Why Dutch is always lekker
Many people complain that the Dutch language is difficult. This may well be true for some since there is one specific obstacle that stands in their way, and it’s not what you might expect: It’s simplicity. Keep it simple and great success will follow.
Speaking Dutch should not be difficult, at least not in the beginning. The secret is that you don’t need a huge vocabulary to get started. Just use words that you know already, only more often!
Lekker: a very versatile word
Let’s take the word lekker for example. Most people erroneously believe it only has to do with taste, but nothing could be further from the truth!
Sure, pizza, kaas (cheese) and koffie (coffee) can all be lekker but you don’t have to stop there; lekker can be anything that makes you feel good!
Do you enjoy riding your bike? Great! So, now you can also say "mijn fiets is lekker" or "ik fiets lekker" (literally: I bike 'lekkerly').
Once again, it’s everything that makes you feel good "ik heb een lekker huis" also makes perfect sense. It just means that you like to be at home.
"Alles is lekker!"
And it doesn’t stop there... do you have a smooth internet connection? Congratulations! Now you can say "mijn internetverbinding is lekker".
And why not add some weather as well? "Het weer is lekker" - if the sun shines, and when you enjoy summer then "zomer is lekker".
Also, do you find someone attractive? Again, you can use the word lekker. Just walk up to him/her and say "ik vind je lekker".
Even for things that are not so positive
But that ain’t all! If you want, you can also use the term for things that are not so positive. Imagine you feel sick and you visit the doctor. Then you can say "Ik voel me niet zo lekker".
Or imagine that all of a sudden you get a bike puncture and it starts to rain... that multi-purpose word will work again, because you can also use lekker when it means not good at all!
Change those old habits
Here’s something strange: many people find it difficult (or wrong) to use a word more than once in a short conversation.
Perhaps it’s because of school where teachers maybe told you not to use the same word more than twice in your sentences or presentations. And then, 10, 20 or 30 years later, people still suffer from certain inhibitions caused by so-called good teacherly advice.
But here's a small linguistic revelation: In Dutch it is perfectly fine to use a word more than once, certainly in the beginning. "Dat is lekker!" Most importantly, you should just give it a go. Then you can say to yourself "hé ik spreek lekker!"
Better than lekker
Once you notice there is a certain flow, then you can start to use other words such as heerlijk, which is even better.
You may know the word heer already. It is the word for 'lord' and 'yes', you can even use it for 'god'. Therefore heerlijk is something that you can see as 'lordlike' or, with some imagination, even as 'godlike'.
That’s the great thing of the Dutch language. Its versatility lies in simple words like lekker and heerlijk, just use them to start speaking Dutch. Soon enough you'll love it!
One word, many meanings
Here’s one final tip: words in Dutch can have two, three or even four different meanings. Thus, you can use the same words in many different situations and different contexts.
If you think about it, keeping it simple is great because it makes everything so much easier and can help you reach a higher level even faster!
Albert Both is a specialist on learning Dutch fast while having fun. Download his e-book "3 Steps to Dutch flow" for free!
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