Danish Language Blog

Things to do in the Snow Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in Vocabulary

At last real vinter has come to Denmark – as well as the rest of Europe. Some days ago the night temperature even hit minus 22 degrees of Celsius (almost minus 8 degrees of Fahrenheit) somewhere in Jutland – you’d have to go back 26 years to find an equally cold February moment here in Denmark…

Given the typical Danish blæst (wind), it’s not just koldt (cold) these days, but hundekoldt (perishing, literally ’dog cold’ – imagine little dogs freezing in an icy breeze!) The good thing, of course, is the sne (snow), shining everywhere from the fields and hills, streets and roofs, giving the whole country an optimistic tint it certainly missed in that grey November rain…

Any child knows how to enjoy the snow. The most evident thing to do is just grabbing a handful of it, using your hænder (hands, in the singular hånd) to shape a snebold (snowball), which can be thrown at that annoying boy or cute girl next door. If you’re not really into sneboldkrig (snowball war), you can use the snow to create works of art. The imprint of an engel (angel) can be produced by lying on your back, ”flapping” your arms and legs as if trying to mark circle segments with your heels and hands. Too esoteric? Well, go ahead and build a classical snemand (snowman). Remember to bring a gulerod (carrot, literally ’yellow root’) for the nose.

The real fun begins in the bakke|r (hill|s), where a lot of kids (and some adults!) bring their kælk or slæde (both meaning ’toboggan’ or ’sledge’) to kælke (go ’tobogganing’) down the slopes. And, believe it or not, some people even bring their ski (ski|s), in order to stå på ski (ski, literally ’stand on skis’) in a country that most foreigners consider too flat for this world-famous winter activity…

If you’re lucky enough to live in the vicinity of a (lake), and the is (ice) is tyk (thick) enough to carry you (it should be at least 10 cm/4 inches, I’d say), you can also løbe på skøjte|r (go ice-skating, literally ’run on skate|s’)… A less ’exotic’ alternative is to bring your skates with you to a skøjtehal (skating hall, an indoor frozen ’lake’).

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.