Benefits of Learning the Dutch Language

The majority of Dutch people speak English fairly well and will be more than happy to speak in English with you. However, learning the Dutch language will help you gain insight to the country, its culture and can be seen as an important step in assimilating in any country.

Understanding and speaking the local language will definitely make everyday activities, such as grocery shopping, going to a restaurant or following the news easier and more fun. It will also help you to connect with your fellow Dutch students and make some new Dutch friends! You will notice that acquiring even a elementary level of Dutch, will make your stay easier and will make you feel more at home.

In addition, when in search of a (part-time) job, internship or volunteer work, knowing Dutch will prove to be very useful. In some cases will even be mentioned as a requirement. Even if you find yourself starting your career in an international company elsewhere, having foreign language skills will make you more employable anywhere in the world.

Language Courses

Dutch language courses are usually offered at different levels: beginner, intermediate or advanced. There are several ways to go about learning Dutch:

  • Ask the university’s international office or language centre for information on courses;
  • Check the library or council office for brochures on courses;
  • Find a language buddy;
  • Surf the web for (free) online resources and courses;
  • Take classes at an evening school or summer school;
  • Follow a course at a higher education institution.

Useful links and apps:

Useful Dutch words and sentences

English Dutch
Hello Hallo / Hoi
Goodbye! Tot ziens! / Dag! / Doei!
Good morning! Goedemorgen!
Good evening! Goedenavond!
How are you? Hoe gaat het met jou/u (polite)?
I’m fine, thanks! Het gaat goed met mij, dank je!
What’s your name? Wat is jouw /uw (polite) naam?
Where are you from? Waar kom je vandaan?
Thanks Bedankt
I don’t understand Ik begrijp het niet
What does that mean? Wat betekend dat?
Please speak more slowly Kunt u wat langzamer praten alstublieft?
Could you repeat that please? Kunt u dat herhalen alstublieft?
Do you speak English Spreekt u Engels?
Excuse me! Neem mij niet kwalijk / pardon!
I’m sorry Het spijt mij / sorry
Where’s the toilet? Waar is het toilet?
How much is this? Hoeveel kost dit?
At what time do you open? Hoe laat gaat u open?
At what time do you close? Hoe laat gaat u dicht?
Where can I find… Waar kan ik … vinden?
Would you like to drink something? Wil je iets drinken?
Cheers! Proost!
Would you like to dance with me? Wil je met mij dansen?
I miss you Ik mis je
I love you! Ik houd van jou!
Bon appetite! Eet smakelijk!
Birthday greetings Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag!
Bon appetite! Eet smakelijk!
Get well soon Beterschap!
Leave me alone! Laat mij met rust!
Call the police! Bel de politie! / Bel 112!
Leave me alone! Laat mij met rust!
I am lost Ik ben de weg kwijt

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