A small course in Danish
Danish is a language spoken by few people. Danish is often easy for the Dutch to understand but difficult to pronounce. This has to do with certain sounds that occur in Danish but not in Dutch. Below is a small explanation of the Danish language.
The Danish language is spoken by approximately 5.5 million people worldwide. Danish is Denmark’s first official language and is also spoken by minorities in the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The Danish language is written in the Latin alphabet to which the letters Æ (ee), Ø (eu) and Å (oh) have been added. The letters Q, W, X and Z are hardly used. Danish is related to English, German and Frisian. The language is therefore not difficult for the Dutch to understand.
The Danish language is short and flat. The language has few intonations and for the Dutch the language soon sounds like a deluge of letters stuck together. Words are pronounced short in Danish and the language often sounds a bit staccato. It lacks a lilting intonation. This makes the language often difficult for the Dutch to speak. Danish requires some practice.
The Danish D.
A special case is the Danish D. It can be pronounced in Danish in the following ways:
- As in Dansk (sounds like: Densk, meaning: Danish).
- As in Vand (sounds like: Ven, meaning: Water).
- As in Chokolade (sounds like: Chocolate, meaning: Chocolate).
Especially the last statement is difficult for the Dutch. Just try to say:
Chokolade med flødeskum (sounds like: Chocoleel meh fleulskoem, meaning: Chocolate milk with whipped cream)
The definite article
In addition, Danish uses the indefinite and the definite article. With the definite article there is an attachment after the noun. This differs from Dutch. In the Dutch language ?? a ?? the indefinite article (eg a book) and ?? the ?? if it?? the definite article (the book).
This works differently in Danish. In the Danish language ?? and ?? and ?? et ?? the indefinite articles. Whether a noun is preceded by ?? and ?? or by ?? et ?? is not bound by any rules and is therefore completely arbitrary. ??And?? and ?? et ?? in addition to indefinite articles, certain articles are also only followed by a certain noun after the word.
- And kage (a cake) ?? Kagen (the cake)
- Et hus (a house) ?? Huset (the house)
- And cup (a cup) ?? Cups (the cup)
- Et glass (one glass) ?? Glass set (the glass)
There is also a definite article in the plural. The noun often ends in ne.
- Kager (cakes) ?? Kagerne (the cakes)
- Huse (houses) ?? Husene (the houses)
Following are some sentences in Danish:
- Hey, yeg hedder Annie ?? Hello, my name is Annie
- Jeg taler member Dansk ?? I speak a little Danish
- Jeg bor i København ?? I live in Copenhagen
- Jeg kommer fra Holland ?? I’m from Holland
- Is there a gift ?? I am married
- Jeg har and lille søster og en storebror ?? I have a sister and a brother
- Hvad med dig? ?? How are you?