Danish Language Blog

Fiction Heroes in Danish Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

In Denmark, Donald Duck is more popular than Mickey Mouse… (Photo courtesy of Nakken18 at Flickr, CC License.)

In Denmark, Donald Duck is more popular than Mickey Mouse… (Photo courtesy of Nakken18 at Flickr, CC License.)

Har du set den ny Star Wars-film? (Have you seen the new SW movie?) Ever since nytår (New Year) I’ve been wanting to do a post for all the Star Wars fans out there! But I hate to say it – besides lyssværd (light sabre, literally ”light sword”!) and Må kraften være med dig! (May the force be with you!) there isn’t a lot of Star Wars vocabulary in Danish: the Jedi is jedien, Princess Leia is prinsesse Leia, Luke Skywalker is … Luke Skywalker.

The good thing is: Lots of names from American (and English) popular culture have got a Danish makeover! (Adds a bit of colour to the world, doesn’t it?) Below you can see some of the most well-known ones – feel free to add comments if I’ve forgotten anything! 🙂 Ever since WW2 or so Danish children have been growing up with Disney – as you can see by the number of Disney-related names. (Of course Transparent Language is not affiliated with Disney or any other concern!) Fun fact: While lots of Americans love Mickey Mouse (yes, that’s the Danish name too), Anders And (Donald Duck) is the popular one in Denmark! 🙂

Peter Plys (”Peter Plush”) – Winnie-the-Pooh
Skipper Skræk (”Skipper Fear”) – Popeye
Steen og Stoffer (”Steen and ’stopher”) – Calvin and Hobbes (Stoffer is also a play on the word stof ”textile”)

Andeby – Duckburg
Anders And – Donald Duck (and means duck)
Andersine And – Daisy Duck (-ine is a common ending in women’s names: Christine)
Joakim von And [YOHahkeem fonn AN] – Scrooge McDuck (sometimes he’s just called onkel Joakim)
Rip, Rap og Rup – Huey, Dewey and Louie
Fætter Højben (”Cousin High-leg”) – Gladstone Gander
Georg Gearløs – Gyro Gearloose
Hexia de Trick (”Witchia” de Trick) – Magica De Spell
bjørnebanden (”the bear gang”) – Beagle Boys

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Chip og Chap – Chip’n Dale
Fedtmule (”Fat-muzzle”) – Goofy

Ringenes Herre – The Lord of the Rings
Bilbo Sækker (”Bilbo Bagger”) – Bilbo Baggins
Herredet (”The Old District”) – The Shire

And finally, to show that Danes aren’t exclusively influenced by the English-speaking world, a couple of Swedish children’s heroes… 😉

Emil fra LønnebergEmil i Lönneberga = Emil of Lönneberga
Pippi Langstrømpe Pippi Långstrump = Pippi Longstocking

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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.