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Happy Anniversaries and Stuff Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Religion, Traditions

Life is full of anledninger (opportunities, occasions) to fejre (celebrate) – and also sometimes to sørge [serw-eh] (mourn). Here’s a small guide to help you choose some kind words for your Danish friends’ great life events.

(Non-copyrighted image from Open Clipart.)

Let’s start with the sad part: When somebody has lost a loved one, a decent way of showing your respect would be: Jeg/Vi kondolerer. (My/Our condolences.)

In more joyful situations, some variation of tillykke med (congratulations with, literally ”to-luck with”) will take you far. Let’s say a new baby is born. If the context is clear, you could perhaps go with a short: Tillykke! (Congratulations!) But I guess it’s a good idea to add a little more information, especially on a lykønskningskort (congratulations card):

  • Tillykke med barnet!
  • Hjerteligt tillykke med barnebarnet! (Heartfelt congratulations with the grandchild!)
  • Et stort tillykke med jeres søde datter! (”A big congratulation” with your gorgeous/cute daughter!)
  • Tillykke med barnedåben! (Congratulations with the baptism!)

Fødselsdage (birthdays) are a really important event in Danes’ lives.  In the Danish-speaking universe, the universal thing to say is: Tillykke med fødselsdagen! (Happy birthday!)

This neat formula is useful in dozens of situations:

  • Tillykke med kørekortet (congratulations with your driving licence)
  • Tillykke med eksamen (congratulations with [your] exam)
  • Tillykke med det flotte resultat (congratulations with the great result)
  • Tillykke med dit nye arbejde (congratulations with your new job)
  • Tillykke med jobbet/bilen/hunden/trampolinen… (congratulations with the job/car/dog/trampoline…)

In other settings, use some combination of god (good) and held og lykke med (good luck with):

  • God konfirmation! (Happy confirmation!)
  • Held og lykke med dit nye arbejde (Good luck with your new arbejde)
  • God bryllupsfest! (Happy wedding party!)
  • Held og lykke videre! (Good luck ”further on”! Good luck for the future!)

And, the one you all waited for:

God bryllupsdag! (Happy anniversary!)

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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.