Danish language: all you need to know about Danish Start studying abroad

EU abbreviation: DA

LINGUISTIC FEATURES

Danish is a member of the North Germanic language family and is related to Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish. It is written using the Latin script and is read from left to right. The alphabet used for writing in Danish is the Latin alphabet with the addition of æ, ø, and å, which come at the end of the alphabet.
Danish numerals such as 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 are based on a vigesimal system, which also used to be used in Norwegian and Swedish. This is similar to the French numerals from 80 through 99 and it means that the score is used as a base unit when counting. ‘Tres’ means sixty, but its literal translation means ‘three times twenty.’ ‘Halvtreds’ means fifty, but its literal translation means ‘half third times twenty’ (i.e. two score plus half of the third score). ‘Tyve’ means twenty, but its literal translation means 'two tens.'

GEOGRAPHY

Danish is an official language in Denmark, Faroe Islands, and is recognised as a minority language in Germany and Greenland. There are about 6 million native Danish speakers, mainly in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany. There are also substantial Danish-speaking communities in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

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Description: Learn Danish in Germany (Learn Danish banner in Flensburg, Germany where it is an officially recognised regional language)

Date: 20 October 2012

Author: Tomasz Sienicki

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_language#mediaviewer/File:Learn_Danish_in_Germany,_2012,_ubt.JPG

FAMOUS SPEAKERS OF DANISH

Karen von Blixen-Finecke (née Karen Christenze Dinesen ) was born on 17 April 1885 and died on 7 September 1962. She was a Danish author, better known by her pen name Isak Dinesen, although she had others such as Tania Blixen, Osceola and Pierre Andrézel. She wrote in three languages: Danish, English and French. Blixen’s most famous book is Out of Africa, which tells the story of her life in Kenya. Other well-known stories include Babette's Feast and Seven Gothic Tales. Both Out of Africa and Babette's Feast have been adapted into highly acclaimed, Academy Award-winning motion pictures.

Danish2.jpgDescription: Portrait of Isak Dinesen

Date: 29 January 1959

Author: Carl Van Vechten

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Blixen#mediaviewer/File:Blixen3b41298u.jpg

Lars Ulrich was born on 26 December 1963. He is a Danish-American drummer and one of the original members of American heavy metal band Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to a well-off family. His father, Torben Ulrich, was professional tennis player. In 1980, Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, California. He was sixteen when he started his training. However, he soon began playing the drums instead and formed Metallica with James Hetfield, after publishing an advertisement in a local Los Angeles newspaper. He became famous as a pioneer of fast thrash drum beats, which appeared on many of Metallica's early songs, such as ‘Metal Militia’ from Kill 'Em All.

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Description: Lars Ulrich playing live with Metallica in London in 2008

Date: 15 August 2008

Author: Knightrider abhi

URL: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Lars_Live_London.jpg

WELL-KNOWN DANISH SAYINGS

"Af to onde Kaar skal man vaelge det bedste.

Translation: Of two wrongdoings one should choose the best.

English equivalent: One should choose the lesser of two evils."

"’Betre er boie end briste.

English equivalent: Better bow than break.

Meaning: It is better to make some confession, or pay a little deference to others – our neighbours, friends, acquaintances, and especially our superiors – rather than lose our credit or break friendships."

"Des mere man klapper katten, des hjere hun bærer rumpen.

Translation: Cat patting leads to hump raising.

English equivalent: The more you stroke the cat's tail, the more he raises his back.

Meaning: Displaying too much affection or desperation repels your friends and love interests."
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Danish_proverbs

FOOD AND DRINK

Danish cuisine originated from local produce and was enhanced by the wider availability of goods and cooking techniques developed in the 19th century. Open sandwiches (smørrebrød) are commonly eaten for lunch and can be considered a national dish. Hot meals traditionally include ground meats, which can be found in frikadeller (meat balls), or more substantial meat and fish dishes such as kogt torsk (poached cod) or flæskesteg (roast pork with crackling). Potatoes are also a staple of Danish cooking and were first introduced into Denmark by French immigrant Huguenots in 1720. Bread is equally important on Danish tables and is usually based primarily on rugbrød (sour-dough rye bread). Danish pastries also enjoy a global reputation and are known in Denmark as wienerbrød (Vienna bread). Carlsberg and Tuborg beers are well-known throughout the world.

Danish4.jpgDescription: Bornholm lunch (Fishcake, smoked mackerel and prawns with dark rye bread)

Date: 1 January 2009

Author: Orfeus

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_cuisine#mediaviewer/File:Bornholm_lunch.jpg

HERITAGE

Denmark's architecture can be traced to the Middle Ages, with the first Romanesque and Gothic churches and cathedral. Dutch and Flemish designers arrived in the country in the 16th century, at first to improve the country's fortifications. Soon after, they started building outstanding Renaissance royal castles and palaces. In the 17th century, buildings were built in the Baroque style, while Neoclassicism from France was slowly brought in and used by Danish architects who were starting to define a Danish architectural style. This was followed by a period of Historicism and Romantic style in the 19th-century. The 20th century includes a mix of new architectural styles including expressionism, Nordic Classicism and Functionalist architecture.

Danish5.jpgDescription: Grundtvig memorial church 1913-1940

Date: 5 October 2007

Author: Tryphon

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark#mediaviewer/File:Pv_jensen-klint_05_grundtvig_memorial_church_1913-1940.jpg

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Denmark counts 443 named islands, 76 of which are inhabited.
  • Danish men are the oldest to marry in Europe, with an average of 32 years old.
  • Denmark was the first country to legalise same-sex unions in 1989.
  • William Shakespeare's Hamlet (named after the Danish prince of the same name) was inspired by an old Danish myth of the Viking Prince Amled of Jutland.
  • According to the 1997 Gini index of 24.7, Danish people have the lowest income inequality in the world, while Denmark has the highest employment rate in Europe (75%).
  • Lego toys are a Danish invention.

Description: LEGO Building At KSC

Date: 3 November 2010

Author: Originalwana

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego#mediaviewer/File:LEGO_Building_At_KSC.jpg

LEARNING DANISH

There are various schools in Denmark and abroad that offer Danish language courses. Search for Danish language courses now.