How to enrich your Dutch vocabulary fast

How to enrich your Dutch vocabulary fast

What is one of the most important things if you like to speak Dutch with confidence and ease? One thing is certain.... the more words you know, the more you can understand and then the more you can speak...

I am not sure if you have noticed it {%name%}, but in most tradtional language courses, they do not really teach you how to learn many more Dutch words fast. Sure, they may give you loooong vocabulary lists, but... if the words don't make sense, then probably it will be very hard to memorize them.

On top of that, the themes that they offer you in traditional language courses are often quite limited. They teach you how to talk about food that you like or dislike, but in most cases they will not tell you how Dutch really works.

Here is a great example. How would you say generous in Dutch? Chances are high that you have never  heard it and yet, it could be  a very useful word to know.

So here are some tips. The easiest word for you that you could use is genereus. That one is simple, right? The only thing is that to Dutch ears it sounds really formal and it is not a typical word that you would often use in every day conversation. But hey.... at least you found a way to say generous, right?

Another word is royaal. You might think that it means royal, but in Dutch it has nothing to do with a king, but.... if you are a king then probably you would be rich, right? You would probably live in een paleis (a palace), so it is easy to associate royaal with abundance. Royaal means that you give a lot....   You could also call een portie royaal, then it means a huge portion.

By the way, if you like to say royaal in Dutch, then simply play with the word koning. Koning is king in Dutch and can you see that king and koning have many letters in common?  Just add on after k and king will change into koning ;)  Now what you need to do is change koning into koninklijk and then it changes into kinglike.... this would be the Dutch idea of royal...   Sure, you may observe that here g changes into k, but this is a minor 'problem' that is easy to overcome, right?

Then, there are also 2 more hard core Dutch words ...  Chances are high that you may not have seen these words before and yet, Dutch people use these 2 words a lot.

For the first word you need to play with 2 Dutch words: vrij (free) & geven (to give). Now you can combine these words and change it into vrijgevig, and this means 'freegivish' or 'freegiving'. The idea is that you feel free to give without any doubt, inhibition or holding back. Vrijgevig sounds and looks very positive, don't you think?

One important thing, though, vrijgevig is a word that you only use for people. You would never call een portie vrijgevig, but the person that gives you loads of food is vrijgevig!

Last but not least, we also have a word gul. It is easy to remember, just use a rhyme technique and associate it with a Dutch word that you already know....  Een één met nul nul nul nul nul nul (1.000.000) is erg gul

So  now if you like to say generous, you can chose among 4 words: genereus - royaal - vrijgevig - gul. Which one would be your favorite?

One tip: you can start using the word that you find the easiest - prabably genereus -  and make sure that you can at least recognize words like vrijgevig & gul. Then when you'l hear these words a couple of times, then you can also start to use these words as well... Once again, if at least you recognize vrijgevig and gul, then you are almost there!

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