Danish: The language of fairy tales
10 facts about the Danish language
Origin of the language
Danish originated in Scandinavia.
History of the language
Danish is believed to have originated during the 8th century.
Learning the language
An English speaker can expect to learn Danish in 575 hours.
Danish language for beginners
Ten basics words to start learning in Danish:
All the sorrows of life are bearable if only, we can convert them into a story.
Writer, author and poet
Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
Hans Christian Anderson
Novelist, author, playwright and writer of fairy tales
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Philosopher, writer, theologian, social critic and poet
Fun facts about the Danish language
The longest word
The longest word in Danish is a compound word: Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode, meaning “the period of stabilization planning for a specialized doctor’s practice.”
In Danish, numbers are stated in multiples of 20. For example, 60 is tresindtyve which means “3 twenties.”
“No cow on ice”
The Danish expression for “no problem” is “no cow on ice,” referring to a common farmer’s problem.
The letter “å”
The letter “å” was officially added to the written alphabet in 1948; it is used to signify double a-a sounds.
Using creaky voice (laryngealization) when speaking Danish changes the meaning of the word, for example, “girl/she” (hun) becomes “dog” (hund).
There are 32 different dialects of Danish which, even among native speakers, can be hard to understand.
No word for “please”
The Danish language does not have a specific word for the term “please.” Instead, hand gestures are used to convey politeness.
The word gift
In Danish, the word gift means both “marriage” and “poison.” This can be confusing and can get you in trouble!
Formal and informal tone
Danish, like Spanish, has pronouns that convey respect; for example while du is an informal “you,” de is formal.
Danish has a special expression for doing someone a favor: bjørnetjeneste literally means “bear favor.”