Newly arrived international students explain what “gezellig” means

Newly arrived international students explain what “gezellig” means

We’re three days into the TOP Week. The sun is shining, the beer is flowing and new friendships are springing up. Time to ask Tilburg University’s new international students just how familiar they are with the typical Dutch term “gezelligheid”.


Pujita (20), India
It means “fun” or “pleasant”. I know because I learned some basic Dutch words and sentences before I came here. In Hindi, the word for “gezellig” is “masth”.


Fernando (21), Mexico
Gezellig? That’s when people get drunk.


Sam (19), Australia
I think it means “really good”. Not to describe food, because that’s “lekker”. Clothes then? Yeah, I think clothes can be gezellig.


Alonso (24), Spain
“Gezellig” means cozy, homely, good times, friends, and beer. I learned it yesterday. By experience!


Peter (28), Slovenia
“Gezellig” means “cabbage”. Red cabbage, maybe? Or sweet cabbage. No, just cabbage, I think. I know because it phonetically sounds like the Slovenian word for cabbage, “zelje”.


Elenia (21) and Marina (20), Chile and Spain
We think it means something like cool, or funny. It’s difficult to translate into Spanish, but you’d probably say “bacán” or “guay”.


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