Dutch 3 For Travel

Dutch directional words and phrases…

In Dutch 2 For Travel we added “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, the subway or railway station, a bank, an ATM or a place to rent a bike.
Asking “Where is …?” questions in Dutch – especially if you’ve practiced your pronunciation a bit – may let your conversation partner assume that you understand Dutch quite well. The result will be an answer and a stream of words that’ll fly right by you.
So, asking the person to speak more slowly could be your first reply in such a case: “Kunt u alstublieft langzamer praten?” or “Kan je alsjeblieft langzamer praten?”
We explain the difference below.
And it would be good to also know some basic directional words and phrases in Dutch – left, right, straight ahead – as the typical answers may well include them.

The next 13 Dutch Phrases

Using “u” or “je/jij”

Note that in Dutch, there is a formal you – “u”- and a familiar you “je/jij”. There seems to be a trend in the Netherlands to use the familiar form most of the time, even with people you don’t know. This is less the case in Belgium.
In the Netherlands, the polite you – “u” – has traditionally been used for formal situations, but that seems to be somewhat in flux. For example: When talking to strangers in the street, especially if they’re clearly older than you, it’s fine to use “u”, although some people do consistently stick with “je”, no matter what. But you’ll find that in Belgium, it’s normal to use the formal “u” with people you don’t know.
“Jij” is also informal, but more emphatic.
Here are the FORMAL equivalents of the answers to your “Where is …?” questions that are listed above:

Why These phrases?

In Essential Dutch 1 and 2, we listed greetings and typical “where is…?” questions. Even if you’ve never studied Dutch before, it’ll be useful to learn and practice saying them.
In Essential Dutch 3, there are only two sentences you may want to practice saying: “Could you please speak more slowly?” and “Many thanks for your help.”
The other 11 phrases and sentences will be useful to simply understand, as they may be answers to your “where is…?” questions.
You still may want to record yourself saying them, and playing the Quizlet games. That way you can confirm what you thought you understood. You’ll also remember them better that way.
And, you’ll become familiar with Dutch words such as “straat” (street), “gracht” (canal), “plein” (square), “brug” (bridge), “geldautomaat” (ATM), etc.

Food, Drinks, Restaurants

Finding a recommended restaurant, café, or bar has been made much easier with GPS-equipped smart phones and mobile devices.
And finding a good place to eat in the Netherlands has to be part of your travel adventure.
Once you’ve arrived at the restaurant, you may have to ask for a table and the menu, then tell the waiter what you’d like, and later ask for and pay the check.
Yes, most Dutch people will know English better than you’ll ever speak their language. But just knowing a few key phrases in Dutch may still be helpful in the countryside or in a crowded restaurant
You’ll find those among the next 14 Phrases in Dutch 4 For travel. (Check back in a few weeks.)

Learn Icelandic For Travel

Essential Icelandic words and phrases before you travel

If you’re planning to to travel to Iceland, you can learn and practice 50 essential Icelandic words and phrases here.
Starting in Icelandic 1 with greetings, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in Icelandic 2 , and in Icelandic 3 you’ll hear some possible answers.
As you’ll travel around Iceland you’ll encounter some names, which you’ll have a hard time pronouncing. Just try “Þingvellir” or “Fjaðrárgljúfur ” for example.
Icelandic 4 will have those and the names of some other places as well as Icelandic words for “geyser, water, islands, fields”. Maybe you can then figure out how to pronounce the names of the villages and sites you are exploring.

Learn Dutch For Travel

Essential Dutch words and phrases before you travel

If you’re planning to visit the Netherlands, you can learn and practice 36 essential Dutch words and phrases here.
Starting with greetings in Dutch 1, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in Dutch 2 , and in Dutch 3 you’ll hear some possible answers.

Check back in a few weeks for Essential Dutch 4.

Learn Danish For Travel

Essential Danish words and phrases before you travel

If you’re planning to visit Denmark, you can learn and practice 23 essential Danish words and phrases here.
Starting in Danish 1 with greetings, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in Danish 2

Look for Danish 3 For Travel in a few weeks.

Learn German For Travel

Essential German words and phrases before you travel

If you’re planning to visit German-speaking countries, you can learn and practice 50 essential German words and phrases here.
Starting in German 1 with greetings, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in German 2 , in German 3 you’ll hear some possible answers, and in German 4, you’ll learn some German restaurant basics.

Let us know which essential German words and phrases to include in German 5 For Travel!

Learn French For Travel

Essential French words and phrases before you travel

If you’re planning to visit French speaking countries, you can learn and practice 50 essential French words and phrases here.
Starting in French 1 with greetings, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in French 2 , in French 3 you’ll hear some possible answers, and in French 4 terms you’ll hear or use in a restaurant.

Icelandic 4 For Travel

Hard-to-pronounce Icelandic words and places

In Essential Icelandic 2 and 3 you learned how to ask “Where is …” questions and possible answers.
As you travel around Iceland, you’re likely to encounter hard-to-pronounce place names. Sure, you can say them by using the sound system of your native language. (Lots of people do.)
But why not learn to pronounce these place names the Icelandic way? Being able to say names like “Þingvellir” or “Fjaðrárgljúfur ” the right way may well add to your enjoyment of exploring Iceland.
As a starter, try out the Icelandic words for “geyser, water, islands, fields”. Then you can practice the Icelandic names of a few popular places.
(The picture above shows “Seljalandsfoss”, a well-known waterfall in southern Iceland.)

Route in Southern Iceland

The places listed above are all in southern Iceland. They include two stops along the popular Golden Circle route: the national park Thingvellir (Þingvellir), a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and the spectacular “Golden Waterfall” (Gullfoss).
(Note that the English word “geyser” comes from the Icelandic hot-spring area “Geysir” in the valley of Haukadal, also on the Golden Circle route.)
Next: A day trip from Landeyjahöfn by ferry to Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar).
Then, continuing along Iceland’s southern shore: stops at the beautiful waterfall Seljalandsfoss; the peninsula of Dyrhólaey (literally “door hill island”), a promontory with a massive natural arch; and the stunning black-sand beach Reynisfjara.
Finally, a visit to Fjaðrárgljúfur, a massive canyon, and to Icelands most famous glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón, with its iceberg-studded blue waters.


Polish 1 For Travel

Polish polite phrases and greetings…

Travelers visiting Poland can learn and practice 11+ essential words and phrases here. We’ve posted the first 11 below.
Listen.
Record yourself.
Play back and compare. 
(See more “Learn and Practice Tips” below!)

The First 11 Polish Phrases

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Polish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself.
  • Click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Polish speaker.
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with top right icon .)

Why learn these Polish Phrases?

Whenever you travel to a country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll encounter situations when these words will be useful. 
Let’s say, you’ve ordered your first meal in a restaurant in Poland and as the waiter serves you, you say “Dziękuję”. 
Even if the waiter knows that you don’t speak Polish, your effort may make him smile.
And beyond “Please” and “Thank you”, basic greetings really are the staple of first words you should know in any country you visit.
We start with the most obvious and easiest ones: “Yes” and “No”.
You’ll notice that the word “Proszę” has a couple of meanings: “Please”, “Here you are”, and is also part of the phrase “You’re welcome”.
“Dzień dobry” (literally “Good day”) is a formal greeting that can be used throughout the day.
We’ve also included “Nie mówię po polsku” (I don’t speak Polish) and the question whether your conversation partner speaks any of the languages you may also know.

Good Things to Know

Polish is a West Slavic language that is closely related to Czech and Slovak.
After Russian, Polish is the second most spoken Slavic language.
Polish and other West Slavic languages are written in the Latin script. (As opposed to East Slavic languages such as Russian and Ukrainian, which use Cyrillic.)
There are large Polish-speaking communities in Germany, the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, and other countries.
You’ll find that many young people in Poland speak English, but older people, especially outside of cities, not so much.
With them you may have to try your Polish, or use Russian or German.

Polish Pronunciation Tips

Polish letters and sounds in Essentials 1:
ie – has a “yeh” sound in “Nie” (No). Also in “Dobry wieczór”.
ę – has a nasal sound, similar to “-in” in the French word “enfin”: Try it in “Proszę”, “Dziękuję”.
sz – is pronounced the “sh” as in “show”. Try it in “Proszę”.
dzi – is pronounced “jee”, as in “jeep”. Try it “Dziękuję”, “Dzień dobry”.
dz – sounds like the “ts” in “hats”, in “Do widzenia”.
cz – has a “tch” sound, as in “Dutch”. Try it in the last sentence, which starts with “Czy…”.
If you’re eager to learn and practice more sounds, go to Polish Alphabet and Pronunciation.
For English speakers, Polish has a number of sound combinations that are challenging, as you can hear in the list below.
The best approach may be to learn the Polish sound system step by step, repeating often, as you learn each of the words and expressions.

Walking in the country side…

While there’ll be many opportunities to use basic greetings in Warsaw and other large Polish cities, knowing them when you’re outside of a larger city may be crucial. 
And, as we always notice when we walk in a village or in the countryside, greetings are common and even expected!
Being a visitor in Poland will make you much more welcome, when you make the effort to greet people in Polish.

The Next 12 Polish Phrases: “Gdzie jest?”

In the next installment – Polish 2 For Travel– you’ll learn to ask where the bathroom, train and bus station, bank, pharmacy etc. are located. 
Even if you have a GPS-enabled smart phone, it won’t tell you where the bathroom is – and you’ll certainly find plenty of opportunities to ask other “Where…?” questions.

Dutch 2 For Travel

Asking “Where is…? questions in Dutch.

If you’ve already learned and practiced Dutch polite phrases and greetings with Dutch 1 For Travel, you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. 
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, the subway or railway station, a bank, an ATM or a place to rent a bike.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian, or English – that is, maybe one of the languages you speak as well.

The next 12 Dutch Phrases

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Dutch speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Dutch speaker.
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with the top right icon .)

Dutch Pronunciation Tips

Taking examples from the list below: the Dutch “w” (as in “waar”) is pronounced more softly than an English “w”.
On the other hand, Dutch “v” is close to an English “f” – which you’ll hear in the phrase “het VVV-kantoor”.
Note: when “e” or “ee” are unstressed, they are pronounced “uh”. You’ll hear this in “de WC”, “de bushalte”, “de brug”, and in “een bank”, “een geldautomaat”, “een fiets”.
But when “ee” stressed, it sounds closer to “ay” (as in “day”). You’ll hear this in “apotheek”, “wanneer”, “spreekt u”.

Traveling in the Netherlands…

Because I have family in the Netherlands, we often go there.
Once there, we either rent a car at the airport or use the excellent train and bus system.
In European Travels 1: Rembrandt, Reunion, Dunes, and “Fietsen”… we talked about some of our experiences there.
“Fietsen” (to bike) is certainly a word you’ll hear a lot. For US residents both the number of helmet-less bike riders, and their agility to weave through traffic and pedestrian zones will be surprising!
In any case, when crossing a street, especially one-way streets, don’t just pay attention to the cars. Also look out for bikes, which can come at you from any direction!
In our first Dutch post with polite phrases and greetings, you’ll see our link to Dutch Canal Boating.
When you’re boating on a canal, the important question is: “When does the bridge open?”
Typically, there are signs close to a bridge that show you the hours of operation.
But whenever we happened to be walking past a bridge that we would pass later on with our boat, we would just ask the bridge keeper directly.
Major highways in the Netherlands and Belgium are well maintained and quite busy.
But once you’re in the countryside and on narrow roads in small towns, bike paths and car lanes often compete for space.
(On the picture above, the two-way car lane on a country road is sandwiched between two bike paths.)

“Waar is…?”-Questions Answered…

Asking “Waar is…?” questions could let the person you’re asking assume that you speak Dutch.
The result will often be an answer and a stream of Dutch words you may not understand.
It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Dutch – left, right, straight ahead, etc.
And while the Dutch are certainly one of the most English-speaking people in Europe, you’ll still find those who prefer to give you directions in Dutch.
Find 13 directional phrases in Dutch 3 For Travel.