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:

Danish pick-up lines

Posted on 14. Feb, 2015 by in Fun, Society

(Photo by Simon at Flickr, Creative Commons License.)

(Photo by Simon at Flickr, Creative Commons License.)

It’s that time of year again! Thanks to our great kærlighed (love) for American traditions, many Danish par (couples) are buying hinanden (each other) blomster (flowers), chokolade [SHOcko-lathe], biografbilletter (cinema tickets) to ”50 Shades of Grey” and what not to celebrate Valentinsdag. But what about all those people who haven’t got a kæreste (girlfriend/boyfriend), an elsker (lover) or an ægtefælle (spouse)? Below is a bit of romantic small-talk, mixed with a few scorereplikker (pick-up lines)…

Hej! Er det dig! (Hi! Is it you!)

Tror du på kærlighed ved første blik? (Do you believe in love at first sight?)

Hvor har du været hele mit liv? (Where have you been all my life?)

Har vi ikke set hinanden før? (Haven’t we seen each other before?)

Du er ham/hende fra… (You’re the guy/girl from…)

Hej! Giver du en drink? (Hi! Are you buying me a drink?)

Kommer du tit her? (Do you come here often?)

Jeg er fra USA/England/Australien… (I’m from the US/England/Australia.)

Må jeg sætte mig her? (Can I sit here?)

Vil du med ud at ryge? (Fancy going out for a smoke?)

Har du ild? (Got fire?)

Tror du på skæbnen? (Do you believe in destiny?)

Vil du have en øl? (Wanna have a beer?)

Ja tak, du ser sød ud! (Yes please, you look cute!)

Du er smuk. (You’re beautiful.)

Du har smukke øjne. (You’ve got beautiful eyes.)

Ej, hvor er du sjov. (Gee, you’re funny.)

Kom, dans med mig! (Come, dance with me!)

Vil du danse? (Wanna dance?)

Skal vi danse? (Shall we dance?)

Er det ikke ensomt at være udvekslingsstuderende? (Isn’t it lonely to be an exchange student?)

Har du en kæreste? (Have you got a girlfriend/boyfriend?)

Nej, jeg er single. (No, I’m single.)

Jeg har glemt hvor jeg bor. Må jeg komme med dig hjem? (I’ve forgotten where I live. May I come home with you?)

Vil du med mig hjem? (Wanna come home with me?)

Hos mig eller dig? (Your place or my place?)

Må jeg få dit telefonnummer? (Can I get your phone number?)

Jeg har mistet mit telefonnummer… Må jeg få dit? (I’ve lost my phone number… Can I get yours?)

Har du et navn – eller kan jeg bare kalde dig min? (Have you got a name – or may I just call you mine?)

Jeg er vild med dig. (I’m crazy about you.)

Jeg elsker dig. (I love you.)

And finally, the classic:

Vil du med hjem og se min frimærkesamling? (Wanna come home to me and see my collection of stamps?)

I can’t guarantee that any of these lines will work, but if you say them with a fun, foreign accent, I’m sure you’ll get a laugh … and maybe that næste dans (next dance)!