Welcome to

Rotterdam The Netherlands


Social relations


In the Netherlands it is common to address unknown or older people with ‘u’. Friends and colleagues usually address each other with ‘jij’. According to etiquette you always address someone new with ‘u’, until one of the speakers indicates that this is no longer necessary. It is usually the older or more senior person who takes the initiative to do so.

‘Gezin’ and ‘familie’

The Dutch see family as the basis of their social environment. It is important to mention that the Dutch language has two words for the English word ‘family’: ‘gezin’ and ‘familie’. This is unusual in Europe. ‘Gezin’ refers to the close, immediate family, consisting of the people within the household; in a traditional family the husband, wife and children. ‘Familie’ refers to the larger family, to which everyone belongs that is biologically or lawfully related.
Dutch people think it is cute to call their dear friend or relative poepie, scheetje or drollie, which literally means “little poop”, “little fart”, and “dumpie”. 

Listen to the Dutch pronunciation

Meet and greet

Shaking hands is very important in the Netherlands. When introducing yourself you say your name and shake hands. When seeing family or friends, it is customary to kiss each other three times on the cheeks, starting with the left side. Most Dutch people only use first names when they’re with family and friends.

Greetings when meeting each other

Dag mevrouw Jansen = Hello Mrs. Jansen

Dag meneer Smith = Hello Mr. Smith

Hallo, Peter = Hello, Peter

Hoi, Sarah = Hi, Sarah

Goedemorgen mevrouw = Good morning, madam

Goedemiddag meneer = Good afternoon, sir

Goedeavond = Good evening

Welterusten = Good night

Goedenacht = Good night


Hoe gaat het? = How are you?

Goed, en met u? = Fine, thank you, and you?

Uitstekend = Very well

Niet zo goed = Not very well

Gaat wel = Not too bad


Ik moet er vandoor. = I have to be going.

Dag! = Bye!

Tot ziens! = Good bye!

Tot gauw! = See you soon!

Tot straks! = See you later!

Tot zo! = See you in a little while!