to treat [verb] [trakteerde, getrakteerd]

In elementary schools in the Netherlands it is common for children to treat their teacher and class mates to some kind of candy when it is their birthday (“healthy” candy is encouraged by the way). Usually also a tour around the school is made where all other teachers are treated as well.

The verb “trakteren” is used for any kind of buying drinks or food for others and does not necessarily require a reason.

– “Ik trakteer!”
(“It’s my treat! / This one’s on me!” Literally: “I treat!”)

– “Ik ben vorige week jarig geweest en daarom trakteer ik jullie allemaal op taart!”
(“I had my birthday last week and therefore I treat you all to cake!”)

– “Sander en Marc hebben gisteren zichzelf getrakteerd op een tapas etentje.”
(“Yesterday, Sander and Marc treated themselves to a tapas dinner.”)

– “Omdat Frank voor de derde keer te laat was, heeft hij ons op vlaai getrakteerd.”
(“Because Frank was late for the third time, he treated us to flan/pie.” A typical Dutch pie is “vlaai” which comes in many different kinds. Read more at A popular store in the Netherlands is “Multivlaai” but you can also buy them at “Hema”. Go here for an overview of “Multivlaai” stores in the Netherlands.)

– “Na de les werd de nerd door de footballspeler op een pak slaag getrakteerd.”
(“After class, the nerd was beaten up by the (American-)football player.” Literally: “…the nerd was treated to a package of beating by…”)

Related words:
– “Traktatie”: treat.
– “Verjaardag”: birthday.

“Dutch treat” – or “going Dutch” – is used in the English language to describe the situation that each person eating at a restaurant or drinking in a bar pays for himself or herself, rather than one person paying for everyone. Apparently, the Dutch have a history of being scrooges 🙂 See .
We do would like to emphasize that it is definitely not common in the Netherlands that the bill is shared when dating. The one who invited the other should pay. The invited one might offer to pay (all or his or her share), but this should then be refused. However, when you are passed the dating stage and things are more serious, it should no longer be expected that the one inviting the other pays for the bill and you will have to find the equilibrium (as with more things in a relationship 😉 ).

Related Dutch custom is the use of a so-called “pot”, especially among students going out, where every person contributes an equal share of cash money into “de pot”, i.e. the person who manages the collected money (this person is not carrying a “pot” of some sort 😉 ). Subsequent rounds (of beer) are paid from/by the “pot”. This should guarantee that nobody “forgets” to pay for a round. Then again it might lead to “problems” when somebody leaves early before the “pot” is empty 🙂