Gezellig: a typical Dutch non-translatable phrase

In every language there are a few words that just cannot be properly translated into the English language. Let’s have a look at the Dutch word ‘gezellig’ or ‘gezelligheid’. A phrase often used by the Dutch and therefore utterly important for your next visit!

Having a 'gezellige' time!

Having a ‘gezellige’ time!

Gezellig – which, depending on context, can be translated as convivial, cosy, fun, quaint, or nice atmosphere, but can also connote belonging, time spent with loved ones, the fact of seeing a friend after a long absence, or general togetherness that gives a warm feeling. The word is considered to be an example of untranslatability, and is one of the hardest words to translate to English. Some consider the word to encompass the heart of Dutch culture.

There are a lot of blogposts written by tourists, expats and locals about the word ‘gezellig’. Check it out if you would like to know more about ‘gezellig’!

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