning of this one is self-explanatory, but you need to pronounce it with a harder ’r’ and shorter vowels (soh-ree) to sound authentic.
6. DANK JE WEL
Pronounced ‘dank-ye-vel’, ‘thank you’ will go a long way when ordering your biterballen, renting your fiets or showing gratitude for being let off for not booping at the station.
This is an informal ‘bye’, pronounced ‘doo-ee’. A great one for sounding cute and making a few friends.
Dutch is definitely next on my list of languages to learn, however, for now, these 7 terms are getting me through. If anyone has any extra suggestions of ‘must-know’ Dutch terms, I would love to know, so please get in touch!
Een prettige dag nog!