Teaching Treasures™


by Ingrid Griggs

statue of Flipje

This statue named Flipje is in the centre of Tiel which is situated in the 'Betuwe'. A fruit corso is held annually displaying the fruits and vegetables grown in the district. This event occurs annually and is a very popular event in the Netherlands.

Dutch / Nederlands

Liesje Lotje Liep Langs de Lange Liende Laan.

Liesje Leerde Lotje Lopen Langs de Lange Lindelaan, maar toen Lotje niet wou Lopen, Liet Liesje Lotje zomaar staan

Dutch, spoken by the people of the Netherlands sounds quite harsh to people of other countries. Yet, to the Dutch people it is their language of which they are proud. It is not too difficult for a Dutch person to understand German and Afrikaans. Many words in those languages are written similar and spoken similar. The Dutch language uses a lot of English forms of words as well, although often written slightly different and pronounced differently.

Written Dutch is fairly uniform in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, but spoken Dutch has a number of dialects as well as an official spoken form.

Written Dutch came mainly from the Flemish spoken in Flanders and Brabant in the 15th century; modern spoken Dutch, however, came from the province of Holland. Afrikaans arose from the Dutch spoken by the Boers, who emigrated from the Netherlands to South Africa in the 17th century. Its written form dates only from the mid-19th century. Its basic Dutch vocabulary has been greatly expanded with native African and English borrowings.

Take a look at the following Dutch words which are similar to English.

huis / house vaag / vague val / fall
bed /bed noord / north hand / hand
man / man oost / east arm /arm
boek / book zuid / south hangen / hang
naam / name west / west hard / hard
school / school diner/ dinner desastreus / disastrous
roest / rust elektricien /electrician centrum / centre

Learn Dutch with the LearnDutch.org

A Nursery Rhyme

Read the following Dutch nursery rhyme. Before television and computers  took over the old fashion games in the playgrounds, Dutch children sang this song whilst standing in a double row facing each other. They would hold hands with the child opposite them and sing the song. One child was the king and when the song was finished the king would try and dash through the row of hands. The children did not let go of each other's hands thus making it difficult for the king to get through. They would take turns at being the king riding through the wave of hands.

Twee emmertjes water halen.
Twee emmertjes pompen.
De koning op the klompen.
De koning op de houten been.
Rij maar door mijn straatje heen.
Van je ras ras ras, rijd de koning door de plas.
Van je erre erre erre, rijd de koning door de sterre.
Van je een twee drie.

The song translated says: Fetching two buckets of water. Pumping two buckets. The king is on his wooden shoes. The king is on his wooden legs. Ride through my street. The king rides through the water. The king rides through the stars. One two three.

When translating from one language to another you loose any rhyming sounds and the general meaning. Some words you can not actually translate, like the words 'ras ras ras' and the words 'erre erre erre'. These are really silly words which are not proper words. Therefore translating these would be impossible. But these words make the song rhyme in Dutch.

Visit more Dutch Nursery Rhymes

About the Netherlands

Small dutch water canal

A typical small canal in the Netherlands. The little house is for the waterfowl to nest.


The Netherlands is a European country located on the south shore of the North Sea. It is often called Holland, a name that refers to a part of the country that historically has been dominant. Germany lies to the east; Belgium is to the south. The West Frisian Islands, which belong to the Netherlands, lie offshore. The Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean is also an integral part of the kingdom.

The Netherlands is one of Europe's smallest and most densely populated countries. The name Netherlands is derived from the Dutch word neder meaning "low" and the term Low Countries is used collectively for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, a reference to the low-lying nature of the land. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam but the seat of government is in The Hague, or 's Gravenhage.

picture of The Hague

The building in this picture is Government House.

Geographically, the Netherlands is divided into two regions. The coastal area to the north and west comprises the Low Netherlands. Much of the land in this area was recovered from the sea by draining low-lying marshes to create a polder. After drying the polder, the salt-permeated topsoil was removed, exposing a rich loam well suited for farming. Such land still lies below sea level and is protected from flooding by an intricate system of dams, dikes, and sluices.

The High Netherlands is in the east and south. Although safely above sea level, this area contains poorer soil. Uninhabited parts of the countryside are covered by heath. The Netherlands has no mountains. The highest point is 321 m (1,053 ft); the lowest is 6.7 m (22 ft) below sea level.


Often referred to as the "mouth of Europe" the Netherlands is where a number of Europe's major rivers meet the sea. The Rhine and the Meuse converge here to form a web of smaller rivers (among them the Waal, the Lek, and the IJssel) that flow north and west into the North Sea. These rivers are crosscut by large canals that provide shipping lanes and flood control. The Scheldt (Schelde) River, which begins in France and flows through Belgium into the Netherlands, provides access to the Belgian port of Antwerp.


The reclamation of the marshlands in the deltas of these rivers dates from prehistoric times. Early inhabitants constructed artificial mounds, called terpen. Houses and sometimes entire villages were built on top of them. Beginning in the Middle Ages, large-scale efforts to reclaim land were begun. Dams were built to seal off the lowlands from the rivers and sea. Ditches were dug to drain the land and windmills were used to pump excess water from the ditches into the rivers. In modern times, steam, and later diesel and electric pumps made possible the reclamation of larger areas. In 1853 the Haarlemmeer was drained to create 162 sq km (63 sq mi) of new land. The Zuiderzee Plan, begun in 1920 with a dike that closed off the former Zuiderzee and created the Ijsselmeer, a huge lake. For more info visit Pago Wirense.


Most of the original forests of the Netherlands have long since disappeared. Planted forests now cover about 9% of the national territory, and many of these comprise national parks, such as Hoge Veluwe, near Arnhem. The sandy hills of the High Netherlands are heath lands, and the coastal dunes are home to a variety of sea grasses. No sizable populations of large animals exist. Small animals include hedgehogs, moles, and other rodents. The country has a large variety of land and sea birds, many of which are protected at national wildlife reserves and bird sanctuaries.


The most famous Dutch authors of early modern times were the humanist philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam and the poet Joost van den Vondel. Others include Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Constantijn Huygens, and Hugo Grotius. Well-known contemporary writers are Jan de Hartog, Simon Vestdijk, Willem Frederik Hermans, Marga Minco, and Harry Mulisch.

The Netherlands is known for the genius of its painters, both traditional and modern. Dutch masters of the 16th and 17th centuries included Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, and Jan Vermeer. Among those of more recent times are Vincent van Gogh , Piet Mondrian, and Willem de Kooning. Visit the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.


The Netherlands' location at the mouth of Europe's major waterways destined it to become a major centre of world trade. During the Golden Age of the 17th century the Dutch took to the sea and amassed a far flung colonial empire.

The western areas of the Netherlands developed shipbuilding, diamond cutting, and industries manufacturing cocoa, chocolate, gin, and liqueurs from raw materials provided by overseas areas.

The Industrial Revolution, less dramatic in the Netherlands than in Great Britain and Germany, did not begin on a large scale until the Limburg coalfields were developed in the late 19th century. The Depression of the 1930s and the devastation of World War II left the nation impoverished by 1945, but recovery and expansion of trade and industry proceeded rapidly after 1950 through closer economic ties within the Benelux Economic Union composed of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, and the European Union (EU), of which the Netherlands was a founding member.


The principal industries are petrochemicals, transportation equipment, and electronics, represented respectively by the petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell, Fokker, the airplane manufacturer, and Philips, which produces electrical appliances. Euro-port, southwest of Rotterdam at the mouth of the Rhine, is the centre of the petrochemical, refining, and containerised shipping industries.


Dutch agriculture is highly specialized, and much of it is geared for the export market. The flower industry exports bulbs (especially tulips), flower seeds, and cut flowers. Other horticultural products include garden fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes, which are grown year-round in greenhouses. The dairy industry also accounts for much of the country's agricultural exports, especially butter and cheese. Dutch cheeses such as Gouda and Edam are known all over the world.


Fishing was once a great export industry and continues to be an important economic activity. Sole, plaice, and shellfish are among the most valuable catches. Eel and herring are popular delicacies. Link

During World War I the Netherlands was neutral, but its proximity to the conflict saddled it with serious refugee and economic problems. The country was also hard hit during the Depression of the 1930s. During the interwar years the Netherlands suffered from political stalemate, as coalition governments consisting of religious and liberal parties spent more time bickering than formulating policy. Consequently they were unable to respond effectively either to the economic crisis or to the threat of German aggression.

At the outbreak of World War II the Netherlands again declared its neutrality, but Nazi Germany ignored this and German forces overran the country in May 1940. Aided by Dutch collaborationists, the Germans set up an occupation regime.

Queen Wilhelmina and the official government fled to exile in London, where they provided aid to the Allied forces and the underground resistance.

When Dutch colonials in Indonesia joined the war effort against Japan, the occupation authorities responded with a vicious persecution of dissidents and Jews in the Netherlands. By 1945 the Jewish population was reduced to 10% of its pre-war size.

World War II had a devastating impact on the country. Tremendous suffering was brought on by the "Hunger Winter" of 1944-45. The nation's economic capacity had been virtually wiped out. Sabotage of the dams had flooded large areas of land. Efforts to rebuild after the war led to a reconciliation between the quarrelling factions of the pre-war years, and the economic recovery was dramatic.

Indonesia began a rebellion against Dutch rule in 1946. Under pressure from the United States and the United Nations, the Netherlands reluctantly relinquished control of Indonesia in 1948. It retained control of neighboring Irian Jaya, however, causing strained relations with Indonesia until the Dutch finally turned it over to the Indonesians in 1962.

Determined not to repeat the Indonesian trauma, the Dutch government was more accommodating when Suriname pressed for independence, embarking on a period of careful negotiations and allocating a generous amount of developmental assistance to Suriname when it achieved nationhood in 1975.


The house of Orange is the royal family of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The dynasty originated in the medieval principality of Orange, in southern France. William the Silent, count of Nassau, who held estates in the Netherlands, became William I, Prince of Orange, in 1544 as heir of Rene of Chalon, and he carried this title as leader of the Dutch Revolt against Spain that created the Dutch Republic.


William V was forced into exile by the French conquest in 1795. His son, however, was created king of the Netherlands, as William I, and grand duke of Luxembourg in 1815. He was succeeded by Kings William II and William III. In 1890, when Queen Wilhelmina succeeded in the Netherlands, Luxembourg passed to a collateral line of the family. Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948. Her successor, Juliana, did the same in 1980, the throne passing to her eldest daughter, Beatrice.

town picture of tiel, crosswalk, fountain, road canal, bridge and trees

picture of tiel
Pictures of a small town called Tiel in the Netherlands.

picture of tiel facing away from the shopping area

Cross roads in Tiel. The building with the red awnings is a bank. Turning to your left, you go to the main shopping centre.

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