Going short

Posted on 31. Mar, 2015 by in Vocabulary

Photo by Ralph Daily at Flickr, CC License.

Photo by Ralph Daily at Flickr, CC License.

OMG! OK, it’s forkortelse (abbreviation) time. LOL. :-) BTW, YOLO, so let’s get down to it:

osv. = og så videre = ”and so further” = etc.: De købte is, chokolade osv. (They bought ice-cream, chokolate etc.)

m.m.  = med mere = ”with more”: Der var øl m.m. (There was beer and other stuff.)

m.fl. = med flere = ”with several”: Gæster: Susanne, Lasse m.fl. (Guests: Susanne, Lasse and several others.)

ca. = cirka = approximately: Der kom ca. tyve gæster. (There came approximately twenty guests.)

bl.a. = blandt andet = amongst other [things]: De spillede bl.a. ludo. (Amongst other things, they played ludo.)

kl. = klokken = o’ clock: De tog først hjem kl. 4. (They first went back home at four AM.)

gl. = gammel = old: Søger medarbejder, m/k, 18 år gl. (Seeking employee, m[an or]w[oman], 18 years of age.)

kr. = kroner = Kroner: Lønnen er på 80 kr. (They wage is at 80 Kroner.)

tlf. = telefon = phone: Skriv din tlf. og adr. her: (Write your telephone number and [postal] address here: – adr. is short for adresse.)

hhv. = henholdsvis = respectively: Der er to pauser på hhv. 15 og 35 min. (There are two breaks at 15 and 35 minutes, respectively. – min. is short for minutter.)

m.a.o. = med andre ord = in other words: Det er m.a.o. et stort problem. (In other words, that’s a huge problem.)

p.t. = for tiden (actually short for Latin pro tempore) = presently, at the time being: Der er p.t. ingen enhjørninger i Danmark. (There are presently no unicorns in Denmark.)

fx / f.eks. = for eksempel = for example: De kunne fx bo ude i skoven. (They could live out in the forest, for example.)

dvs. = det vil sige = ”that will say” = that is/that means: Der er plads nok i Danmark, dvs. ude på landet. (There’s plenty of space in Denmark, that is, in the countryside.)

P.S. There are plenty of other forkortelser, fx those dealing with units: 3 stk. til prisen af 1. Brug en halv tsk. peber pr. kg. = 3 stykker til prisen af 1. Brug en halv teskefuld peber per kilo. (3 pieces for the price of 1. Use half a teaspoonful of pepper for each kilo.)

The coolest bus commercial in Denmark

Posted on 14. Mar, 2015 by in Media, Transportation

Denne uge [DENNeh oo] (this week) I’d like to share with you a fabulous reklame (commercial) that’s currently making a lot of people laugh in danske biografer (Danish cinemas). It’s called Passageren [passaSHARE-unh] (The Passenger) or Bussen 2 [boosn TOH] (The Bus 2), as it’s the sequel to the 2012 hit commercial Bussen. In case you haven’t seen it yet, slap af (relax) and take a look:

A little bit about the cultural background for this film

Danmark is often associated with cykler (bicycles). In the new millennium, however, privatbilisme (”private motoring”) has become a problem. The country is ”fladt som en pandekage” (flat as a pancake), as the saying goes, and it’s very easy to roll out new veje (roads) and motorveje (motorways, freeways). Furthermore, many Danes are quite velhavende (well-to-do) and can afford to have their own bil [beel] (car), even in small families… You do the math! :-)

This is how many Danes experience the countryside. (Photo by Thomas Angermann at Flickr, CC License.)

This is how many Danes experience the countryside. (Photo by Thomas Angermann at Flickr, CC License.)

Many politikere (politicians) and other people drømmer om (dream about) a country where more people tager cyklen (”take” the bike) or benytter kollektiv transport (peruse ”public transport”, such as busses or trains). This would be a country with less forurening (pollution), and maybe more strangers would talk to each other and become venner (friends) – as you can see in the film! ;-)

”Passageren” was made by Midttrafik (”Middle Traffic”), the main bus [booss] (bus) company in Midtjylland (Central Jutland). Their aim, of course, is to make more people take their busser to places like Lystrup – a suburb to Århus/Aarhus.

The film also jokes about the feeling many Danes have of being kedelig (dull or trivial), living lives that are just as organized and ”dry” as the stereotypcial madpakke (packed lunch) of rugbrød med spegepølse (rye bread with salami). If you buy a bus ticket, however, you can have an interesting personlighed (personality), cool sko (shoes) and an exotic kæreste (girlfriend) who thinks your packed lunch is a gourmetmadpakke!

Big and Small

Posted on 28. Feb, 2015 by in grammar

Courtesy of Open Clipart.

Courtesy of Open Clipart.

Vi har hvad vi skal ha’, af både stort og småt! (We’ve got what we need, of both big and small!) Danish ”national oldie popdreng (pop boy)” Kim Larsen sings in one of his classic hits. I guess it’s still true that people in Denmark have got all the material ting (things) they need, but let’s focus on the language: big and small.


Stor is the basic word for ’big’ or ’large’:

en stor pige (a big girl) – den store pige (the big girl) – pigen er stor (the girl is big)

et stort ansvar [anSVAR] (a big responsibility) – det store ansvar (the big responsibility) – ansvaret er stort (the responsibility is big)

store skyer – skyerne er store (big clouds – the clouds are big)

(Of course you already know that an -e is added to most adjectives in the plural, and that a -t is usually added to adjectives describing common-gender words in the singular – ”et words. And you’re most certainly aware that an -e is added to adjectives that follow definiteness markers like den, det, min, dit, -s: vores store ansvar, Poul og Mariannes store pige.)

’Bigger – biggest’ is a bit irregular: større – størst.

Alt er større i USA. (Everything’s bigger in the US. – Yeah, that’s a typical Danish thing to say! Small country mentality, here we go!)

Størst af alt er kærligheden. (”Love’s the biggest of it all.”)


Lille [LILLeh] is the basic word for ’little’ or ’small’. It doesn’t get any -t attached:

en lille dreng (a little boy) – den lille dreng (the little boy) – drengen er lille (the boy is small)

et lille problem (a small problem) – det lille problem (the small problem) – problemet er lille (the problem is small)

’Small – smaller’ is even more irregular: mindre – mindst.

småkagerne er mindre i år (the cookies are smaller this year)

det er det mindste problem (that’s the smallest problem – i.e., there are bigger problems out there!)

Wait a second! Yes, that’s true, there’s a very strange thing about lille! When describing more-than-one of something, it changes completely, metamorphosing into små [smaw]:

De små småkager er alt for små! (The small cookies are way too small!)

And, as you saw in that Kim Larsen quote, an even stranger thing about små is that you can add a -t to ”re-singularize” the word, making it mean something like ”something small, fine”:

Har du læst det med småt? (”Have you read that [part of the contract which is written] with small [writing]?” That means, more or less: Are you sure they don’t fool you?)



Here’s the Kim Larsen song mentioned – Blip båt: