Danish Language Blog

100 Basic Words in Danish Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Vocabulary

(Photo courtesy of Mikkel Zibrandtsen at Flickr, CC License.)

(Photo courtesy of Mikkel Zibrandtsen at Flickr, CC License.)

Sometimes linguists come up with stuff that’s really useful for language learners. Even if science is not your thing, I hope you’ll like the Swadesh list as much as I do. 🙂 It’s a list of 100 ”core ideas” that speakers of most languages can express – just simple things like ”sun” or ”foot”. (This isn’t the same as the most frequently used words, which have been covered in another post.) Scientists use the list to compare languages – why don’t you use it to test your Danish skills! 🙂

  1. jeg (I)
  2. du (you)
  3. vi (we)
  4. denne/dette (this)
  5. den/det (that)
  6. hvem? (who?)
  7. hvad? (what?)
  8. ikke (not)
  9. alle (all)
  10. mange (many)
  11. en (one)
  12. to (two)
  13. stor (big)
  14. lang (long)
  15. lille (small)
  16. kvinde (woman)
  17. mand (man)
  18. person (person)
  19. fisk (fish)
  20. fugl (bird)
  21. hund (dog)
  22. lus(louse)
  23. træ (tree)
  24. frø (seed)
  25. blad (leaf)
  26. rod (root)
  27. bark (bark)
  28. hud (skin)
  29. kød (flesh)
  30. blod (blood)
  31. ben (bone)
  32. fedt (grease)
  33. æg (egg)
  34. horn (horn)
  35. hale (tail)
  36. fjer (feather)
  37. hår (hair)
  38. hoved (head)
  39. øre (ear)
  40. øje (eye)
  41. næse (nose)
  42. mund (mouth)
  43. tand (tooth)
  44. tunge (tongue)
  45. klo (claw)
  46. fod (foot)
  47. knæ (knee)
  48. hånd (hand)
  49. mave (belly)
  50. hals (neck)
  51. bryster (breasts)
  52. hjerte (heart)
  53. lever (liver)
  54. at drikke (to drink)
  55. at spise (to eat)
  56. at bide (to bite)
  57. at se (to see)
  58. at høre (to hear)
  59. at vide (to know)
  60. at sove (to sleep)
  61. at dø (to die)
  62. at dræbe (to kill)
  63. at svømme (to swim)
  64. at flyve (to fly)
  65. at gå (to walk)
  66. at komme (to come)
  67. at ligge (to lie [like in bed])
  68. at sidde (to sit)
  69. at stå (to stand)
  70. at give (to give)
  71. at sige (to say)
  72. sol (sun)
  73. måne (moon)
  74. stjerne (star)
  75. vand (water)
  76. regn (rain)
  77. sten (stone)
  78. sand (sand)
  79. jord (earth)
  80. sky (cloud)
  81. røg (smoke)
  82. ild (fire)
  83. aske (ashes)
  84. at brænde (to burn)
  85. sti (path)
  86. bjerg (mountain)
  87. rød (red)
  88. grøn (green)
  89. gul (yellow)
  90. hvid (white)
  91. sort (black)
  92. nat (night)
  93. varm (hot)
  94. kold (cold)
  95. fuld (full)
  96. ny (new)
  97. god (good)
  98. rund (round)
  99. tør (dry)
  100. navn (name)
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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.