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Everyday Danish Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Daily Life, Vocabulary

How much is a Carlsberg? How do I get to Den Lille Havfrue? Language courses are often geared towards tourists and travelling. However, if you really want to speak like a native, you also need words for all the little things you do every day:

In Scandinavia, people sleep underneath ”pillow-ish” dyner (duvets, sleeping quilts) rather than blankets. (”Senga mi med ei norsk dyne” by aarsvoln on Flickr, licenced for commercial use according to https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )

In Scandinavia, people sleep underneath ”pillow-ish” dyner (duvets, sleeping quilts) rather than blankets.
(”Senga mi med ei norsk dyne” by aarsvoln on Flickr, licenced for commercial use according to https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )

Du står tidligt/sent op. (You get up early/late.) Most probably you’re in a seng on a pude (pillow) below a dyne (duvet) when det forbandede vækkeur ringer (the d@mn alarm clock rings).

Du tager et brusebad. (You take a shower.) Du vasker håret med shampoo – medmindre du altså er skaldet. (You clean your hair with shampoo – unless you’re bald, that is.) Du tørrer dig selv med et håndklæde. (You dry yourself with a towel.) Du tager tøj på. (You put on clothes.) Du reder håret med en kam eller en børste. (You comb your hair with a comb or a brush.) Maybe you even lægger makeup (put on make-up) or barberer dig selv (shave yourself).

Du spiser morgenmad. (You eat breakfast.) Maybe you eat alene, or maybe you eat sammen med familien (together with your family). Du vasker op (you do the dishes) – or: Du starter opvaskemaskinen (you start the dishwasher). Du børster tænder (you brush your teeth), with a bit of tandpasta (toothpaste) on a tandbørste (toothbrush), which may or may not be elektrisk (electric, motorized).

Du siger farvel til din familie eller din kat. (You say goodbye to your family or your cat.) Du tager bilen/cykler/tager bussen/tager toget til arbejde eller skole. (You drive your car/go by bicycle/take the bus/take the train to work or school.) Maybe you need to stop by a benzintank (filling/gas station) in order to tanke op (refuel). Du arbejder eller studerer/læser. (You work or study.) Du holder en pause. (You take a break.) Du spiser frokost/din madpakke. (You eat lunch/your packed lunch.) Du drikker kaffe/the/mælk. (You drink coffee/tea/milk.) Du snakker med dine kolleger/de andre elever/dine medstuderende. (You talk to your colleagues/the other pupils/your co-students.) Du tager hjem. (You go home.)

On your way you make a stop at the supermarked, where you køber ind (do some shopping). Der er kø ved kassen. (There is a queue at the counter.) Du betaler med Dankort. (You pay with your Dankort card.) Du kommer varerne i plastikposer. (You put your items into plastic bags.)

Du siger hej til familien eller til din kat. (You say hello to your family or your cat.) Maybe you’ve got lektier [LECKshore] (homework) or husligt arbejde (chores) to do. It may be time to slå græsplænen (mow the lawn), lufte hunden (take the dog for a walk), støvsuge (vacuum) or vaske tøj (wash clothes). Du laver aftensmad. (You make dinner.) Du spiser aftensmad. (You eat dinner.) Du rydder af bordet. (You clean the table.) Maybe you go out to møde dine venner (meet your friends). Maybe you stay at home with your family, ser fjernsyn (watch tv), læser bøger og blade (read books and magazines) or spiller spil (play games). Sooner or later it will be time to gå i seng (go to bed). Måske skal du først putte børnene, og læse en godnathistorie for dem. (Perhaps you need to tuck in the children first, and read them a bedside story.) Du kryber ned under dynen. (You snuggle down in bed. Literally: You crawn down below the duvet.) Du sover. (You sleep.) Hopefully, you’re having some wonderful drømmer (dreams), so you’ll feel refreshed and energized for a new bustling dag (day)!

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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.