Five sentences you will need to survive in the city of Antwerp!

Five sentences you will need to survive in the city of Antwerp!

‘Het Antwerps’, or like the locals call it: ‘het Antwaarps’, is a different kind of Dutch! You might survive your classes with English and basic Dutch, but to survive in the city, you will need some knowledge of our dialect. That’s why we present you: five sentences to blow the minds of your Antwerp friends.

After a night working on a specific deadline for uni, a coffee feels very welcome. You’re about to try that hotspot that you just found in the Student Guide Antwerp. The coffee is great, but just not strong enough to keep you awake right now. This one sentence will save you:


“Ge kunt er de gazet deur le.” (the coffee isn’t strong enough)

We’re sure you can relate to the fact that, after listening to the teacher for hours, you still don’t know what they’re trying to say. The consequence: you have to teach yourself. But there’s one chapter you can’t wrap your finger around, so you decide to e-mail the teacher for some explanation. And it worked! At that moment, a real Antwerp local would say: 

“Ajeigeteu!” (he gets it!)

You’re out with your friends, so that means you have to throw your best dance moves in the game. During the lockdown you took some lessons on TikTok, but you’re still not the dance queen that some people are. That causes an hilarious scene, so your friends say:

“Zot zen doe ni sië!” (being crazy doesn’t hurt you)

During a night out, you sit next to a very hot guy or girl. You decide to make some eye contact, talk a bit to eachother, but then you realize it’s a complete mismatch. If you could choose, you’d leave right now, but you have to find a good excuse. When you finally found one, you stand up and say:

“Ik zen schampavi.” (I’m out!)

You’re cooking with some roommates, but you forgot the last ingredient at the supermarket. Someone has to go back, but nobody wants to. Your best friend suggests that you’re the one, but you don’t agree on this with him. In that case, you say:

“Da ziede vanie!” (I don’t agree)

With these sentences, I think you’ll survive here in the city. The only thing that can happen is that someone comes to you and says “A sprekt Antwaarps van gotterligge” (he is trying to speak Antwerps, but he just can’t). But hey, at least you’re trying, and remember: participating is more important than just winning! Good luck.