8 Dutch Words You Need To Know



The Netherlands

Well, come along then, please! … Settle down! … That’s it! … Well, good evening to you! Here we are again, in the excitement that is each other’s company. The pleasure is all yours. Hahaha, oooh… good one me.

Now, previously in my life, I wrote an article about how I consider Spanish as my boyfriend.

Oh, you don’t remember… That’s ok, it doesn’t matter. (Pretending my pride isn’t hurt).

Let me bring you up to speed! So Spanish and I, we’re basically in an on-again, off-again relationship and back then we were on-again. However, guess what… we’re back in the off-again phase. (And no, it’s not because I failed my exam in Spanish translation. How dare you insinuate anything else!)

Here are Spanish and me in better times, visiting Salamanca, Spain...

Hmmm, what else happened…?

Oh yeah, I started my internship at a research group at Ghent University. My job description consists of translating reports, post-editing reports, etc. I’m quite happy there as it allows me to grow my relationship with my one and only true love, English. Ok, to be honest… I still have French as a side piece, but that’s totally beside the point. Back to the internship. Well, due to It Which Must Not Be Named, I’m currently interning from home. The government calls it ‘teleworking’, which is just a fancy word for sitting in your room staring at a laptop screen, typing away with no social contact. Like seriously, I’m in desperate need of a cheer me up.

And it’s here where our very handsome and smart editor-in-chief Nasir Fleming comes into play. He suggested that I write a “5 Dutch Words You Need To Know” article and here I am a few hours later, writing an article about essential Dutch words.

Right, let’s crack on with the article, shall we?

(Aah, nothing better to cheer you up than a Miranda-reference… She’s comedy-gold!)

Now, about the lockdown-situation… If you’re like me, you’re probably already bored of sitting in your room and doing almost nothing. So, what better solution to your boredom than to start learning a new language? And I’ve got the perfect language to start with: (Belgian-)Dutch!

(If you don’t know what Dutch looks/sounds like, just imagine you put English, French, and German together in a melting pot… et voilà, you’ve got Dutch.)

When going into lockdown, what do we need first? Oh, our dinner for the next couple of weeks. So, here’s some food and drink-related vocabulary:

  • 11


    Meaning: A stand that sells frites/Belgian fries. Frites stands are a common sight in Belgium, with around 5000 stands spread throughout the country. You’ll find a frites vendor in every town and village, meaning that without this word you won’t be able to survive.

    Lexical category: noun
    Article: het, een
    Plural: frietkoten
    Usage: Belgian-Dutch, informal
    Synonyms: frituur (Dutch), patatkraam (Dutch-Dutch)
    Literal translation: fries shack
    Pronunciation: frietkot

  • 22


    Meaning: A pint of beer, more specifically a pilsner (famous brands are: Jupiler, Stella Artois, Maes, etc.). When in a crowded bar, a quick solution instead of shouting your order is by signaling. First, raise your pinky to the barman (signifying you want a pilsner), secondly, sign the number of pints you want. Et voilà, you’ve got yourself some pints.

    Lexical category: noun
    Article: het, een
    Plural: pintjes
    Usage: Belgian-Dutch, informal
    Synonyms: pilsje (Dutch), biertje (Dutch-Dutch)
    Pronunciation: pintje

  • 33


    Meaning: A conical, red-purple candy with a half hard shell and a syrupy raspberry aroma filling. A typical delicacy from the city of Ghent.

    Lexical category: noun
    Article: het, een
    Plural: neuzekes
    Usage: Belgian-Dutch, informal
    Synonym: Cuberdon (Belgian-Dutch)
    Literal translation: little nose (as the conical shape is similar to a nose).
    Pronunciation: neuzeke

  • 44


    Meaning: ‘lekker’ is one of those words that seems to have an unending number of meanings. The most important are:

    • Having a nice taste, tasty, delicious.
    • Good, nice, pleasant in a more generic sense.
    • Hot, sexy, physically attractive.
    • Healthy, well, in good health.

    Lexical category: adjective
    Comparative: lekkerder
    Superlative: lekkerst
    Usage: Dutch, general

    Pronunciation: lekker

Here's one of our writers Raphaella visiting me in Ghent. She was smiling in this picture as she knew she was going to eat fries at a 'frietkot' and drink some 'pintjes'. (Sidenote: if you're asking someone to take a picture of you, add "alstublieft" at the end of your sentence. It's the Dutch 'please'.)

Now that we’ve had our ‘lekker’ dinner, we can try to relax and forget all the problems we’re currently facing. Here’s some vocabulary regarding activities you can do to forget those problems:

  • 11


    Meaning: the state or fact of being cosy, quaint, nice, pleasant, comfortable, sociable, or relaxing, but it can also connote time spent with loved ones, seeing a friend after a long absence, or in general togetherness. It’s one of those untranslatable words that every language has and makes that language something unique.

    Lexical category: noun
    Article: de
    Plural: gezelligheden
    Usage: Dutch, general
    Pronunciation: gezelligheid

  • 22


    Meaning: to stay at the table after eating in order to continue talking, most often there’s also alcohol involved (referring back to ‘het pintje’).

    Lexical category: verb
    Usage: Dutch, general
    Literal translation: after tabling
    Pronunciation: natafelen

  • 33


    Meaning: doing nothing, or more specifically, performing an action without a clear purpose or a deadline. Doing something just for the sake of doing something (e.g. looking out of your window people watching, going to the beach and just staring at the waves, etc.)

    Lexical category: verb
    Usage: Dutch, general
    Pronunciation: niksen

  • 44


    Meaning: another one of those untranslatable words and the perfect activity to forget your troubles for a moment. Its meaning is ‘to walk with the wind’. Just go and take a walk outside, and feel the wind blowing against your hair, clothes, and body. That’s it! Feel the stress melt away and let the wind whisk away your stressful thoughts.

    Lexical category: verb
    Usage: Dutch, general
    Literal translation: blowing out
    Pronunciation: uitwaaien

The act of 'uitwaaien'. In Suomenlinna, where this picture was taken, we did 'uitwaaien' almost literally because damn those winds were strong that day.

Well, that’s it for me. There’s a lot more I can teach you, but that would mean fewer articles and we don’t want that, do we?

To end this little conversation between you and me, I just wanted to say that this was just a light-hearted article making a bit of fun of the situation. However, on a more serious note, I do hope everyone is staying safe! The only thing we can do now is to closely follow the measures taken by our governments. Wash your hands! Keep your social contact to the bare minimum if you live in one of the countries that are in lockdown! At the moment it’s a big inconvenience, but it’s an inconvenience that will save lives!

Hou je goed! Take care! Prends soin! ¡Que te vaya bien!

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