Lifestyle Living in North Holland

A Few More Beautiful Dutch Words

Oh my gosh, we’ve had a heat wave in The Netherlands and it’s been terrible. Housing typically doesn’t come with AC because it’s not meant to get so hot. So we lived through a week of scorching numbers and here we are. It’s been unfortunate because I had a few posts planned. But due to the heat, I couldn’t find the energy to write. I fell behind on emails, reading blogs, and even my art challenge. Lucky for us, the heat has taken a break and I can get back to work. And today’s topic, more beautiful Dutch words!

This time around, these words are more focused for summer time. It’s interesting to think that there are billions of words out in our world and we’ll only ever know a handful of them. The wonderful thing about learning a different language is that you unlock new words that may not exist in your mother tongue. So let’s get right into it!

Kids these days say the word “vibing,” which is similar to what ontspannende means. It’s a relaxing time, where you can do something to just chill out or have a moment to breathe. It can also be a day at the spa, an evening in your garden with a BBQ or a nice soak in the tub. Ontspannende can be used in a lot of different ways but it’s the Dutch term used when you want to say that whatever you’re doing, is relaxing.

While it may sound like a dirty word, schitteren means to shine. And it applies to everything! You can have a beautiful set of crystals that shine on your windowsill. Your freshly washed car also applies if it shines under the sun. Or what if your favorite actor stars in a new movie? Is he perfect for the part? You can also use schitteren here to describe how he shines in his role!

Oh boy just try saying that one! Onafhankelijke means to be independent, and if you can say it correctly, I’d say you’re on the right track! Learning Dutch is hard but now that I have a grasp on some of the language, it’s easier to be onafhankelijke. The Dutch can be very independent and it’s fascinating to see. Did you know that the Dutch often delay marriage in favor of other achievements?

Have you ever had a week where you just wanted to collapse into your bed and sleep for a million years? Well gaar is your word. It’s complete and total burn out, to the point where you don’t even want to move. And it applies to both physical and mental cases. Sander came home one Friday and he didn’t know how to explain how he felt in English terms. So I asked for the Dutch version and “gaar” was the word. It’s one of the many reasons why I allow him to enjoy himself on the weekends. I could bother him with a million different chores but instead I handle them myself. Gaar is something I want to keep out of life because I know exactly how it feels!

Er even tussenuit
Ever just want to throw it all away and take a break? That’s what er even tussenuit means, to take a break! The wonderful thing about Dutch is that, once again, this phrase can apply to many situations. You can head outside for a bit of fresh air, or you can plan a romantic getaway. It can also apply to a break from digital media or just people in general. It’s always a good idea to take a break once in a while so your batteries can recharge. And that’s such a huge part of Dutch living. Quality of life comes first and the carefree attitude of the Dutch reflects that. Even if you can’t live in The Netherlands, that doesn’t mean you can’t try and adopt some of their values!

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