LivingTravelDo I need to learn Dutch before visiting Amsterdam?

Do I need to learn Dutch before visiting Amsterdam?

Question: Do I need to learn Dutch before visiting Amsterdam?

Answer: It is not necessary, but it can be appreciated. Most Amsterdammers speak English very well and are happy to do so. I think of the Dutch approach to English-speaking visitors as the opposite of French, meaning that the Dutch enjoy showing their English skills and practicing them with tourists, although it is not uncommon to find resistance to speaking English in much of France ( I realize this is a bit stereotyped – I haven’t had this experience on every visit to France).

With that said, I encourage visitors to Amsterdam to familiarize themselves with at least some basic expressions in Dutch. Whether it’s to thank your waitress for coffee or good morning to your bed and breakfast hosts, the gesture will be appreciated.

How can I learn Dutch?

Need some resources on how to learn some essential Dutch phrases? Find them here on Amsterdam Travel. First, we have the most used polite expressions: how to say hello, please and thank you in Dutch. While only a few syllables in total, these phrases will show the locals that you honor their culture. Once you’ve mastered these more basic expressions, move on to a more advanced lesson on how to say please and thank you in context: how to pronounce these phrases more accurately, how to use them properly in a shop or restaurant, some common variations on phrases, and what to expect in response.

If you really want to impress, learn how to order food in Dutch, with expressions including typical drink options (beer, water, coffee) to the daily special. At the end of the meal, find out how to request the check in Dutch. Out for a birthday celebration? Wish the honoree (as well as his close friends and family, according to Dutch custom) a happy birthday in Dutch, and learn the handwriting of “Lang Zal Hij Leven” (“Long live”) – just seven words from the text you need to join the choir.

Visitors who wish to take proper Dutch lessons can find a variety of courses in Amsterdam; Find out more about where to learn Dutch in Amsterdam. For National Book Week (Boekenweek) in March, ambitious pupils can choose a book in Dutch and win free train rides across the country on the last Sunday of the week. Success! (Good luck!)

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