The Capital of Danish Jokes

Posted on 31. Jan, 2016 by in Fun, Geography, Society


Compared to Copenhageners, people from Århus speak in a slower and less ”singsong” way – maybe that’s why they have always been popular in jokes? Photo from Den Gamle By/The Old Town in Århus. (Courtesy of Erik Cleves Kristensen at Flickr, CC License.)

Danes love a good vittighed (joke) – especially about themselves… :-) Like in other countries, people i byerne (in the cities) make fun of people på landet (in the countryside) – and the other way around, I can assure you! :-) As you’re probably aware, in Denmark there’s a constant West vs. East ”mockery battle” going on between the Jylland (Jutland) peninsula and the capital København (Copenhagen). It’s maybe not so strange, then, that jokes about the people of Jutland’s ”capital” – Århus – have been really popular throughout the country (of course also among the århusianere themselves!) Here are a few ”århushistorier” (Århus stories); feel free to add your own favourites in the comments section! :-)

– Hvorfor tager århusianerne pænt tøj på når det lyner? (Why are the Aarhusians putting on nice clothes whenever it is lightening?)
– De tror de skal fotograferes! (They think they are going to be photographed!)

– Hvorfor har århusianerne stiger med når de går på indkøb? (Why are the Aarhusians bringing ladders when they are shopping?)
– Fordi priserne er så høje. (Because the prices are so high.)

– Hvorfor er børnesengene så høje i Århus? (Why are the children’s beds so high in Århus?)
– Så kan de bedre høre når børnene falder ud. (Then they can better hear when the kids are falling out.)

– Ved du hvad der står på skiltene ved en århusiansk rundkørsel? (Do you know what the signs at an Århus roundabout say?)
– Max tre omgange! (No more than three rounds!)

– Hvorfor tager århusianerne en bildør med ud i ørkenen? (Why are the Aarhusians bringing a car door to the desert?)
– Så kan de rulle vinduet ned når det bliver for varmt! (Then they can roll down the window when it gets too hot!)
–  Hvorfor tager de så to bildøre med ud i ørkenen? (But why do they bring two car doors to the desert?)
– Så kan de rulle begge vinduer ned og få gennemtræk! (Then they can roll down both windows and get a draught!)

Fiction Heroes in Danish

Posted on 21. Jan, 2016 by in Culture, Fun, Vocabulary

In Denmark, Donald Duck is more popular than Mickey Mouse… (Photo courtesy of Nakken18 at Flickr, CC License.)

In Denmark, Donald Duck is more popular than Mickey Mouse… (Photo courtesy of Nakken18 at Flickr, CC License.)

Har du set den ny Star Wars-film? (Have you seen the new SW movie?) Ever since nytår (New Year) I’ve been wanting to do a post for all the Star Wars fans out there! But I hate to say it – besides lyssværd (light sabre, literally ”light sword”!) and Må kraften være med dig! (May the force be with you!) there isn’t a lot of Star Wars vocabulary in Danish: the Jedi is jedien, Princess Leia is prinsesse Leia, Luke Skywalker is … Luke Skywalker.

The good thing is: Lots of names from American (and English) popular culture have got a Danish makeover! (Adds a bit of colour to the world, doesn’t it?) Below you can see some of the most well-known ones – feel free to add comments if I’ve forgotten anything! :-) Ever since WW2 or so Danish children have been growing up with Disney – as you can see by the number of Disney-related names. (Of course Transparent Language is not affiliated with Disney or any other concern!) Fun fact: While lots of Americans love Mickey Mouse (yes, that’s the Danish name too), Anders And (Donald Duck) is the popular one in Denmark! :-)

Peter Plys (”Peter Plush”) – Winnie-the-Pooh
Skipper Skræk (”Skipper Fear”) – Popeye
Steen og Stoffer (”Steen and ’stopher”) – Calvin and Hobbes (Stoffer is also a play on the word stof ”textile”)

Andeby – Duckburg
Anders And – Donald Duck (and means duck)
Andersine And – Daisy Duck (-ine is a common ending in women’s names: Christine)
Joakim von And [YOHahkeem fonn AN] – Scrooge McDuck (sometimes he’s just called onkel Joakim)
Rip, Rap og Rup – Huey, Dewey and Louie
Fætter Højben (”Cousin High-leg”) – Gladstone Gander
Georg Gearløs – Gyro Gearloose
Hexia de Trick (”Witchia” de Trick) – Magica De Spell
bjørnebanden (”the bear gang”) – Beagle Boys

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Chip og Chap – Chip’n Dale
Fedtmule (”Fat-muzzle”) – Goofy

Ringenes Herre – The Lord of the Rings
Bilbo Sækker (”Bilbo Bagger”) – Bilbo Baggins
Herredet (”The Old District”) – The Shire

And finally, to show that Danes aren’t exclusively influenced by the English-speaking world, a couple of Swedish children’s heroes… 😉

Emil fra LønnebergEmil i Lönneberga = Emil of Lönneberga
Pippi Langstrømpe Pippi Långstrump = Pippi Longstocking

Top 10 of 2015

Posted on 31. Dec, 2015 by in Denmark and the World

Tivoli Garden fireworks. (Photo courtesy of Stig Nygaard at Flickr, CC License.)

Tivoli Garden fireworks. (Photo courtesy of Stig Nygaard at Flickr, CC License.)

As 2015 is about to hand over the torch to 2016, here’s a quick tilbageblik (retrospect) at the 10 most popular blog posts i år (this year). See you in 2016. Godt nytår! :-)

10 Birthdays in Denmark

Do you remember your last birthday party? If you were living in Denmark at the time, there’s a chance you do! :-) I’ve never been to a country where people are so obsessed with their birthdays; children, adults are looking forward to the presents and the cakes – even shops celebrate their birthdays, with hundreds of Dannebrog flags. (And no, it’s not nationalism, it’s just for the hygge!)

9 Danish Noun phrases for dummies

If you’re a native speaker like me, Noun phrases look easy in Danish. After all, you’ve only got to genders and two endings for the adjectives (t or e)! Of course, as a learner of Danish, things get a little bit more complex. Here I’ve tried to boil things down into something you too can chew! (Yummy!)

8 A Danish quiz

What is Denmark’s national bird? And did the Danish language really get a new vowel? Give the quiz a go, and you’ll be amazed how many Æ’s, Ø’s and Å’s you’ll actually get! :-)

7 En or et – The peculiar sex life of Danish nouns

Every Danish noun is either an en or an et word. But what is which, and how does it all stack up?

6 Soft ds are not hard

Mal mal mal mad! For many learners, the so-called soft Ds of Danish are a nightmare. This post tells you why you should brigthen up and get those words out of your mouth! Actually, the soft Ds are very close to the TH sound of English brother…

5 100 most common written words in Danish

If you know these words, you can start to spell your way through ads in the MetroXpress newspaper, and maybe initiate a very basic conversation in the Copenhagen metro! :-)

4 Danish Pick-up Lines

A group of Italians I met in Spain were convinced that all Danes were ”easygoing” and ready for a quick romantic adventure. While I can’t guarantee the efficiency of these pick-up lines, now at least you’ve got an excuse to flash your exotic accent at Danish bars!

3 10 Danish Mountains You Should Climb

Did you know that one of Denmark’s highest peaks is called Himmelbjerget – Sky Mountain? Yes, the pancake country” of  Denmark got plenty of mountains if you just know where to look for them. Read this post to find out…

2 Swearing in Danish

If you’re a fan of Danish tv serials like ”Borgen” or ”The Killing”, you’ve maybe noticed that the English F word has sneaked into Danish mouths, that tend to churn it out so it sounds like a fork. But Danish has got plenty of other words to express your rage or frustration. Feel free to let it out in the comments section! >:-]

1 Hello Goodbye

Sometimes, the little short words are the most essential. Read this post, pick your best smile, and prepare yourself for the joyful side of Denmark. :-)