meeting [noun] [de ver-ga-de-ring, de ver-ga-de-ring-en] Iconspeaker_3

In Dutch office life it is common to have meetings. The associated verb is "vergaderen": the act of sitting together and discussing issues. A "vergadering" in the Netherlands can last very long. This is because we like to reach a compromise consensus and everybody gets their say (and decisions are not always made). See the Extra for some "vergadering" lingo.

– "Ik moet nu ophangen, ik heb een vergadering over 5 minuten." 
("I have to hang up now, I have a meeting in 5 minutes.")

– "De ene na de andere vergadering, ik word er gek van!" 
("One meeting after another, it is driving me crazy!")

– "Het is de bedoeling om de voortgang van het project te bespreken, maar ik kom helemaal niet aan werken toe door al die vergaderingen!"
("The intent is to discuss the progress of the project, but I hardly get to do some work due to all these meetings!")

Related words:
– Vergaderen: to formally meet to discuss something [verb] [vergaderde, vergaderd].
– Agenda: agenda [noun] [de agenda, de agenda’s]. This word is also used for a (pocket) calendar, hence Dutch people often say they have to check their "agenda".
– Agendapunt: topic on the agenda [noun] [het punt, de punten].
– Voorzitter: chairman [noun] [de voorzitter, de voorzitters].
– Discussiëren: to argue, to discuss [verb] [discussieerde, gediscussieerd].
– Bespreken: to discuss, to talk about [verb] [besprak, besproken].

A common topic on a meeting agenda is "WVTTK", short for "wat verder ter tafel komt", or: "what else may come to the table" (like "any other business"). This is an opportunity to bring a new topic to discuss to the table but it may only prolong the meeting. It is encouraged not to include this topic but to formally decide on the meetings agenda at the beginning of the meeting. This is done during the meeting topic "vaststelling agenda". At the end of a meeting it is common to give all attendants one more
chance to ask a question about something that has not been discussed
yet. This is called the "rondvraag" (and the chairman will go "round
the table" to see if anybody has a question ("vraag")). Again this might lead to more discussion and a longer meeting 🙂

6 thoughts on “Vergadering

  1. Hi Sander,
    in case of a female chairman, would that be a “voorsitster” or “mevrouw voorsitter” as in “madam chairman”?
    Best regards,

  2. In the first paragraph, you mention “compromise”, which sounds a little odd in the context. Did you mean “consensus”?
    Consensual decisions may often be reached without compromise, particularly when everyone is in agreement. On the other hand, there are occasions when no consensus is reached, no matter what compromises are on offer.

  3. Hi Fred,
    Thanks for your comment. You are right, I meant to write “reach consensus”. However, if consensus cannot be reached then the Dutch way is to: compromise and compromise and compromise… 🙂

  4. Ha ha ha. In my experience the rondvraag is usually met with stoney silence as everyone will’s the vergardering to finish.

  5. Hi guys, amazing site – my current favourite website!
    A pocket calendar is a diary in English!
    Keep up the good work…

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