It can be intimidating, moving (on your own or together with others) to a new country with a new culture and new language. Although most of the world has a proficiency in English, it can still be frustrating to not know the language of the country in which you are now residing. Put simply, Dutch is not an easy language, and it is understandable that it can be scary to take on the task of learning it. Thankfully, there are a few simple phrases that you might need in everyday life to help you grow more comfortable in Rotterdam. Even if your pronunciation is a little off, locals will know what you mean and will appreciate your effort to learn.
Hallo : Hello
Hoe gaat het? : How are you?
Goed : Good
Slecht : Bad
Dank je (wel) : Thank you (very much)
Alsjeblieft / Graag : Please
Sorry/Pardon : Sorry
Dag : Goodbye
Fijne dag nog : Have a good day
Gezellig : Cozy, social (i.e. “How was the party?” “It was gezellig.”)
Je/U : informal/formal you
In the grocery store (supermarkt), for example, the cashier will greet you (Hallo), then proceed to scan your items. At the end of the scanning, they will tell you the total (which you can read on the screen next to them). If you want to pay with a bank card, you say, “Pinnen, graag” (swipe please). If you want to pay with cash, you can simply just hand them the cash. The cashier will proceed to ask you if you would like a receipt: “Wilt u de bon?” to which you can reply “Ja, graag” (yes, please) or “Nee, dankje” (no, thank you).