Visiting the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, and Curacao can be a dream come true to some. Imagine yourself strolling across the white sandy shorelines of clear jade waters in Aruba’s breathtaking beaches with your loved ones — yup, it’s a satisfying way to unwind and let your hair down during a vacation.
Yet, your trip may even be more meaningful if you dive into the culture of the nation you visit. What if a Dutch native speaker greeted you but you have no idea what they said? You can try learning their language; it’s the most basic and fundamental step you can do in understanding a new culture. So, if you stick around in today’s blog, you’ll know some basic Dutch greetings that the natives always use.
Dutch Greetings: How To Say Hello In Dutch
Apart from the common handshakes and cheek kissing (which are also common in Malay and Serbian greetings), there are various ways to say hello in Dutch. In today’s lesson, let’s see what are the words and phrases used in Dutch greetings.
1) Hallo — Hello
Yes — every culture has this generic way of saying hello and in Dutch, it’s hallo! If you speak English, then you’d definitely have no problem remembering this word. Hallo suits mostly all occasions — it’s the common, universal way to say hello in Dutch.
2) Hoi — Hi
This one is rather casual. You can use it around with those you’re close with — friends, families, and colleagues.
Similar to hi, this is another way of greeting a friend. Most of you would just casually say hey when you see your friends. It’s a remark that will help you appear more friendly and approachable to the native community.
A lot of youngsters and millennials prefer this kind of greeting. It’s a popular English slang that has apparently been used by people all around the globe, including the Dutch.
5) Goedendag — Good day
A great way of greeting people during the daytime. Feel free to roam around the Netherlands while greeting people with ‘Good day’ by saying goedendag.
6) Goedemorgen — Good morning
If you want to say hello to someone in the morning, you can greet them with a smile and say good morning; goedemorgen! You would hear a lot of these particular words in tourist attractions like shops, restaurants, museums, and hotels. Sometimes, this good morning phrase is shortened to only morgen. It’s commonly used by the Dutch to greet someone they’re less acquainted with, so it’s a suitable word for you to address good morning to strangers, authorities, and superiors.
7) Goedenmiddag — Good afternoon
Similar to good morning, you can say goedenmiddag to greet people past 12 p.m. Sometimes, it’s also abbreviated to middag, which essentially means the same thing; good afternoon.
8) Goedenavond — Good evening
As daylight shifts to nighttime, it’s better for you to greet a person by saying good evening; goedenavond, which means good evening in Dutch.
9) Hoe gaat het met u? — How are you? (formal)
After greeting your superior or a stranger with a hi or hello, you can say this expression to make the conversation flow. It’s best used in a formal setting.
10) Hoe gaat het? — How are you? (informal)
Similar to the example before, this expression possesses the same meaning but with a touch of informality and casualness. If you want to speak Dutch, feel free to use this particular phrase with your friends and family.
11) Hoe is het met je? — How have you been?
If you’re greeting someone you haven’t seen for a while, this is the most suitable phrase to use!
12) Hoe gaat het? — What’s up/How’s it going?
In the Dutch language, this is another method for you to say how are you to someone.
13) Tijd niet gezien — Long time no see
Tijd niet gezien is the expression to say in the Dutch language if you want to note the fact that it’s been a long time since you saw your interlocutor.
14) Hoe gaat het met alles? — How’s everything?
If you’re looking for another alternative to asking how are you in Dutch, this could be the one.
15) Alles goed? — Is everything alright?
Upon greeting a friend in the Dutch language, you may ask alles goed to understand if your friend is doing okay or not.
16) Hoe is je dag? — How’s your day?
Ask this question to your friend upon greeting him. Who knows, he might need someone to share his daily experience with.
17) Het is goed om je weer te zien — It’s good to see you again
To finally meet somebody you haven’t met for a long time can be gratifying and fulfilling at the same time. The right manner to show your gratitude is by saying het is goed om je te zien.
18) Het is leuk u te ontmoeten — It’s nice to meet you
Make and get new friends by saying this expression. It’s suitably uttered once you’ve met a new person.
How To Respond To Dutch Greetings
After seeing the long list of phrases of Dutch greetings, you might think what are the ways to reply and answer these Dutch phrases? Well, get ready because, in this specific section, you’ll understand what are the different approaches you can say in return upon being greeted in the Dutch language.
1) Goed — Fine
If you’re feeling good whenever a person asks how are you, you can say goed in return!
2) Heel goed — Very well
If you’re in fine fettle and feeling super well, you can respond by saying heel goed!
3) Het gaat — So so
Het gaat is the words to utter if you don’t particularly feel good or bad — the feeling you experience is undistinguished, mediocre, and just average.
4) Slecht — Bad
If you’re in bad shape, this is the word to say to let your friend know.
5) Ik ben moe — I’m tired
If you bumped into somebody after a long, tiring day and you’re all worn out, tell them by saying ik ben moe.
6) Ziek — Sick
However, if you’re green around the gills, you might want to say ik ben ziek.
Dutch Greetings: How To Say Goodbye In Dutch
Now that you have learned and understood the common ways of saying hello in Dutch, it’s time to learn how to say goodbye in the Dutch language.
1) Dag — Bye
The pronunciation of this word sounds like “dakh“. If you have trouble imagining the /kh/ sound, it’s very similar to the sound of the English word ugh. In Dutch, dag means goodbye and it can be used widely with anyone in all kinds of situations.
2) Tot ziens — Goodbye
Try listening to what people or workers say once you leave their shops and stalls. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice they say tot ziens a lot. It’s a friendly expression to say goodbye or see you again in a formal context.
3) Doei or doeg — Bye
This is a casual way of saying goodbye in Dutch to those you’re close with.
4) Tot straks — See you later (on the same day)
If you’re parting with a person but will see him again on the very same day, you can say tot straks, which means see you later.
5) Wees voorzichtig! — Be careful
Add a sense of attentiveness or care to your goodbye wish by asking your interlocutors to be careful and look after themselves.
6) Veel succes! — Good luck
A great manner to end your meet-up with somebody is by wishing him luck in his future endeavors.
Other Important Dutch Phrases
Here’s a list of other essential Dutch phrases you must acquire:
Learn Dutch Greetings Today!
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