For today's post, I thought it would be fun to share a few necessary phrases for Americans visiting the Netherlands.
Okay, I admit that my Dutch-speaking skills are limited at best (though I understand -- usually -- what people are trying to say to me), but I'll do my best here not to misspell every other word.
1. Spreekt u Engels? (This, of course, means "Do you speak English?" This will be your most-used phrase of all. Remember it.)
2. Ik wil frietjes zonder mayo. (This means "I'd like fries without mayonnaise." This is very important, because if you don't happen to like your french fries smothered in mayo, you have to specify that right up front!)
3. Waar is de WC? (This means "Where is your bathroom?" Be careful not to ask for an actual "badkamer" (bathroom), because that would mean the room where the bathtub/shower is located. There may not be a toilet in that room at all. And keep in mind that WC is pronounced Vay-Say.)
If you happen to have children with you while you're traveling in the Netherlands, you will need a few more phrases, of course.
1. Op de stoep! (This means "Stay on the sidewalk!" This is useful as there are not only the sidewalks where people can walk, but bike paths (usually barely distinguishable from the sidewalk) and the streets. In the cities and dorpjes -- villages -- these are all brick. Sometimes the bricks are slightly different colors. Sometimes not.)
2. Niet springen op de bank! (This means "No jumping on the couch!" Self explanatory.)
3. Wil je een snoepje? (This means "Would you like a piece of candy?" For some reason, complete strangers have no qualms about offering (often unwrapped) candy to your children. The good part is, you can accept the offer without worry.)
So, there is your Nederlands 101 lesson in necessary phrases. Now you're ready to visit!