Tag Archives: Dutch ABC’s

W, X, Y, and Z

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

W is for Wagon.

8cGEnppLi

Wagon in Dutch means car.

In the Netherlands, the people try very hard to protect our environment, and one way they do this is by limiting the amount of time in a car. Instead, the Dutch tend to take public transportation, or more commonly, bikes.

When they do drive cars, however, they almost always drive a manual transmission car because these cars use gasoline that is not as harmful to the environment they are trying to preserve.

 

X is for nothing.

X is probably the most uncommon letter in the Dutch language and the only words that would start with X are words taken from other languages, such as x-ray or xylophone.

Y is also for practically nothing.

Y is another very uncommon letter and is usually, if not always, replaced with “ij”. One common and delicious word that starts with these two letters is “ijs” meaning ice. And by ice, they usually always mean ice cream 🙂

 

Z is for Zomer.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

My last Dutch word to give you is zomer, which means summer. I moved to the Netherlands in the summer and it is a beautiful season to be there. It rains a lot but when it’s not, everything is green and alive. The country is full of animals and there are endless activities are festivals to go to because the Dutch love to have a good time!

S and T

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch!

S is for Sinterklaas

f52344c0-8bb6-4e19-91da-0836d67e5722

Sinterklaas is the Dutch for Saint Nicholas. In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ feast day is bigger than Christmas. Sinterklaas comes on a boat in late November and stays until December 6th, his feast day.

The feast day is celebrated usually with a parade, where Sinterklaas rides through town on a white horse, assisted by his Zwarte Piets, who represent a boy who Saint Nicholas saved from the Roman Soldiers.

Sinterklaas gives children chocolate letters. pepernoten and kruidnoten, which are both a traditional candy that taste almost like gingerbread.

Saint Nicholas’ feast day is full of games, songs, and celebration. But make sure you are good, because at the end of the day Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Piets gather all the bad children and send them to Spain! Yikes!

 

T is for Tulp

Netherlands2015DSCN3064_2

Tulp is the most popular flower in the Netherlands, the Tulip.

Although tulips are originally from Turkey, The Netherlands known worldwide for their large tulip fields and tulip festivals. The most famous tulip garden is located just south of Amsterdam called Keukenhof, which holds over 7-million flower bulbs.

Tulip season goes from late March to the middle of May. This makes Spring the best time for tourists to visit Holland!

Q and R

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

Q is for Quark Cheese.

howto-make-quark

Quark cheese is a type of cheese found mainly in Germany, but common also in the Netherlands. Quark cheese is made from fermented sour milk.

The word “quark” does not have an exact translation into English, but it roughly means “thick milk” and it tastes kind of like cottage cheese or cheese curds.

In Germany and the Netherlands they actually make cheesecake out of Quark cheese, but it isn’t as sweet as our cheesecake, it has more of a cheesy taste.

R is for Regenboog.

IMG_7123

Regenboog means rainbow.

In the Netherlands it rains a lot. Much more than it rains in Iowa. But one good thing about all the rain is that it is often followed by a regenboog, or a rainbow.

The colors of the rainbow obviously stay the same, but the names are different. In Dutch they are:

  • Red = Rood (Rude)
  • Orange = Oranje (oh-raan-ye)
  • Yellow = Geel (heel)
  • Green = Groen (hroan)
  • Blue = Blauw (Bl-0w)
  • Indigo = Indigo (in-de-ho)
  • Violet = Violet (vee-oh-let)

O and P

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

O is for Onzevader.

40324_BoyPraying_Pg18_WEB2

The Onzevader is the Our Father in Dutch.

The Netherlands is historically a Christian country. The region I live in is known as the Catholic region. All over the Netherlands you can find beautiful churches that are usually the center of the town.

Here is a translation of the Our Father so you can practice it in Dutch! (Joseph, your Dad can probably pronounce most of the words because it is very close to German!)

Onze Vader, die in de hemel zijt,
uw naam worde geheiligd.
Uw rijk kome,
Uw wil geschiede,

op aarde zoals in de hemel.
Geef ons heden ons dagelijks brood,
en vergeef ons onze schuld,
zoals ook wij aan anderen hun schuld vergeven.
En leid ons niet in bekoring,
maar verlos ons van het kwade.


Amen.

P is for Pannenkoek.

fTw8xWfg13c2233303636313HSZfTw8x_1430553960

Pannenkoek is the Dutch work for pancake!

The Dutch love to eat pancakes, but their pancakes are very different from ours.

The Dutch pancake is very thin and it is very big–they take up the entire plate!

In America we put blueberries, chocolate chips, and bananas in the dough and cook them inside the pancake. Here they would put the fruit or chocolate on top and cook it that way.

There are pancake houses all over the Netherlands and people usually don’t go there for breakfast, but rather for lunch or dinner.

When you eat pancakes here you can have them either salty or sweet. The salty pancake is almost like a pizza. It has different toppings on it, like ham, cheese, and vegetables. The sweet pancake is closer to an American pancake, but they don’t eat them with maple syrup like we do.

Here is a recepie for a Dutch pannenkoek, so you can try them at home!

http://stefangourmet.com/2013/12/31/dutch-pancakes-pannenkoeken/

They are really simple, and all you need are 4 ingredients to make the pannenkoeken, and then you can put whatever you want on top!

M and N

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

M is for Molen.

Me in front of the Windmills at Kinderdijk
Me in front of the Windmills at Kinderdijk

Molen means mill. The most common mill in the Netherlands would be the windmill.

A few weeks ago I put up my post for the letter d and I told you about the dikes that kept the water out of the Netherlands. Well, the dikes would not work very well if they didn’t have the windmills to push the water away from the land.

There are windmills everywhere and there is also a National Windmill day.

The windmills are also used for grinding grain into flour and in some places they use mills to make “jenever” which is a Dutch gin.

Windmills are so important that they are often used as a symbol of the Netherlands, along with wooden shoes and tulips.

N is for Nee.

no_no_no_nooooo_office

As I’m sure you can guess from the image above, nee means no.

Nee is pronounced NAY, and it is probably the most useful word to know in Dutch.  A lot of words sound different depending on where you are in the Netherlands because people have different accents. For example, many people from Amsterdam have a hard time understanding people from Limburg because the southern accent is so strong. But one word that remains the same in all the accents is Nee.

Since it’s so easy to say tourist and visitors can easily pick it up and use it without sounding that foreign. Most of the Dutch can speak or understand English, but they like it when people try to speak Dutch even when they don’t know many words. So when tourists and visitors say nee instead of no, it makes the people here very happy.

Before I came to the Netherlands, nee was the only word I knew because of the comedian Seth Meyers and his experiences in the Netherlands:

K and L

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

K is for Koningshuis

Koningshuis

Koningshuis means the Royal House.

The Netherlands does not have a President like we do in America. Instead they have a Prime Minister and a Royal House.

Since 1559, the House of Orange-Nassau have been the royal family in the Netherlands. This is why all the main color in the Netherlands is orange instead of their flag colors, which are red, white, and blue.

The King of the Netherlands is King Willem-Alexander. His queen is Queen Máxima and they have three daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane.

King Willem-Alexander is a very new King. In 2013 his mother, Queen Beatrix, stepped down from her throne and he became king.

The King does not have absolute power in the Netherlands. He works together with a board of ministers and is apart of the executive branch of the government.

The Royal family in the Netherlands are very open compared to many other monarchs. They are often seen at festivals, sporting events, and other public events.

L is for Limburg.

netherlands-map

In America we have 50 different states. In the Netherlands they have 12 different regions.

The most famous region is North Holland, except most people just call it Holland. It is so famous that most people just call the whole country Holland. The main reason it is so popular is because Amsterdam, the countries capitol city, is located in North Holland.

I, however, do not live in North Holland. I live in the region called Limburg. Limburg is the southernmost region in the Netherlands. If you look at a map of the Netherlands you will see that a skinny part of the country between Belgium and Germany, that part is Limburg.

Limburg has a lot of farms and small communities. The people are very relaxed and fun. They love having festivals and big parties where they can sing and dance all night long. More than anything, they are very traditional.

This region, as opposed to the other 11, is primarily Catholic. They still celebrate all the Catholic feast days and they are the main region to celebrate Carnival.

I have enjoyed living in Limburg because it reminds me a lot of the midwest in America.

I and J

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

I is for Inwijken.

pella

Inwijken means immigrate.

A long time ago many people from the Netherlands came to America to live. When they came there in the early 1600’s, they founded a city called New Amsterdam. This was the major city in the New Netherlands territory, which the Dutch owned in America.

A few years later, the Dutch decided to trade the New Netherlands Territory, including New Amsterdam, to the British for the Spice Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The British changed the Territory name to New York, and changed New Amsterdam to New York City.

The Dutch didn’t only settle in New York, however. In the 1800’s many Dutch farmers left the Netherlands to look for cheaper farm land. When they got to America they came west and settled in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

The Dutch have lived in America for a long time now and around 5 million people in the States say their heritage is Dutch. They live all over, but most of them live close to Des Moines and in Wisconsin (maybe that’s why Wisconsin has really good cheese!).

In Iowa there are a lot of places to buy Dutch food or go to Dutch festivals. One of the most famous ones is the Tulip Time festival in Pella, Iowa, which is not very far away from Des Moines.

J is for Juf.

teacher

Juf means teacher.

In the Netherlands, once you turn 5 you have to go to school.  Elementary school lasts from ages 5-12, and then you go to a high school of some sort. When you are 12 you take a test to see what level of high school they will go to.

Most of the schools in the Netherlands are public or religious. There are some private school as well, but they are less common.

It is not allowed to home school in the Netherlands unless you can prove that the schools do not meet the needs of the child.

For the most part the schools are considered very good in the Netherlands and it is ranked in the top ten of the best educational systems in the world.

F is for…

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch!

F is for Fiets.

When you are in the city, you see bikes parked wherever there is an opening...usually by a canal. The picture was taken in the city of Utrecht.
When you are in the city, you see bikes parked wherever there is an opening…usually by a canal. The picture was taken in the city of Utrecht.

Fiets in Dutch means bicycle.

In the Netherlands, people ride bicycles almost as much as they drive cars. Instead of taking the bus or having their parents drive them to school, most kids in the Netherlands ride their bike.

The Dutch government has been encouraging people to ride bikes because it cuts down on traffic and it’s better for the environment. Because of this they have insured that all roads have special bike lanes, and that the driving laws keep bicyclists safe from the cars. The government works hard to keep bicyclist safe, and they claim that Holland is the safest place for someone to ride a bike.

In bigger cities, like Amsterdam, instead of finding lots of huge parking garages for cars, you will find parking garages for bikes. Some of these garages are three stories high.

AMS-bikes

There are lots of bicycle races in the Netherlands. One of the most famous ones,The Amstel Gold Race, takes place just 30 minutes away of where I live. The race is about 100 miles long and takes 3 days to complete.

While a lot of people like to race bikes, most of the Dutch just ride them to get around, not for racing. Families will also take biking holidays, where they will ride their bike to their vacation instead of taking a car.

It’s fun to ride bikes in the Netherlands, because everyone does it, however, they take it very seriously here, so you can’t get in the bikers way!

E is for…

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch!

E is for Elfstedentocht.

elfstedentoch1997

The Elfstedentocht is a ice skating race that takes place in Friesland, the northern most region in the Netherlands. The Elfstedentocht is a race that goes through the 11 cities of Fiesland, which are connected by water.

The race starts and finishes in Leeuwarden, the capitol of Friesland.

The race first officially started in 1909, but it is recorded that people have been tying this race between the cities since 1749. The first record of this race was found in a verse:

The boy was long feared,

For the boss, that as a bird through the air

Could fly over the ice.

It’s Pier which ellef Cities

Friesland, one day, drove around.

– Van Boelens

Even though it has been happening since 1909, there have only been 15 official races because they can only race when it’s cold enough for all the water to freeze between the cities. The last race was in 1997 and it took the winner only 6 hours and 49 minutes to skate the 200 km of ice.

They don’t know when the next race will be, but every year the people of Friesland get excited when the water begins to freeze.

kaart_friesland

D is for…

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch!

D is for Dijken.

The Windmills and the Dikes help keep the water from covering the land.
The Windmills and the Dikes help keep the water from covering the land.

Dijken in Dutch means Dikes: The system of water control in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a very unique country because a lot of it should be under water. The country’s capitol, Amsterdam, is about 3 feet under sea level.

In order to keep the land dry, the Dutch use dikes to keep the water out. A dike is a wall built of sand, clay, rocks, and covered in grass. The dike keeps the water out and the land dry.

The dike is strong, but it can’t keep the land dry by itself, it needs windmills and canals to help. Canals are like rivers that run through the country and cities. The canals were built to give the water a place to go so it didn’t cover the land.

The windmills in the country are used to push the extra water away from the land. Underneath the windmill there is a big wheel that brings the water in and pushes it back to the sea. This keeps the land dry.

While the dikes work very well right now, the Dutch know that the sea is very strong and they have to keep working to keep the land dry. The Dutch work every day to find better and newer ways to make the water control stronger and safer.