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a phrase that encompasses the center of Dutch tradition

a phrase that encompasses the center of Dutch tradition

2023-04-19 06:15:02

Estimated studying time: 4 minutes

What you must know concerning the Dutch time period gezellig

Gezellig is a Dutch phrase you’ll hear — and hopefully later use — so much.

The time period encompasses the center of Dutch tradition, because the Dutch have a tendency to like all issues gezellig. Naturally, you’ll discover a lot of gezelligheid in Amsterdam.

You’re welcome to attempt to pronounce it: heh-SELL-ick. (You’ll get an opportunity to listen to and follow it additional down the web page).

gezellig meeting for coffee
Espresso with a pal: gezellig! On a sunny terrace within the middle of Amsterdam? Even gezelliger!

Gezellig is untranslatable

Locals and foreigners alike will inform you that the phrase cannot be translated.

Its that means consists of the whole lot from cozy to pleasant, from comfy to stress-free, and from fulfilling to gregarious.

Based on Wikipedia, “An ideal instance of untranslatability is seen within the Dutch language by way of the phrase gezellig, which doesn’t have an English equal. Actually, it means cozy, quaint, or good, however can even connote time spent with family members, seeing a pal after an extended absence, or common togetherness.”

Nevertheless, to the Dutch it goes method past ‘cozy.’ You’ll hear the phrase so much once you go to Amsterdam, so listed here are some indications as to the best way to perceive and use it:

Gezellig vs. not gezellig

A brown café is gezellig. A dentist’s ready room isn’t — although it may be gezellig if your pals accompany you, notably if they’re gezellig.

A night in town with pals is gezellig, particularly if in case you have dinner at a gezellig restaurant, see a very good film, and end with a drink at a gezellige pub. Attempting to entertain the inlaws-from-hell is certainly not gezellig.

boat parade King's Day
Celebrating King’s Day in Amsterdam on a ship filled with pals: gezellig!

Old school retailers and boutiques are gezellig; trendy warehouses are usually not.

Watching a film at dwelling in a gezellige front room (learn: heat colours, heat ambiance, filled with books, plants , and knick-knacks, together with a canine or cat or two) is gezellig, particularly if in case you have gezellige pals over. Consuming dinner at McDonald’s is ongezellig — although right here once more gezellige pals could make a distinction.

Amsterdam is gezellig. Rotterdam isn’t.

Sure, Christmas is gezellig. Tax Day positively isn’t.

Cheering in your favourite Dutch sports activities group, athlete, or race driver — wherever on the earth — is gezellig. Much more so once you so with pals and strangers, all wearing orange, in fact.

Another instance — from exterior Holland’s borders:

Oprah Winfrey is gezellig. Donald Trump positively is extraordinarily ongezellig.

Obama? Hey, you determine. However discover that he does know the time period:

Barack Obama: “It’s been actually gezellig.”

Oh, and ofcourse something to do with the coronavirus is actually ongezellig. So is lockdown, and never with the ability to meet together with your family and friends every time and wherever you need to achieve this. However you can also make your private home a gezellige place to be.

See Also

How one can pronounce gezellig

Studying Dutch isn’t simple, we’re advised. The guttural g sound specifically is difficult to study. However you possibly can have enjoyable attempting.

On this video the erstwhile Dutch ambassador to Canada, Wim Geerts, shares the correct pronunciation of gezellig:

Former Dutch ambassador to Canada, Wim Geerts, demonstrates the best way to pronounce gezellig

By the way, probably the most fascinating misspelling of the phrase we’ve seen is huselic.

Unfavorable use of ‘gezellig’

Assume you’ve acquired the cling of it? Effectively, there’s extra.

Imagine it or not, however gezellig will also be used to point the precise reverse of gezellig. Simply hearken to the tone through which it’s spoken:

  • Gentle and upbeat: gezellig
  • A number of syllables emphasised however drawn out, just about like saying ‘heh-S-E-L-L-ick’ slowly, sounding barely aggravated: ongezellig

Talking about ongezellig: the Danish phrase hygge is alleged to be considerably equal to the topic of this put up. One main distinction? The time period hygge is now so commercialized that it has develop into, properly… ongezellig!

That stated, now right here is one thing sometimes gezellig to do in Amsterdam: Visit a brown café. We’re positive you’ll love the gezelligheid there!