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Speak Dutch Instantly

Updated on April 8, 2016



Being able to speak another language not only takes years of study and practise, but needs a certain amount of talent too. Some people find it easy to pick up whereas others can find it impossible. Fortunately we don't need to worry about these extremes as you will discover.


Dutch is a West Germanic language. It is the native language of the Netherlands and approximately sixty percent of Belgium. The Belgian version of Dutch is called Flemish, which is to Dutch as American English is to English. Ergo, to ask if someone can speak Flemish is the same as asking if someone can speak American. It is spoken by about 30 million people worldwide and it is an official language in Aruba, Belgium, CuraƧao, Netherlands, Sint Maarten and Suriname. Speak Dutch Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation

Exercise 1 : Hello

Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:


I have a strong suspicion that you wouldn't need to spend years and years, studying for a masters degree in linguistics, to be able to translate, then pronounce this word. Simply say hallo instead of hello.

Dutch phrase : Hallo.

What it means : Hello.

English words : shallow.

Pronounced : hallo.

Good! We can now greet someone in Dutch, but do not be fooled into thinking the rest of the phrases will be quite as easy.

Listening To Native Speakers

There is no better way to learn a language than listen to native speakers.

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.

Waar is het toilet?

Try these English words: bar-miss-dirt-boy-get. When saying bar, try to extend the bah, like saying the sound a sheep makes; bahhhhr.

Dutch phrase : Waar is het toilet?

What it means : Where are the toilets?

English words : bahr-miss-dirt-boy-let.

Pronounced : vahr-iss-ert-toy-let.

Exercise 3 : Thank You

This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations.

Dank u

Another fairly easy phrase to pronounce. Try these English words: tank-two.

Dutch phrase : Dank u.

What it means : Thank you.

English words : tank-two.

Pronounced : dank-who.

Exercise 4 : Excuse me

Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market.

Neemt u mij niet kwalik

Try these words: shame-do-bay-feet-bar-kick. This is quite a long phrase, but with practise can be mastered.

Dutch phrase : Neemt u mij niet kwalik.

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : shame-do-bay-feet-bar-kick.

Pronounced : name-two-may-neet-kvar-lick

Exercise 5 : How Much is it?

This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering. It helps in shops or anywhere, where there is no price displayed.

Hoeveel is het?

Dutch phrase : Hoeveel is het?

What it means : how much is it?

English words : two-pale-miss-dirt.

Pronounced : who-fail-iss-ert

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The phrase to use is:

Ik wil graag

This is one of those phrases that uses the "ch" sound the way Scottish people pronounce the "ch" in "Loch". It's a croaky sound that needs to be heard, to simulate.

Try these English words: pick-till-bark. With the Dutch phonetic sound; ick-vill-krark, the "k" should sound like the "ch" as pronounced by Scots.

Dutch phrase : Ik wil graag.

What it means : I would like.

English words : pick-till-bark.

Pronounced : ick-vill-krark.

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.

Een kopje...Een glas...Koffie...Thee...Bier...Melk...Wijn...Water

You can probably work out what each drink is without seeing a translation. The "Een" is pronounced like "earn", but slightly quicker making it sound like "ern". You will get it when you hear a native speaker. The "glas" is an unusual pronunciation too, almost like "gklass"

Dutch phrase : Een kopje koffie...Een kopje thee.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : ern-sup-the-toffee...ern-sup-the-bay

Pronounced : ern-cup-yer-coffee...ern-cup-yer-tay

Dutch phrase : Een glas melk...wijn...bier...water.

What it means : A glass of

English words : ern-floss-bailk...main...fear...marker.

Pronounced :

Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.


Dutch phrase : Een...Twee...Drie...Vier...Vijf.

What it means : One...Two...Three...|Four...Five.

English words : ten-tree-free-beer-safe.

Pronounced : en-tvee-dree-fear-faif.

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.

De rekening, alstublieft

Dutch phrase : De rekening, alstublieft

What it means : The bill, please / The check, please.

English words : the-bay-cunning-pals-two-bleeped

Pronounced : der-ray-cunning-als-two-bleeft



Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye?

Tot ziens

Dutch phrase : Tot ziens.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : lot-beans

Pronounced : tott-seens


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