Hey, how are you? It’s good to see you here! Which reminds me, what would a conversation be without a greeting? Something would clearly be missing, as they’re one of the most essential aspects of our everyday communication. Yet what do you do if you’re in another country and you just don’t know how to say “Hello,” “Good morning” or “Good evening”? I usually try to save myself with an embarrassed smile, but I don’t feel good about it. Fortunately, greeting someone in the Netherlands is not difficult at all! In this article, we’ll cover the most common greetings and salutations so you can always say hello in Dutch.
From Morning To Evening
It’s never a bad idea to start the day with a friendly, hearty goedemorgen (good morning). That gives us all a little boost, doesn’t it? Goedemorgen is generally used in the Netherlands anytime until 11:59. From noon onwards, the word goedemiddag (good afternoon) is used instead, just like in English. And thankfully, goedemiddag has a long time range: from 12 pm all the way until 5:59 pm. The evening begins at 6 pm, when you would greet someone with goedenavond (good evening). Unlike in English, goedenacht (good night) is not only used to say goodbye or to go to bed but also as the official greeting used during the night — strictly speaking from midnight to 5:59 am.
Slightly more informal and carrying the same meaning are the frequently used goeiemorgen, goeiemiddag, goeienavond and goeienacht. It’s also not unusual to hear dag (literally “day”) or goedendag (good day). And did you know that dag can be used both for greeting someone and for bidding farewell? How practical!
Greetings For The Whole Day
But how do you actually say “Hello” in Dutch? It’s quite simple: hallo. Only one letter changes! You can also say hey or (in slightly more formal situations) hé and, of course, hoi, which means the same as “Hi.” In colloquial speech, you can greet your friends with something like with “Hoi, hoe is ‘ie?” which is the shortened form of “Hoi, hoe is het?” (Hey, how’re you?). You can also use the phrase “Hé, alles goed?” (Hey, how are things?). In formal contexts, it’s advisable to greet someone with “Goedendag, hoe gaat het met u?” (Good afternoon, how are you?), rather than the more informal options.
Regional Variations For Saying Hello In Dutch
What would a language be without regional variations? Although you can make friends anywhere with hoi, the locals are even more impressed if you are able to say “Hello” in their dialect.
Starting in the northwest of the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland, you can greet others with morrie, a regional greeting that can mean “good morning,” “good afternoon” and even “hello.” You will also often hear heuj. In Groningen, people greet one another with moi in the mornings. Goei’n dag is the greeting used in the Twente region. Meanwhile, people from Brabant may greet you with euuuj. This sounds completely different in the city of Tilburg, where the greeting is pronounced alo in the regional dialect. In the southwest Netherlands, like in Terneuzen, the locals say huijj. Admittedly, the spellings of some greetings raise eyebrows even with native speakers. Finally, Goojendaagor hoi is used in the region surrounding Maastricht.
Whichever term you use to greet someone, the greetings listed above are always a safe bet. How will you say hello in Dutch? With hoi, goedemiddag, goeienavond or something else entirely?