Learn Danish like you've always wanted to

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Why should you learn Danish?

  • Danish is a North Germanic language and is derived from Old Norse.
  • The Danish language is so similar to Norwegian and Swedish that the three are often mutually intelligible.
  • Unlike most other languages, Danish has both natural and grammatical genders.
  • Begin learning Danish

Learn to speak Danish with confidence

There are approximately 5.5 million Danish speakers in the world. While Danish is often associated with Denmark, the language is also spoken in Greenland, Norway and Germany. This North Germanic language was the official language in Norway until 1830 and in Iceland until 1994. Today, the first foreign language that most Icelandic students learn is Danish.

Danish was influenced a lot during the Middle Ages by a few German dialects and the language absorbed certain French and English words in the 17th and 19th centuries respectively. Today, the language has three distinct dialects, which are again divided into 30 different sub-dialects. The three Danish dialects are:

  • Insular Danish spoken in Funen, Moen, Falster, Lolland and the Danish Islands of Zealand
  • Jutlandic Danish spoken in South, North, East and West Jutland, with each region having its own dialect
  • Bornholmsk Danish refers to the dialect spoken on Bornholm, an island

An introduction to Danish grammar rules

While English does indeed have vowels and consonants that are reduced and assimilated while speaking, there are not many. When you learn the Danish language on the other hand, you will realise that, compared to the written form, the spoken form is very different and unique due to heavy assimilation and reduction of vowels and consonants. While speaking Danish, there has to be a prosodic feature known as thrust. This is nothing but the laryngealization of the word. This thrust can make a big difference when speaking, as there are some words that sound similar in Danish. Many languages experts believe that this thrust is actually a word accent.

There are 17 different vowel pronunciations in Danish and infinitive forms of verbs are formed by adding a schwa at the end of the verb. Conjugation of verbs depends on the tense used and is not based on the number or the person. It is also interesting to note that, in Danish, there are just two grammatical genders – neutral and common. However, in certain Danish dialects, there could be masculine, feminine and neuter.

Unlock a new world with Danish courses from Babbel

If you are interested in learning Danish, there are many ways to do it. You can opt for online courses to help you begin the journey. Alternatively, you can enroll in a Danish language course. Some people also go on trips to Denmark to learn the language, just like some non-native speakers of English come to the UK to learn English.

  • Bite-size Danish lessons on real-world topics
  • Personalised review dashboard to keep track of your learning progress
  • Real-world accents by native Danish speakers
  • Instant feedback on pronunciation with voice recognition technology