Danish Language Blog

Let’s Look at Stars Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Karlsvognen. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Gill at Flickr, CC License.)

Kan du lide at kigge stjerner? (Do you like watching stars?) Om sommeren er der lyse nætter i Danmark, men snart begynder den mørke tid… (In summer there are Bright Nights in Denmark, but soon the dark period will begin…) Here’s some star-spangled Danish for chatting about stjernehimlen (the starry sky). Use it with caution, though, so you don’t kill et romantisk øjeblik (a romantic moment) with too many word. 🙂

Even when solen (the sun) is up and busy, you can sometimes see månen (the moon) above the Danish strande (beaches) and byer (towns). Of course, your chances improve after solnedgang (sunsest) – and before solopgang (sunrise) – when there are not too many skyer (clouds).

Most often the måne is halv [hal] (half), but sometimes you get the honour of staring into the face of fuldmånen (the full moon). (Can you see manden i månen – the man in the moon?)

Across den mørke himmel (the dark sky), you’ll probably make out the famous pale ribbon that gave its name to a chocolate bar: the Milky Way, which has the delicious name of Mælkevejen in Danish. And everywhere around you there are skinnende stjerner (shining stars). Wait, was that a stjerneskud (shooting star)? Skynd dig at ønske noget! (Hurry up and make a wish!)

Do you know any stjernebilleder (constellations – literally ”star images”)? Danmark (Denmark) is a Northern country, so even Danes who are usually not into stars know Karlsvognen (the Big Dipper). Yes, of course, it’s those 7 stars that look like a nice saucepan. 🙂

I always thought Karlsvognen meant ”Karl’s wagon”. Recently, though, I discovered that it actually means ”the man’s wagon” – it was called so by vikingerne (the Vikings)! If you draw a line upwards from the outer edge of the ”saucepan”, you’ll soon hit the big, bright Nordstjernen (the Northern Star).

Fun fact: Morgenstjernen (the morning star) and Aftenstjernen (the evening star) are actually both planeten (the planet) Venus, which shines really bright in horisonten (the horizon).

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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.