Libery Global + Ziggo: Top 10 Dutch Phrases Employees Should Know

Liberty Global, the leading international cable company, recently received the go ahead to take over the Netherlands’ largest cable operator, Ziggo.

As an international company with a foothold in over a dozen nations across the globe, Liberty Global operates in a variety of languages. Now, with the acquisition of Ziggo, it looks as if Dutch may become a necessary skill for some Liberty Global employees.

Even if you don’t work at either of these companies, Dutch can still be a handy tool when it comes to globalizing your own business. Learning a few key watchwords can make all the difference when it comes to developing a strong relationship with your international colleagues, so refine your skills with the following 10 phrases and chat up your Dutch counterparts with ease!

Photo credit: Tobloom

Photo credit: Tobloom

1. Thank you!

There are three ways to approach using the phrase ‘Thank you’: you can go formal, informal, or slang depending on who you’re talking to.

Formal: Dank u wel! (dahnk oo vel!)

Informal: Dank je wel! (dahnk yuh vel!)

Thanks!: Bedankt! (buh dahnkt!)

2. Titles

Titles are important in every culture and the best way to avoid a Dutch faux pas is to get a grasp on the proper way to address people. Thankfully in Dutch you only need to know two words to get it right.

Mr. / Mister: Meneer (muh near)

Ms./Mrs./Miss: Mevrouw (muh frow)

3. Could you talk a bit slower?

It’s easy for people to forget they’re talking to a non-native speaker and get carried away by speaking too fast. This expression is essential when you’re having trouble following along.

Could you talk a bit slower?: Kunt u wat langzamer praten? (kuhnt uw vat lankh-sa-mern praatern?)

4. Days of the week.

Knowing how to say the days of the week is crucial for setting appointments, pinpointing meeting dates, and agreeing on deadlines, so learn these seven words by heart!

Monday:maandag (maan-dakh)

Tuesday:dinsdag (dins-dakh)

Wednesday:woensdag (voons-dakh)

Thursday:donderdag (don-der-dakh)

Friday:vrijdag (fray-dakh)

Saturday:zaterdag (zaa-ter-dakh)

Sunday:zondag (zon-dakh)

5. I don’t understand.

A lot can get lost in translation even with experienced language speakers, so whether as a newbie or someone who has been studying Dutch for a while, you’ll want to learn this phrase to make sure nothing falls by the wayside.

I don’t understand.: Ik begrijp niet. (ick buh-grayp hut neet.)

6. Introductions

The best way to forge a connection with your foreign colleagues is by learning how to carry out introductions in Dutch. Your co-workers will be charmed and appreciate the extra effort.

What is your name?: Hoe heet je? (hoo HAYT yuh?)

My name is______.: Mijn naam is ______ . (meyn NAHM is _____ .)

7. Nice to meet you.

Give your socializing skills an extra tweak by learning this expression. Even when introduced in English, you can shock, awe, and amaze by throwing in this extra gem with your new Dutch acquaintances!

Nice to meet you.: Aangenaam kennis te maken. (ahn-guh-nah-muh kan-nis-mahk-ing.)

8. Greetings

Put a smile on your co-workers’ faces daily by greeting them in their native tongue! These four simple phrases may be the key to workplace harmony.

Good morning: Goedemorgen (goo-duh-more-gun)

Good afternoon: Goedemiddag (goo-duh-mid-dahg)

Good evening: Goedenavond (goo-duhn-ah-vunt)

Good night: Goedenavond (goo-duhn-ah-vunt)

9. I can’t speak Dutch well.

If you get the elocution down pat on the above key phrases, you may just be mistaken for a fluent Dutch speaker! Use this phrase to set people straight and let them know you’re still working at perfecting your skills.

I can’t speak Dutch well.: Ik spreek niet goed Nederlands. (ick sprayk neet goot nay-dur-lawnts)

10. Casual formality.

As you grow close to your new Dutch acquaintances, you’ll want to know a couple casual sayings for when you’re calling it quits after a night out on the town.

See you later!: Tot ziens! (toat seens!)

Bye!:Dag! (dakh!) Hoi! (hoai!)

Although Netherlands ranks as one of the top countries in Europe for English speakers and around 46% of the population can speak some English, it’s never a good idea to place the full burden of communication on your Dutch colleagues. Do your part by signing up for some excellent language classes to ensure that your skills are equally up to par. Whether part of a merger, going on a business trip, or simply traveling for pleasure, your newly acquired Dutch phrases and language skills will help you to make the most out of every moment of work or play!

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