let’s say / like [Dutch phrase of the week]
The use of "zeg maar" is a bit of a plague in the Dutch language. Many people use it constantly as a filler. Being a filler, "zeg maar" doesn’t really mean anything. In fact, one could argue that it only shows that people who use it, are not really sure of what they’re saying, or are only just babbling on.
"Zeg maar" is used by people of all ages in any kind of setting, informal and at the office, even during presentations. Dutch Guru Marc has colleagues that use "zeg maar" almost every other word…
There’s no literal translation of "zeg maar", it is best translated with "let’s say". Literal translation of "let’s say" is "laten we zeggen", which is also often used as a bit of a more formal filler, but not as often as "zeg maar".
When young people use "zeg maar", we think the best translation would be "like", as in: "You know, it’s, like, you know, like I don’t know what to say, like, you know…" 🙂
– "Als ik naar dat schilderij kijk, krijg ik een warm gevoel, zeg maar."
("When I look at that painting, I get like a warm feeling.")
– "Snap je, zeg maar, wat ik bedoel?"
("Do you understand, like, what I mean?")
– "Als je na een hete sauna een koud bad neemt, is het, zeg maar, alsof je even niet kunt ademen."
("When you take a cold bath after a hot sauna, it’s – let’s say – as if you cannot breathe for a moment.")
– "Laten we zeggen": (lit.) let’s say.
– "Weet je": you know.
– "Stopwoord": filler. Literally "stop word". You also often hear ‘stopwoordje’.