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Joys of Danish Posted by on Feb 28, 2022 in Grammar, Idioms, News

(Image courtesy of Katie Walker from Pixabay; no copyright.)

Since you read this blog last month, a horrible krig [kreey] (war) has broken out in the midst of Europa. Let’s all hope and wish it will end as soon and as peacefully as humanly possible. Verden har brug for fred. (The world needs peace.) And we need to be able to communicate respectfully and try to understand each other, even if we don’t always agree – isn’t that why we’re language learners, after all?

Learning, however, isn’t easy when your mind is full of frygt (fear). Focusing on nice and even nerdy things is, I think, the way forward. With that in mind, here are some things I like about Danish:

• Danish has even more vowels than English! Even if that makes the pronunciation quite hard to master, the many shades of slightly different sounds also give the language its own, weird, blurred beauty. Like watercolour. Y. Æ. Ø. Å. Isn’t that just pure poetry? 🙂

• Danish is a gold mine of delightful expressions and idioms, such as der er ingen ko på isen (there’s no cow on the ice) to express that everything is fine.

• Danish has many words other than hygge that can’t be translated directly into English. A døgn [doyn] means ”day and night”, while dejlig [dylee] is a kind of mix between ”nice”, ”pleasant” and ”great”. Ae means ”to stroke” or ”caress”, like when a child is carefully patting a horse.

• In Danish, verbs have a passive ending in -s, which allows for really compact phrases: Huset males (the house is being painted). Branden slukkes (the fire is being put out).

What do you like about dansk? Feel free to share with the other readers in the comments section.

BTW, you might get a new blogger soon. As much as I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog, I also feel I’ve reached a point where I have to rehash a lot of ideas. So let’s see, and take care! 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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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.


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