1. Basic Phrases

Goedemorgen
khoo-duh-mawr-ghuh
Good Morning
Goedemiddag
khoo-duh-mih-dahkh
Good Day
Goedenavond
khoo-duh-nah-fohnt
Good Evening
Goedenacht
khoo-duh-nahkht
Good Night
Hoi / Hallo / Daag / Doei
hoy / hah-loh / dahk / doo-ee
Hi / Bye
Tot ziens
toht zeens
Goodbye
Tot straks
toht straks
See you later (in the same day)
Tot zo
toht zoh
See you soon
Alstublieft / Alsjeblieft
ahlst-ew-bleeft / ahl-shuh-bleeft
Please
Dank u wel / Dank je wel
dahnk-ew-vehl / dahnk-yuh-vehl
Thank you
Hartelijk bedankt
hahr-tuh-lik buh-dahnkt
Thank you very much
Graag gedaan
khrahkh khuh-dahn
You're welcome (don't mention it)
Sorry
saw-ree
I'm sorry / Excuse me
Pardon, wat zei u?
pahr-dohn, vat zay ew
Pardon me (didn't understand)
Ja / Nee
yah / nay
Yes / No
Hoe gaat het met u?
hoo khaht ut meht ew
How are you? (formal)
Hoe gaat het?
hoo khaht ut
How are you? (informal)
Goed / Heel goed
khoot / hayl khoot
Fine / Very well
Het gaat / Slecht
uht khaht / slehkht
So so / Bad
Ik ben moe / ziek
ik ben moo / zeek
I'm tired / sick.
Ik heb honger / dorst
ik heb hohng-ur / dohrst
I'm hungry / thirsty.
Hoe heet u?
hoo hayt ew
What's your name? (formal)
Hoe heet je?
hoo hayt yuh
What's your name? (informal)
Ik heet...
ik hayt...
My name is (I'm called)...
Ik ben...
ik ben
I am...
Aangenaam (kennis te maken)
ahn-guh-nahm (ken-nis tuh mah-kuh)
Nice to meet you.
meneer / mevrouw / mejuffrouw
muh-nayr / muh-frow / muh-yuh-frow
Mister / Misses / Miss
Waar komt u vandaan?
vahr kawmt ew fun-dahn
Where are you from? (formal)
Waar kom je vandaan?
vahr kawn yuh fun-dahn
Where are you from? (informal)
Ik kom uit Nederland.
ik kawm owt nay-der-lant
I am from the Netherlands.
Waar woont u?
vahr vohnt ew
Where do you live? (formal)
Waar woon je?
vahr vohn yuh
Where do you live? (informal)
Ik woon in Amerika.
ik vohn in ah-meh-ree-kah
I live in America.
Hoe oud bent u?
hoo owt bent ew
How old are you? (formal)
Hoe oud ben je?
hoo owt ben yuh
How old are you? (informal)
Ik ben ... jaar (oud).
ik ben ... yahr owt
I am ____ years old.
Spreekt u Nederlands?
spraykt ew nay-der-lahnds
Do you speak Dutch? (formal)
Spreek je Engels?
sprayk yuh ehng-uhls
Do you speak English? (informal)
Ik spreek [geen]...
ik sprayk [khayn]
I [don't] speak...
Ik spreek niet zo goed...
ik sprayk neet zoh khood
I don't speak ... very well.
Ik begrijp het [niet.]
ik buh-khraip ut neet
I [don't] understand.
Ik weet het [niet.]
ik vayt ut [neet]
I [don't] know.
Wat kost het?
vat kohst ut
How much is it?
Ik wil graag...
ik vil khrahk
I'd like...
Proost!
prohst
Cheers!
Veel plezier!
fayl pleh-zeer
Have fun!
Veel succes!
fayl suk-sehs
Good luck!
Wees voorzichtig!
vays fohr-zikh-tikh
Be careful!
Dat is geweldig / vreselijk!
dat is khuh-vehl-duhkh / fray-zuh-likh
That is great / terrible!
Ik hou van je.
ik how fahn yuh
I love you. (informal)
Ik hou van jullie.
ik how fahn juh-lee
I love you (all).
Wat vreemd!
vaht fraymt
How funny / odd!
Wat jammer!
vaht yah-mer
What a pity!
Wat is dit / dat?
vut iss dit / dut
What is this / that?

In the pronunciations, kh denotes a uvular guttural sound. Meneer, mevrouw and mejuffrouw are all written with a small letter when they precede a name. When typing, de Heer is used instead of meneer and Dhr. is used on envelopes. Mevrouw and mejuffrouw are abbreviated as Mevr. and Mej. In addition, Mw. can be used as an equivalent of the English Ms.


2. Pronunciation

Dutch lettersEnglish sound
ch
sch
g
w
v
r
j
sj
tj
aa
ee
ie
oo
oe
eu
uu
a
e
i
o
u
ei / ij
aai
oei
ooi
ou / au
eeuw
ieuw
uw
ui
guttural sound, made at back of mouth
s followed by guttural ch sound
same as ch, guttural sound from back of mouth
like v before r, otherwise like w but with bottom lip against top teeth
like v, but sometimes closer to f
either rolled or guttural
y as in yes
sh as in ship
ch as in chip
ah as in father, but longer
ay as in hail, but shorter
ee as in neat, but shorter
oh as in boat
oo as in pool, but shorter
ur as in hurt, but with lips rounded
ew, but with lips rounded (sound not found in English)
ah as in father, but shorter
eh as in bed
ih as in bit
aw as in paw, with lips rounded
ir as in dirt, but very short
between the sounds in "light" and "late"
combination of aa and ie
combination of oe and ie
combination of oo and ie
like ow, as in house
combination of ee and oe
combination of ie and oe
combination of uu and oe
combination of a and uu

The consonants s, f, h, b, d, z, l, m, n, and ng are pronounced the same way in Dutch as in English. P, t, and k are pronounced without the puff of air (called aspiration.) Sometimes the g is pronounced like zh in words borrowed from French. One last vowel sound is found in various Dutch spellings. It is pronounced like uh, as in along or sofa. For example, this sound is found in de (the), een (a), aardig (nice), and vriendelijk (kind).


3. Alphabet

aahjyaysess
bbaykkahttay
csaylelluew
ddaymemmvfay
eaynennwvay
feffoohxeeks
gkhayppayyee-grek
hhahqkewzzett
ieerair


4. Nouns and Gender

All nouns have a gender in Dutch, either common (de words) or neuter (het words). It is hard to guess which gender a noun is, so it is best to memorize the genders when memorizing vocabulary. However, two-thirds of Dutch words are common gender (because the common gender has combined the former feminine and masculine genders.) So it may be easier to memorize which nouns are neuter, and then assign common gender to the rest. All diminutives (words ending in -je) and infinitives used as nouns, as well as colors, metals, compass directions, and all words that end in -um, -aat, -sel, -isme are neuter. Most nouns beginning with ge- and ending with -te are neuter, as are most nouns beginning with ge-, be-, and ver-. Common noun endings include: -aar, -ent, -er, -es, -eur, -heid, -ij, -ing, -teit, -tie.


5. Articles and Demonstratives