Rotterdam The Netherlandsback
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”.
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!