Lesson 1: It's a start

In the first lesson we'll start slow. We'll learn about a special 'y'-ish letter in the Dutch alphabet. The sound of most of the consonants and simple vowels can be heard.
Some of the personal pronouns are listed and used along with out first, and immediately irregular verb.
We'll learn very short sentences with this verb and some adjectives to use with it.
And finally some abusive language.
Bad language

Back to main


Well, Dutch has all the usual letters of the alphabet, plus one.
That is: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz and ÿ (ij)
Yep, that new letter "ÿ" is very hard to enter on a normal QWERTY keyboard.
That's why we normally use "ij" (an "i" and an "j") in typed documents (in handwritten documents usually the "ÿ" is used).
So "ij" actually counts as one letter in Dutch (we even have it in Scrabble :-).
Of course, we also have the i and j as separate letters, but I can't come up with a word in which j follows i and isn't used as an "ij". So whenever you see "ij" in a word it's the ÿ.
For example: "hij" {he}, "IJsselmeer" (name of a lake).
The capital "ij" is written as "IJ"; so both letters are capitalized.
The "y" is like in English, sometimes vowel, and sometimes a consonant.
It is only used in words derived from a foreign language, like Greek, e.g. "hypnose" {hypnosis} or "yoghurt" {yogurt}.
As in most languages the first character of a sentence starts with a capital (well almost all of the time).
Also names of persons, geographical names start with a capital. Nouns don't normally start with a capital (it does in the German language for instance).
Sentences end with a "."

Back to start


In this text and following lessons we'll use /Word/ to give an example of an English word which contains one more (capitalized) letters which have an approximate pronunciation as the Dutch letters, syllable or word. We'll use (and already have) {word} to denote the English translation of a Dutch word.
The more common (with English) consonants are:

The vowels differ more from the English, and they are so many ways to pronounce them!!
Pffff. To make it more difficult is that the sound of a vowel depends (just  like in English) on the surrounding consonants and other vowels. Two or three adjacent vowels can also form diphthongs, i.e. they makes one sound together.
But let's make an attempt at the more easy ones, the ones we'll use for the moment in the next of this lesson.

And finally one easy diphthong:

Back to start


We'll start of easy with most of the single personal pronouns, the verb {to be} and the general layout of simple sentence. The single personal pronouns are (we'll skip one for now, which is used in the form of etiquette):

There are also other forms of "jij", "hij" and "zij", which we'll tell in another lesson.
The verb {to be} is "zijn" in Dutch. This is a very irregular verb, but it's the most used one, as in all languages. We'll give the single present forms:

In general, "hij", "zij" and "het" have the same verb forms, so we'll only use "hij" or "zij" in future verb lists.
The general form of a simple sentence is:
subject verb object
subject verb adjective
Since we only have the verb {to be} for now, we'll use the adjective form only, like:
{You are sweet.}
Jij bent lief.
To negate an adjective use the form: NOT ADJECTIVE
The word for {not} is "niet", so:
{He is not sweet.}
Hij is niet lief.

Back to start


dik big, bulky, fat
dom dumb
het it
hij he
ik I
jij you
lief sweet, nice, beloved, dear
niet not
vet fat
vies dirty
ziek sick
zij she
zijn to be

Back to start


Ik ben niet ziek. I am not sick.
Het is vies. It is dirty.
Zij is niet rijk. She isn't rich.
Hij is dom. He is dumb.
Jij bent lief. You are sweet.

Back to start

Bad language

Unlike the English, Dutch doesn't normally use anal words to express one's anger with something. We, the Dutch, are more genital oriented, both male and female genitals are used (the male ones are generally used for male persons, the female ones for female persons and also for general things).
Of course, the English (mostly American) influence is present in the common Dutch language. Words like 'shit' are commonly used, especially by the youth.
We also have blasphemous words which are generally in the same format as the English.
Another good (or bad) habit of us is to diagnose people we don't like as sufferers of a particular illness or sickness.
We will only list and translate the words below, not try to pronounce them, since we haven't had most of the vowel and consonant sounds yet. Also don't use them in a sentence yet, just shout them: "Eikel!!!"

eikel {dickhead}
godverdomme {goddamned}
klerelijer {cholera sufferer} ("klere" is slang for "cholera")
klootzak {scrotum}
kutwijf {cunt vixen/shrew}
lul {dick}

Back to start