game [noun] [het spelletje, de spelletjes] [‘spe-lu-tju’]  Iconspeaker_3

A “spel” is a game, but “spellen” is “to spell”. “Spelen” is “to play (a game)”, “spelling” is “spelling”, but “speling” is “margin” or “leeway”. And a “spell” in Dutch, well that’s something completely different. Tired of this silly “woordspelletje”? Then let’s move on to the examples!

(But do mind that the diminutive “spelletje” is mostly used for recreational games whereas “spel” is the more general word for “game”.)
– “Hebben jullie zin om een spelletje te doen?”
(“Do you feel like playing a game?”)

-“Nou, hou je van me of speel je soms een spelletje (met me)?” 
(“Well, do you love me, or are you playing a game (with me)?” Note that “soms” translates to “sometimes” but when used as in this example it takes on the meaning of “potentially/possibly”.)

– “Ken je Lingo? Leuk spelletje hè?!
(“Do you know Lingo? Fun game, isn’t it?” As of 2014 the game Lingo is no longer on Dutch television.)


– “Een gevaarlijk spelletje spelen”: to play a dangerous game.
– “Het spel is uit”: game over.
– “Het spel meespelen”: to play along (with somebody).
– “Iets op het spel zetten”: to risk losing something.

Related words:

– “Gezelschappspel”: party game, round game. “Gezelschap” translates to “company” (around you).
– “Bordspel(letje)”: board game.
– “Woordspel(letje)”: word game.
– “Kaartspel(letje)”: card game.
– “Woordspeling”: pun (note: only one ‘l’ !)
– “Seksspelletje”: sex/bed game.
– “Computerspelletje”: computer game.
– “Buitenspel”: off-side (football/soccer).
– “Spelen”: to play.