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Practice Lesson 1A Lesson 2A Lesson 3A Lesson 4A Lesson 5A Lesson 6A Lesson 7A Lesson 8A Lesson 9A Lesson 10A Lesson 11A Lesson 12A Lesson 13A Lesson 14A Lesson 15A Lesson 16A Practice
Examples Vb. 1 Vb. 2 Vb. 3 Vb. 4 Vb. 5 Vb. 6 Vb. 7 Vb. 8 Vb. 9 Vb. 10 Vb. 11 Vb. 12 Vb. 13 Vb. 14 Vb. 15 Vb. 16 Examples
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Beginner level: cycle 1
Voorbeeld 1 ~ Example 1

Kinderliedjes ~ Nursery rhymes

Poesje en Hondje
Poesje Mauw
Schaapje, schaapje

Nursery rhymes


Children learn a lot of language skills by playing, singing, dancing. They know how to make learning fun. This is why children's songs and rhymes are a wonderful way to acquire a foreign language. Here are three examples. Enjoy being a child again!

Poesje en Hondje


The following text was taken from a Mother Goose rhyme and translated into Dutch.[1] In order to get a literal translation, the Dutch text was not made to rhyme.

Note that in Dutch the word poesje does not have the same connotation as in English. It merely means pussycat.

  1. Read the text and use the hover method to figure out what the text means.
  2. Use the "Vocabulary" box on the right to listen to the pronunciation of the individual words and memorize them.
  3. Once done open the translation box to check the translation
Poesje zit naast het vuur
Hoe kan zij braaf zijn?
Dan komt het kleine hondje binnen
"Poesje, ben je daar?
Zo, zo, mejuffrouw Poesje,
Zeg me, hoe gaat het met je?"
"Dank je, dank je, Hondje,
Het gaat heel goed met me op dit moment."
Translation • Example 1 • Poesje en hondje
Kittycat sits beside the fire,
How can she be fair?
In comes the little dog,
"Pussycat, are you there?
So, so, dear miss Kittycat,
Pray tell me how do you do?"
"Thank you, thank you, little dog,
I'm very well at the moment."


het vuur:
very; also whole
hoe gaat het met je: lit. 'How goes it with you', how are you?, how do you do?

Poesje Mauw


The following is a Dutch volksliedje (folk song).

  1. Use the hover method to figure out the meaning
  2. Use the vocabulary box on the right to listen to the words and memorize them
  3. Once you think you have figured out what it means, open the translation box to check

Poesje Mauw
Kom eens gauw
Ik heb lekkere melk voor jou
En voor mij
O wat heerlijk smullen wij!
Translation • Example 1 • Poesje mauw
Pussycat Meow
Come quickly
I have tasty milk for you
And for me
Rice porridge
Oh how we will enjoy this meal!

The meter in the Dutch version is nearly perfect and should provide hints for pronouncing the words.
Lekkere is pronounced as 'le-kre' in this case, to fit the meter (but this poetic license, not non-standard pronunciation).

Now that you understand the poem, go see a video of it, see here (Notice that in some dialects ij and ei are pronounced more like [ɑɪ̯] than as [ɛɪ̯].)

There is a pretty astounding 'performance' of this song by (the late) Corrina Konijnenburg that was recorded in 1967 in a children's show by Dorus (real name Tom Manders). Note that the performer took a few liberties. Notice that she pronounces poesje as poessie as is usual in Hollandic dialects.


de brij: mash, porridge
smullen: to thoroughly enjoy food

Ba, ba, black sheep


This nursery rhyme is well known in English, but here is the Dutch version.

  1. Hover to figure out the meaning
  2. Use the vocabulary box to listen to the pronunciation and memorize the new words
  3. Open up the translation box to see if you figured it out right
  4. Go see the youtube video

Schaapje, schaapje, heb je witte wol?
Ja baas, ja baas, drie zakken vol
Eén voor de meester en één voor z'n vrouw
Eén voor het kindje dat bibbert van de kou
Schaapje, schaapje, heb je witte wol?
Ja baas, ja baas, drie zakken vol.
Translation • Example 1 • Schaapje, schaapje
Little sheep, little sheep do you have white wool?
Yes boss, yes boss, three bags full
One for the master and one for his wife
One for the little babe that trembles from the cold
Little sheep, little sheep do you have white wool?
Yes boss, yes boss, three bags full



The vocabulary of this lesson can be practiced at Quizlet (21 terms)

Progress made


If you have studied the above well you should have

  1. caught a glimpse of what children who grow up speaking Dutch learn as a toddler
  2. strengthened your listening and speaking
  3. gained another 21 terms for your vocabulary

Cumulative count: Les 1: 116 terms, Les 1A: 89 terms. Example 1: 21 terms Total 226 terms.

Further learning


Please proceed to Dutch/Lesson 2


  1. The original appears in the Project Gutenberg text 'Verse and Prose for Beginners in Reading'.