Danish Language Blog

Archive for December, 2011

Those Pretty Letters 3 Posted by on Dec 31, 2011

Å is the all-Scandinavian letter. It is found in the alphabets of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, where it sounds more or less like the O of languages like Italian or Spanish. If that confuses you, just imagine that Å’s are A’s that have been O’ed! Historically, the Å’s were long A’s. In Icelandic, these long…

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Those Pretty Letters 2 Posted by on Dec 30, 2011

If letters had a national identity, Ø would doubtless be Miss Denmark. Æ is shared with the Norwegians and Icelanders and indeed the whole world in fancy ways of writing Latin words (Cæsar, right?) Å just recently found its place in the Danish alphabet, and is still often written ’Aa’ in placenames, such as Aalborg…

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Those Pretty Letters 1 Posted by on Dec 29, 2011

We’ll celebrate the close of 2011 by taking a closer look at the three special characters of Danish. Some readers will find this a bit geeky – but hey, you’re learning Danish, isn’t that quite offbeat already?! The first to go is Æ. Recently I took a train which I suspect DSB – Danske Statsbaner…

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How to Make Your Own Danish Christmas Heart Posted by on Dec 24, 2011

What you’ll need: glanspapir (glazed paper) of two different colours en saks (a pair of scissors) en lineal (a ruler) en blyant (a pencil) Now, let’s begin: 1 Pick two sheets of glazed paper in different colours. Red and white is the classical combo. (As in the Danish flag!)             2 Fold each sheet…

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The Temptations of the Table Posted by on Dec 22, 2011

So what do Danes do in December if there’s no snow and the chill nevertheless is creeping into your bones as soon as you leave the doorstep? For many people, the julefrokoster are the height of the Pre-Christmas season. Instead of watching tv or arguing with your family, you get together with your colleages or…

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The One and Only Julekalender Posted by on Dec 20, 2011

”What was that? That was what!” the nisse Günther exclaims, his face dripping with the water splashed on him by fellow nisser Fritz and Hansi in an attempt to cure him from his momentary belief he’s a German tracker dog. The scene appears in The Julekalender, a televised ”Christmas calendar” in the Danish broadcasting tradition…

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Santa Lucia Posted by on Dec 13, 2011

Lights off. Everyone is fidgetting in anticipation, stealing glimpses of friends’ silhouettes in the dusk of the room. Suddenly a clear note breaks the silence, then another; the ringing sound of young girls’ voices echoes through the shadows and becomes a song: Nu bæres lyset frem… Now the light is carried forth… Enters the choir, five…

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