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wat zeg je in de lift?


I am Chinese and I have been living in the Netherlands for almost 4 years.

This is this thing really different from my own culture. In general, we Chinese people don't interact with strangers in public spaces, we just don't usually say "hello" or "bye" to people who we don't know.

For me it is kind of awkward to greet/goodbye colleagues that I don't know in the office elevator. But they always say something in Dutch when they left the elevator and I am just so curious to know what the hell they were actually saying. :)

So what do you usually say when you are leaving the elevator/ someone is leaving the elevator? Just Tot zo/Tot ziens/Dag/bye ??





Jul 14, 2016 5:04 PM
Comments · 7

Hi Ming!

For us to really be able to tell you what the people in your elevator are saying, you need to record them and play it for us. :) Don't know if that's quite legal though...

Dutch small talk very often is about things like the weather. "Lekker weertje vandaag he?" "Denk je dat het gaat regenen?" "Het was weer koud vanochtend he?" That kind of stuff.

If people actually know each other, they will still often talk about the weather, but can also ask about how things are with their health. They can ask how their back has been doing for instance. Or there can be questions about how their partners or kids are doing.

Every culture is different. That's one thing I absolutely love about living in different countries. You really get to know the people and their habits.

Enjoy the rest of your time in Holland!

July 17, 2016


你好! 你的问题挺有意思! 可能人家会说类似 goedemorgen.


March 15, 2017

Don't you take the stairs Ming? :-)

Good for your health! 

December 24, 2016

Hello Ming,

I just saw your question and it's the same thing with bussess, waiting rooms ( hospital etc...). We usually say: 'dag' when entering and 'dag' when exiting.

If you know the people, you might hear 'hallo' when entering and 'prettige dag' (have a nice day) when exiting. 

Met vr. groet,


December 24, 2016

Hoi Ming,

It feels inconvenient to say nothing to people with whom you have been in an intimate situation. 

The elevator forces us to say something. 

But I do not want to have a whole dialog, especially not in the morning. So I just say dag, tot ziens or doei.

October 18, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English, French, Spanish
Learning Language
Dutch, English, French, Spanish