In our house we speak ‘Dinglish’


In our house we speak ‘Dinglish’.

Speaking two languages can be a lot of fun and you don’t even need to have an in-depth knowledge of those languages to start speaking Dinglish.

So, what is ‘Dinglish”?

‘Dinglish’ is a combination of the Dutch and English language, hence ‘Dinglish’.

This is often what is spoken most in our family.

The kids included. Actually, they are quite fluent.

How do you speak ‘Dinglish’?

Well, it is quite simple. All you have to do is say out loud the first word your thinking of in either language.

This will always vary depending on the conversation and how well your brain is functioning in that moment.

There have been situations where I was not able to find the right words in any language and the description comes out in ‘Dinglish’.

happy family

What dose ‘Dinglish’ look like?

A typical sentence may look like this:

“Has anyone seen my fietssleutel (bike key)?”


“Ik ga naar de (I am going to the) supermarket”.

As you can see typically the last word in the sentence changes language.

This is for the beginners.

An expert at Dinglish will mix it up and throw in a word willy nilly.

For example, if we repeat the above example, it may look more like this:

“Has iemand seen my fietssleutel?”

Which does not roll of the tongue as easily, hence the expert status.

Another reason for speaking ‘Dinglish’ in our house the fact that, I could not for the life of me, remember that one word in my native language.

Why start speaking ‘Dinglish’?

Speaking your native language, you would think, should be easy to retain, you know because you grew up speaking it.


I found out that if you don’t practice more than daily conversational words, you do start to forget the more intricate words in your native language.

That is why Dinglish is so handy.

If you forget or don’t know a word in one language you just switch to the other language. Easy.

Dinglish has also become a running joke within my family and it gives our own personal language that we can laugh about together.

This is one of the fun sides of being an expat. Enjoying making mistakes and having fun with them as a family.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like reading about how we combine our traditions or cultural differences .

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