Danish Language Blog

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

(Non-copyrighted image from Open Clipart.)

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.

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!)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning Danish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

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.