Danish Language Blog

Fun at the Fredagsbar Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Culture

drawn by KarolineHooray, it’s Friday! On this day, every Danish students’ community with the tiniest bit of selvrespekt has its own fredagsbar [FREHdasbar]. The literal meaning of the word is ’Friday Bar’. It is usually a place where you can buy a fadøl (draught beer) or three and sit down to enjoy the company of your friends in an atmosphere that just oozes Danish hygge. I was lucky enough to meet three students who were hanging out at a fredagsbar at the University of Copenhagen.


Who’re you?

Nichlas, Anna and Karoline are preparing themselves for the night’s fredagsbar. With Kim Larsen, the Danish ”Bob Dylan”, watching on the wall, it can’t go wrong…

– My name’s Nichlas and I’m studying dansk (Danish).

– My name’s Karoline and I too am studying Danish.

– My name’s Anna and I’m studying linguistics.


How often do you come here?

Nichlas and Anna: There’s only been a couple of times when we’ve not been at the fredagsbar.

Karoline: During my three semesters here I haven’t missed a single fredagsbar! Anna and I are even members of fredagsbarudvalget (the Friday bar committee).


Do you mix with people from other fields (than Danish and linguistics)?

Nichlas: It’s quite common to bring people udefra (from the outside), we’re fairly ”loose” with that. I’ve sometimes invited kammerater (pals) who were not university students.

Anna: There are a lot of people here, so you just don’t go like ”wow! there’s a newcomer.”

Karoline: Even though Anna and I study different subjects we get together in fredagsbaren (the ”Friday bar”). You create a network across different study and year groups because you are in this together.

Anna: I joined the bar committee because I wanted some more action; there isn’t too much partystemning (party atmosphere/mood) in linguistics.


Suppose you were exchange students… Would the fredagsbar be a good place to ”meet the Danes”?

Anna: I wouldn’t think so. My impression is that people hænger ud (are hanging out) after the classes. They either stay or arrange to meet with their studiekammerater (fellow students) later on.

Karoline: It’s probably not a good idea to come here all on your own.

Nichlas: Oh, you can! But that would require some serious social skills.

Anna: Yeah, people are generally very open if you do take the initiative to approach them!

Nichlas: If you just present yourself and sit down and say ”Hey, how are you, I’ll give you a bajer (beer, lager)”, I guess people will be easygoing enough.

Karoline: At least you should be frisk på (ready to/fit for, literally ”fresh on”) to take the initiative yourself.

Nichlas: There are many girls here at our faculty, so they can be a bit bitchy. 😉

Anna: We’ve got the lækreste (most attractive, from lækker, ’delicious, lovely, attractive’) girls of the entire University!


So here’s the place to score somebody? 🙂

Nichlas, Karoline and Anna: It is!

Karoline: The fredagsbar is a very intimate place, you know, it’s not a huge party. Many people just come to drink a beer and relax.

Nichlas: And the bar already closes at midnight.

Anna: I wouldn’t say it’s the place where you bump into foreigners on the dance floor.

Nichlas: But tonight there is a huge ”Danish party”, we guess there’ll be 600 people or something like that.


Do you often have temafester (theme parties)?

Nichlas, Karoline and Anna:  Yes, always!


What’s today’s theme?

Karoline: ”Hatte skæg(t) med briller.” It’s a word play. (’Hats, beard [skæg] with glasses’ – which in Danish sounds like Ha’ det skægt med briller, Have fun with glasses.)

Nichlas: Put on a beard and some glasses.


Is there a fredagsbar you remember above others?

Anna: We had a Bollywood bar. A Bollywood dancer came to entertain us, it was great fun.

Nichlas: The very first fredagsbar of the semester is always the most exciting, there are lots and lots of people here! Throughout the year, however, the fredagsbar is just a place where you can koble af (relax, literally ’uncouple’) and discuss non-study things with your fellow students. Otherwise you risk ending up as a weird bunch of fellows that just sit there staring at each other without being able to say anything other than ”komma” (comma)!

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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.