Phrases you should know when studying abroad in Amsterdam

By: Misaki Sato

Amsterdam is an incredibly welcoming city for English speakers, making it a remarkably accessible city to live in, unlike some other European countries. I sometimes had some issues with not speaking local languages when I was traveling Europe, but never had that issue in Amsterdam. People here initiate conversations in English if you don't have the typical Dutch appearance so you don’t even need to have the “Sorry, do you speak English…?” moment. And if by chance someone starts speaking Dutch to you, you can simply ask them to talk in English and it going a problem.

During my month-long stay, I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone I encountered was proficient in English. However, knowing a few basic Dutch words and phrases can go a long way in enhancing convenience and fostering deeper connections with the local Dutch community. In this blog post, I'll be sharing some easy-to-learn Dutch expressions that I found helpful.


Hello - “Hallo” An easy one. It’s just ‘e’ or ‘a’. Nothing difficult.
Goodbye -  “Tot ziens” It’s a bit difficult to read, but just say it a couple of times and you’ll get used to it. 
Thank you - “Dank je wel” This is a little bit hard too, the point is ‘J’ in Dutch pronounce like ‘Y’ in English.
Yes - “Ja” Same as “Dank je wel”, J pronounce like Y, so it’s very similar to “yeah”
No - “Nee” 
Excuse me - “Pardon” 
Delicious/Hot etc - “Lekker” If you're ever in the Netherlands, you'll hear the word lekker used all the time. It usually means "delicious" or "tasty," but it can also be used to describe something as enjoyable, pleasant, or satisfying. If you go to a restaurant or a market and found something delicious, tell them it’s lekker!

Short introduction:

When you meet new Dutch friends you could give them a short introduction in Dutch and impress them.

To tell your name, you can say “ Ik ben…” which means “I’m…” 
You can also say “Ik heet …” which means “I am called …”

After telling them your name, you can tell them where you're from.
You can say “Ik kom uit …” which means “ I am from…”

These were the words and phrases! It’s similar to English and not that hard to memorize.

I believe that embracing a few key phrases will take your study abroad in Amsterdam much more convenient and enjoyable!

Learning a language is a fantastic way to learn and show respect for the local culture while creating unforgettable memories. So why not put a little bit of effort and learn those words and phrases?