The Netherlands hosts more than one main language and Frysian, talked in the northeast corner, is the most similar language to English globally. Nevertheless, netherlands has occurred a distinctive vocabulary and phonetics that make part words and phrases almost impossible to analyze to English speakers.

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1. Leuk

Most dictionaries will interpret leuk as “fun”, together in a descriptor of a instance or activity. Dat was leuk is easy to understand as “that to be fun.” Otherwise it is widely supplied as one adjective describing human being as cute, interesting and cool, all depending on the inflection of the sentence. Ik vind hem leuk would typical “I’m attracted to him,” while Dat zijn leuke mensen more likely method “Those are civilization I like to hang out with.” The simplest method to use leuk is together a one-word solution to who asking exactly how your holidays was, or a date, or your institution day. Again, the tone in which you respond leuk deserve to truly selection from tepid to inspired. It’s one of the most used descriptors in netherlands language.

2. Fijn

Pronounced almost the same as “fine,” it definitely is not the snotty an answer you obtain from a teenager when you ask castle to perform the dishes. It way “good” or “delicate” or “pleasant.” you can describe a cacao or a garment together being fijn. It’s also similar to leuk as a an answer to exactly how something was, but decisively warmer in meaning. So, once you saw the concert with your aunt, and you define it together fijn, it can mean you had actually a quite conversation and you’re more likely to reflect on it fondly than if friend just dubbed it leuk.

3. Lekker

Most accurate this method “tasty,” together in describing something girlfriend eat or drink. If you contact someone a lekker ding (tasty thing) you room saying you think they space attractive. Yet when you to speak Dat is lekker, it completely depends on inflection even if it is you mean “That is tasty” or “Sheesh, the sucks.” So, once you tell who you had a level tire on the A58 and also they speak lekker, don’t feeling offended the they enjoy your hardship — they room in truth empathizing.

4. Gezellig

Gezellig and its German cousin gemütlich are usually the same, and also appear to exist only in surrounding languages. It means homey or warm in a warm and also loving way, and also can describe both a place and a society situation.

5. Apetrots

Monkey pride. This has nothing whatsoever to execute with monkeys, and simply way you space prouder 보다 you need to be follow to dutch social code, which would tell girlfriend to it is in humble and not outspoken at all times, uneven you desire your head to be lopped off together you stick it taller 보다 the mowed field. Mental also, “tall trees catch a the majority of wind,” so expect to it is in reprimanded for boasting or showing any pride. Far better to wait because that others to suggest out because that you the you go something well and politely direction the compliment.

6. Boterham

Butter ham. Yet it’s simply a slice of bread girlfriend are cost-free to cover v anything — you space not restricted to just ham.

7. Ezelsbruggetje

A “little cheat bridge” defines the method your mind can remember miscellaneous by reasoning of miscellaneous else. For example, once you can’t remember her aunt Miriam’s name, you can remember by producing a trigger about her husband, who makes mirrors. Mir-ror: Mir-iam. Among the most conspicuous donkey bridges that ns still usage to this day, is tracing her knuckles come remember if a month has actually 30 or 31 days. The makes more sense the much longer you think around it. Donkeys are (wrongly) offered as icons for psychological slowness. Together they require to get from one ar to the next, they can sure usage that small bridge end there to make points easier.


8. Wel niet

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to explain this, however I might not it is in able to. “Is isn’t” is the closest I obtain every time. It is the ultimate oxymoron and also “yeah no” is similar, yet doesn’t practically reach the potential usage of wel niet, which is thrown about sentences left and also right in conversations every day. It’s used to emphasize seriousness or disbelief. Wat denk je wel niet? Is “What are you thinking?!” Het zal wel niet meer regenen, method “I suspect it won’t be raining.” and contains both the confirmation that describers the speaker’s emotional feelings about the statement lock make the it most likely won’t it is in raining. It’s confusing, even to dutch people.

9. Voorpret

“Prefun” is reasonably intuitive to interpret. It is that joyous feeling as soon as thinking front to the weekend, or a party, or skydiving. The happy jump your heart makes once remembering you have a day tonight, or the butterflies in your tummy as you prepare because that a trip. Similarly, napret or “afterfun,” is that same feeling however after the associated event. I guess this describes why the dutch are continuously some the the happiest human being in the world.

10. Uitwaaien

“To acquire blown out” is what us did every very first fall storm ~ above the netherlands seaside. Parents across the nation would ring up your kids, put on raincoats and rubber boots and also collectively move to the beaches because that a day. There, us were sent right into the cold, murky waters come let it to fill our boots. It works as an insulator while us sloshed up and down the sand dunes, leaning into gale-force winds, laughing and also jumping as the rain and ocean splash felt prefer razor cut to our faces. It was every worth it for the rarely treat of hot chocolate and also whipped cream in ~ the coffee shop later. It’s cathartic and also thought come be as pshychologically valuable as seeing a therapist.

Bonus Word: Patatje Oorlog

This one is simply so the end of line the I had to include it. That is a strange descriptor that a fast-food dish involving French fries, mayonnaise, peanut sauce and also chopped life onions and also literally converts to “fries at war” or “war fries.” The background was unknown to me until I looked it up for this article. Apparently, nobody knows that came up v the ax or as soon as exactly, but it began showing up on menus in a university town called Zwolle sometime in the eighties.

During highly controversial times of worldwide conflict, it’s been attempted to change the name to gulf battle fries, Sadam Hussein fries, Chernobyl fries, party fries, fries in politics conflict, fries in ~ peace and also fries in a mess. These never captured on and also mostly developed anger in a society proud of their quirky language inventions. The battlefield the fries is now cultural and culinary heritage and also is most likely to pole around.

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I recommend you bespeak “fries at war” once you room in the Netherlands next, and you will at once have actually all within earshot in stitches, and also garner near-Dutch status and respect. It’s additionally incredibly tasty.