Danish

Danish circle flagVelkomst!

Danish is a North Germanic language. Danish is spoken by around six million people, mostly based in Denmark, but also in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Denmark is the happiest country on earth, for the second time in a row, according to the UN World Happiness Report. Following the report findings it is due to a combination of facts such as high GDP, good healthy life expectancy, low levels of inequality and high levels of social support.

Danish films and TV drams are renowned worldwide due to their unique, realistic and certainly griping style. Films such as Breaking the waves, Dancer in the dark and Dogville by the controversial director Lars von Trier and the Oscar winners In a better world, Pelle the Conqueror and the wonderful Babette's Feast are only the tip of the iceberg. Similarly, in recent years TV dramas like Borgen, The bridge and The killing have been broadcasted all over the world with great success.

Danish has many similarities with Norwegian and Swedish. In fact, Danish speakers can understand Norwegian and Swedish and vice versa. So, you could say that by learning Danish you are almost learning three languages!

Levels offered: Danish

Beginners (level 1 - A1 CEFR)

You have little or no prior knowledge of Danish.

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Greeting: "Hej" (Hi)

Counting: en, to, tre, fire, fem...

Useful phrases/words:

  • "En øl, tak." (literally "A beer, please").
  • The word "hygge" describes a cozy feeling of togetherness. It means relaxing in great company.
  • The word 'please' doesn't exist in Danish language, as a way to politely finish a sentence when making a request.

Interesting points: Like in French, some Danish numbers use a vigesimal approach. For example, the number 60 is expressed as 3 times 20: tresindtyve (tre-sinde-tyve). Although, there is a shorten way to say it as tres, which literally means 'sixty'.

Danish language adopted what could be the most common vowel 'a' as a new letter in 1948. Before then it was written as a double aa, which is still in use in some words. The city Aalborg never adopted the new single 'a'.

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