Dank je versus Dank je wel
Is there a difference?
Yes, there's a bit of a difference. You could say that Dank je just means "Thanks"(or Thank you) and Dank je wel means Thanks much/Thanks a lot. Wel is called a modal particle and it has different usages. It's actually used a lot in everyday conversational Dutch. Here's some info on it: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wel.
'Dank je' is like the English way of saying -thanks- ( shorter way of saying dank je wel) . ' Dank je wel' is more like -thank you-, and more polite. But it means the same.
There are a few ways of saying thanks in Dutch.
These have little, to no difference at all and you would use these mostly in an informal way, e.g. friends, people you know, people of same age and people younger than you:
- Dank je wel (often written as: dankjewel)
- Dank je
- Bedankt These would all translate to "Thanks!"
- Dank u wel
- Dank u
'U' is the formal 'you' and you would use this to people of older age, or people you don't know.
When you would like to express extra emphasis for your gratitude, you would say:
- Erg bedankt! (Many thanks!)
- Heel erg bedankt! (Many, many thanks!)
These can be used in both formal informal contexts.
I often say "Bedankt!" in almost all situations. Or just the english "Thanks!", we Dutchies are very english-influenced ;) Unless I really want to be formal (e.g. older people), then I say "Dank u wel".
Hope this helps!