|The language of the Netherlands is widely known
as Dutch, though the more correct term is Nederlands. This is a
part of the Germanic family of languages. It is also spoken in northern
Belgium, though the Belgians call the language Flemish. The two countries
are working together to preserve their language and refine its rules for
spelling and grammar.
|About 500,000 people in the Friesland province
speak their own language, called Frisian. It is the official language in
that province. Frisians are determined to keep their language alive. It
is closely related to English: words such as boi (boy) and tolve
(twelve) are similar.
Most people speak English, which is taught
in schools. German and French are also widely spoken.
"That breaks my clog" is an old figure
of speech. It's an expression of amazement. The sturdy wooden shoe called
a clog (or klomp) is still worn by some farmers because it is waterproof
in damp fields.
|Here are some Dutch words for you to try:
|How do you do?
|Hoe maakt U het?
|Fine, thank you
|Uitstekend, dank U wel
|What is your name?
|Hoe heet U?
|My name is...
|I speak only a little Dutch
|Ik spreek maar een beetje Nederlands
|Here's to your health!
|Op uw gezondheid!
|Enjoy your meal
|Thank you for your hospitality
|Bedankt voor de gastvrijheid
|See you later
Although relatives and close friends
call each other by their first names, co-workers may address each other
using their last names, preceded by Mevrouw (Mrs or Ms), Juffrouw
(Miss) or Mynheer (Mr).