Please sign in to post.

my limited dutch

I really hoped that I could learn more dutch for my trip next week...but I have failed.

I did learn...and I hope i don't make an ass of myself

Khoo-da-mor-hen...I think is good morning

Dank-u-vel...I think is thank you

Al-stu-bleif...I think is please

I know dutch people probably speak better english than me but I will start with a few simple phases.

Posted by
1874 posts

I congratulate you for learning as much as you did. Those with whom you interface will be delighted you have tried....so many do not try (at all).

Posted by
801 posts

My daughter is now living in Amsterdam so I visited the Netherlands three times last year. In all the cities/towns we visited - A’dam, Den Haag, Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem- the people we encountered spoke good English so don’t worry about your limited Dutch. In fact, DD has been working on learning Dutch, but all the shopkeepers switch to English as soon as she opens her mouth, so it’s been hard for her to practice. Have a great trip!

Posted by
10344 posts

The Dutch you're likely to meet (mostly from the tourist service industry) speak idiomatic American English well, the best I've heard in Europe. I was told they learned it from hearing American English on their TV's from an early age, because the Dutch, unlike other European countries, don't dub over American TV shows into a Dutch soundtrack, they just play the American English soundtrack with Dutch subtitles. So from infancy they hear American English at an age when the brain is particularly open to acquiring language. So they'd rather speak English to you.

Posted by
213 posts

You’re good with those three but maybe you could consider trying to add these three to your repertoire:

Hallo-HA loh- hello (obviously)
Tot ziens-Toht zeens (goodbye)
Spreekt u engels? (Do you speak English?)

I personally love the rare moment at a grocery store or cafe when I am able to interact, albeit briefly, with a local strictly in Dutch and I am able to just barely pull it off that I actually speak Dutch (I don’t). I suppose at 6’4” with a little Dutch heritage, it may make it a bit easier? As the prior poster noted, in my experience, most locals you run into will quickly shift to English. Very jealous of that.

Posted by
173 posts

I wish I had a better grasp of language in my 50's...if only my grandparents would of taught french to my dad and aunts and uncles. I try my best.

Posted by
4660 posts

A lot of cognates, like thank you, good morning, do you speak English, etc. Please isn't so obvious.

Another useful one for restaurants, and a nice cognate: the check = de reckoning.

Posted by
6515 posts

When I apologized to a driver in Amsterdam for my lack of Dutch , he quickly said that I could speak Dutch- Cookie! It is a remnant of Nieuw Amsterdam, spelling Anglicized.

Posted by
2732 posts

We just took an Amsterdam travel class at RS. Our presenter remarked, "Everyone speaks English." I think it's nice to learn some basic pronunciations. For example "Van Goff" (guttural) vs. "Van Go."

Hope you had a great visit!

Posted by
10344 posts

I've heard it pronounced van-hock in Belgium, the ck being the guttural or coughing sound.

Posted by
16849 posts

Learning an apparently adequate Dutch pronunciation of "one, please" just got me an info brochure in Dutch instead of English at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction.

Posted by
4660 posts

Good on you, Laura! Mistaken for a native! The ultimate back-door experience.....

That gutteral "g" or "gh" is beyond my capacity (and I had Dutch ancestors). I'd think they'd all get throat cancer after making that sound all their lives. ;-)