Why are you interested in Danish?

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benjamino59

Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby benjamino59 » 2013-04-14, 15:27

Johanna wrote:
benjamino59 wrote:But is it still just dialects, considering that fx girl is called 'pige' in Danish and 'flicka' in Swedish? I only knew that because I studied Swedish a long time ago on my own.

There are other words too.

flicka = girl (age 0-12 or so)
tjej = girl (any age)
piga = a young girl employed at a farm
tös = girl (any age, regional)
jänta = girl (any age, regional)


That's what I'm talking about. I'm one of the few (maybe 10-40 %) of the city-people, who understands Sønderjysk (the dialect soken far out in the tiny villages, mostly in southern Jutland), and Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic is a lot more far apart from Rigsdansk.

Of course, pige and piga is a lot similar (although, they don't have the exact same meaning), and tøs
is kind of a slang of girl in Danish (which is similar to Swedish tös). But tjej and jänta, no-one Danish could figure that out in a million years.

The funny thing about Rigsdansk (official Danish) and those weird dialects, is that they are written exactly the same (but pronounced way different) and there aren't really any words, which exists in one dialect, but not in the others (the only exeptiion this is the word moin (or mojn, or muin, or what ever it's called. It's a crazy word.) used on Fyn). This is very different than many other languages.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Johanna » 2013-04-17, 21:54

benjamino59 wrote:But tjej and jänta, no-one Danish could figure that out in a million years.

Tjej is from Romani, so it's probably unique to Swedish as a loan word. Jänta however is inherited from Old Norse and exists not only also in Norwegian, but in Faroese as well (genta [ˈtʃɛn̥ta]. Not sure about Icelandic.

benjamino59 wrote:The funny thing about Rigsdansk (official Danish) and those weird dialects, is that they are written exactly the same (but pronounced way different) and there aren't really any words, which exists in one dialect, but not in the others (the only exeptiion this is the word moin (or mojn, or muin, or what ever it's called. It's a crazy word.) used on Fyn). This is very different than many other languages.

Are you sure you're thinking about true dialects and not mere accents?

An accent is about pronunciation, a dialect includes that but also grammar and vocabulary. In other words: there's no way you can write a true dialect exactly the same as the standard language.

And yes, there are lots and lots of languages where it works exactly the same, just look across Öresund ;) Scanians used to speak East Danish dialects, and they still have the accent but everything else is Standard Swedish with a few regional words thrown in for good measure, just like that word from Fyn that you mentioned. The only area still in Denmark where an East Danish dialect is spoken is Bornholm, but I guess they are getting closer and closer to Rigsdansk.
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Linqvist » 2013-05-10, 12:04

The real reason why I got interested in Danish? Well, I knew (and liked) a Danish pige for a while and started learning the language from her. But then we parted ways and my lessons stopped. :ohwell:

On a more serious note, I find all Germanic languages very interesting. Perhaps because the family of languages is linked to that of languages native to my country, in many ways. Looking forward to learning more! :D

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-07-22, 13:56

I want to learn Danish. I studied a little Swedish long ago and I know English and German (I don't speak them fluently, but I can easily read a text), so I can understand many words and sentences in written Danish. I think it will be easy to learn a language that is very similar to English and German. This will also help me to have a better understanding of them.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Prowler » 2013-07-29, 19:12

Massimiliano B wrote:I want to learn Danish. I studied a little Swedish long ago and I know English and German (I don't speak them fluently, but I can easily read a text), so I can understand many words and sentences in written Danish. I think it will be easy to learn a language that is very similar to English and German. This will also help me to have a better understanding of them.

Danish is a Germanic language like English and German, yes. But calling it "very similar to English and German" is quite a stretch, imo. I'd more or less agree if you were referring to Dutch, but Danish? Nah. It's a North Germanic language, unlike German and English that are West Germanic instead.

Not trying to discourage you, though. :wink:

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-07-29, 21:15

I'm aware that Danish is a North Germanic language, while German and English are West Germanic. When I say that Danish is very similar to those languages I mean that the North Germanic languages are the most similar to the West Germanic languages. In fact, you can find a lot of words in Danish that have a "brother" word in German (for example slem-schlimm, sprog-Sprache) or in English (fin-fine, møde-meet).
I choose to study Danish also because I like the way it is written. I also like the pronunciation of the letters r and d - in some positions - which is, respectively, [ʁ] and [ð].
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-29, 22:04

Prowler wrote:Danish is a Germanic language like English and German, yes. But calling it "very similar to English and German" is quite a stretch, imo. I'd more or less agree if you were referring to Dutch, but Danish? Nah. It's a North Germanic language, unlike German and English that are West Germanic instead.
I would bet that Danish and English are more alike in some ways that English and German, at least in syntax and morphology. The phonology of Danish would be more like German, of course.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-07-29, 22:15

Indeed. You can read on Wikipedia that «because of the shared history between Danish and English — both are Germanic languages and Danish exerted a strong influence on Old English in the early medieval period — many common words are very similar in the two languages. For example, Danish words for commonly used nouns and prepositions are easily recognizable in their written form to English speakers, such as have, over, under, for, give, flag, salt, and kat». The article says also that «35-40% of Danish words hail from Middle Low German and were borrowed in the late medieval era (explaining the relative similarity of its vocabulary with modern Dutch)».

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Prowler » 2013-07-29, 22:21

Massimiliano B wrote:I'm aware that Danish is a North Germanic language, while German and English are West Germanic. When I say that Danish is very similar to those languages I mean that the North Germanic languages are the most similar to the West Germanic languages. In fact, you can find a lot of words in Danish that have a "brother" word in German (for example slem-schlimm, sprog-Sprache) or in English (fin-fine, møde-meet).
I choose to study Danish also because I like the way it is written. I also like the pronunciation of the letters r and d - in some positions - which is, respectively, [ʁ] and [ð].

Ah, okay.

Yea, you can find several similar words to German in Norwegian/Swedish/Danish, indeed.

modgethanc wrote:I would bet that Danish and English are more alike in some ways that English and German, at least in syntax and morphology. The phonology of Danish would be more like German, of course.

Dunno about syntax, never studied Danish at all.

From what I've heard of Danish, it does not sound like English or German at all. I've heard people saying before that Danish sounds like German but I honestly can't agree with that. Norwegian and Swedish sound more like German to me, mainly the former one.

Different perceptions, I guess.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-30, 1:04

Massimiliano B wrote:I'm aware that Danish is a North Germanic language, while German and English are West Germanic. When I say that Danish is very similar to those languages I mean that the North Germanic languages are the most similar to the West Germanic languages. In fact, you can find a lot of words in Danish that have a "brother" word in German (for example slem-schlimm, sprog-Sprache) or in English (fin-fine, møde-meet).

Prowler wrote:Dunno about syntax, never studied Danish at all.

From what I've heard of Danish, it does not sound like English or German at all. I've heard people saying before that Danish sounds like German but I honestly can't agree with that. Norwegian and Swedish sound more like German to me, mainly the former one.

Different perceptions, I guess.
Well, neither have I, but let's compare them anyway. Danish has SVO word order like English, while German (like Dutch) has both SVO and SOV. Danish has two genders (common and neuter) while German has three and English has none. Danish lacks cases like English, while German has four. The possessive suffix s works the same way in Danish as it does in English:

There are no case declensions in Danish nouns except (in a sense) the use of the genitive, which is normally applied as an -s ending, or simply with an apostrophe when the noun ends with an s already (also if the word ends in x or z). Pigens hus ("the girl's house"); et hus' beboere ("the inhabitants of a house"). Thus, one does not distinguish between persons and things in the genitive, as in English. The order of the genitive and the governed word is always the same as in English.

Danish verbs also do not inflect for person or number, which is even more analytic than English. Overall I get the impression that Danish is more inflected than English, but not as much as German. In Danish the article in a suffix while in English and German it's a separate word and is put in front of the noun.

Danish is somewhat like German in phonology. It has front rounded vowels and guttural r, unlike English. However, like English, Danish did not undergo the High German consonant shift. Danish has a pitch accent or stød, which neither English nor German has.

So bearing in mind English and Danish are from different branches of the Germanic family, and English and German are from the same branch, they share more in common that you might think, at least in grammar.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby ifseascatchfire » 2013-09-12, 0:20

I have a friend that I met when I was 10 who moved back home to Denmark shortly after I'd met her. But when I met her, she taught me "Hej. Hva' så?". Fast forward 9 years, I found a music video of this interesting language with features I'd not heard before (namely the "stød") and I decided to persue it. I found out that it was Danish, found this friend through facebook, and once I'd gotten more exposure to the language, I was hooked. Now, I have become addicted to all of the North Germanic languages. :D
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Lauren » 2013-09-12, 0:33

ifseascatchfire wrote:INow, I have become addicted to all of the North Germanic languages. :D

Even Dalecarlian? :O
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby September » 2013-09-14, 0:35

Lowena wrote:
ifseascatchfire wrote:INow, I have become addicted to all of the North Germanic languages. :D

Even Dalecarlian? :O

The Dalecarlian dialects are amazing. I love how these little pockets of language get preserved. Elfdalian still has a dental fricative, even.

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby benjamino59 » 2014-01-25, 11:41

Danish has SVO word order like English, while German (like Dutch) has both SVO and SOV.


Actually, Danish has both SVO and VSO. Example:

Han gik hjem, sagde hun.
He walked home, said she.

VSO is also used in questions:

Går han en tur?
Walk he a trip?

In poetry it can even be OSV (this is from a song):

Den, jeg elsker.
It I love. (the "it" actually refers to a guy)

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby TeneReef » 2014-06-27, 16:13

Is the northern Danish pronunciation of standard Danish (Aalborgese) clearer than the one used in the capital region:? :hmm:
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Evenfall » 2015-03-15, 1:14

I am interested in Danish because as a child I've been on holiday in Denmark very often. I am from northern Germany so my parents used to take me to Denmark on vacation. I've always wanted to learn Danish and maybe one day live in Denmark. So that is why I decided to learn Danish as my first scandinavian language when I started studying Scandinavian Studies.
I love the Danish language even though the pronunciation is quite difficult sometimes. I don't have many problems regarding the grammar or the vocabulary (which is quite similar to German anyway), but the pronunciation can be tough. But I won't give up! I still want to live in Denmark :D

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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby germantiger » 2015-07-23, 8:31

As Scandinavian langauges go, Danish is the one that I have closest connection to (my grandmother is half Danish; great-grandmother half Icelandic with Swedish and Finnish roots). To me, it seems to have more similarities to German than Swedish or Norwegian, but also seems to be more challenging (to me personally).

I went to Copenhagen a year or so ago for a weekend and ended up spending most of my time in Malmö. Nevertheless, it was lots of fun saying "Goddag" and "undskyld" when I accidentally bumped into someone. :D Yes - it sounds incredibly quirky and that's a big part of the allure. ;)
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby stordragon » 2015-08-28, 8:18

benjamino59 wrote:
Johanna wrote:
benjamino59 wrote:But is it still just dialects, considering that fx girl is called 'pige' in Danish and 'flicka' in Swedish? I only knew that because I studied Swedish a long time ago on my own.

There are other words too.

flicka = girl (age 0-12 or so)
tjej = girl (any age)
piga = a young girl employed at a farm
tös = girl (any age, regional)
jänta = girl (any age, regional)


That's what I'm talking about. I'm one of the few (maybe 10-40 %) of the city-people, who understands Sønderjysk (the dialect soken far out in the tiny villages, mostly in southern Jutland), and Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic is a lot more far apart from Rigsdansk.

Of course, pige and piga is a lot similar (although, they don't have the exact same meaning), and tøs
is kind of a slang of girl in Danish (which is similar to Swedish tös). But tjej and jänta, no-one Danish could figure that out in a million years.

The funny thing about Rigsdansk (official Danish) and those weird dialects, is that they are written exactly the same (but pronounced way different) and there aren't really any words, which exists in one dialect, but not in the others (the only exeptiion this is the word moin (or mojn, or muin, or what ever it's called. It's a crazy word.) used on Fyn). This is very different than many other languages.


I too seriously doubt the mutual intelligibility between the two official languages, though I keep on seeing Danes and Swedes communicating with each others via email in their respective mother tongues.

Let's look at another example:

DA-DK at træffe foranstaltninger = SV-SE att vidta åtgärder (= EN-GB to take measures)

DA-DK at træffe foranstaltninger <> SV-SE att träffa (German loanword "Veranstaltungen")??
SV-SE att vidta åtgärder <> DA-DK at vedtage ??

(but of course if you use "forholdsregler" that could be much easier for Swedes to understand: "förhållningsregler")

How can a conversation with a great amount of such non-cognates be made without using a translation tool?
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby Johanna » 2015-08-28, 8:40

stordragon wrote:I too seriously doubt the mutual intelligibility between the two official languages, though I keep on seeing Danes and Swedes communicating with each others via email in their respective mother tongues.

Let's look at another example:

DA-DK at træffe forholdsregler/foranstaltninger = SV-SE att vidta åtgärder (= EN-GB take measures)

DA-DK at træffe forholdsregler/foranstaltninger <> SV-SE att träffa (German loanword "Veranstaltungen")??
SV-SE att vidta åtgärder <> DA-DK at vedtage ??

How can a conversation with a great amount of such non-cognates be made without a translation tool?

This example is actually one where Swedes would have trouble getting the correct meaning of the Danish expression, it looks a lot like att träffa förhållningsregler, which is sort of gibberish but if it existed it would literally mean "to meet the rules", and from there it goes to "to keep to the rules". Foranstaltninger on the other hand, I think that would make most reach for the dictionary right away.

But for the most part when the languages don't match up, you can either rely on context or the aforementioned synonyms that are not very common in Swedish any more, or the Danish expressions make perfect sense even if we express the same thing differently.

An example from Norwegian to illustrate the latter: "to sound like" in it is å höres ut som, which in Swedish is att låta som. The thing is, "to look like" is att se ut som here, and that makes å höres ut som super easy to understand even if you haven't heard it before in your life, it's the exact same thing with a different sense, they simply use the word for "to hear" instead of the one for "to see" to move it from your eyes to your ears.
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Re: Why are you interested in Danish?

Postby stordragon » 2015-08-28, 9:36

Johanna wrote:
stordragon wrote:I too seriously doubt the mutual intelligibility between the two official languages, though I keep on seeing Danes and Swedes communicating with each others via email in their respective mother tongues.

Let's look at another example:

DA-DK at træffe forholdsregler/foranstaltninger = SV-SE att vidta åtgärder (= EN-GB take measures)

DA-DK at træffe forholdsregler/foranstaltninger <> SV-SE att träffa (German loanword "Veranstaltungen")??
SV-SE att vidta åtgärder <> DA-DK at vedtage ??

How can a conversation with a great amount of such non-cognates be made without a translation tool?

This example is actually one where Swedes would have trouble getting the correct meaning of the Danish expression, it looks a lot like att träffa förhållningsregler, which is sort of gibberish but if it existed it would literally mean "to meet the rules", and from there it goes to "to keep to the rules". Foranstaltninger on the other hand, I think that would make most reach for the dictionary right away.

Unfortunately, it looks like Danes use the phrase "at træffe foranstaltninger" much more often than "at tage forholdsregler" :lol: So I bet you would resort to dictionaries from time to time if you are reading some academic writings. :wink:

But for the most part when the languages don't match up, you can either rely on context or the aforementioned synonyms that are not very common in Swedish any more, or the Danish expressions make perfect sense even if we express the same thing differently.

Yes but I believe this only applies to *written* communication but NOT to *oral* communication.

I don't believe a normal non-Scanian Swede without adequate trainings in advance will be so quick-minded as to swiftly figure out what such non-cognate individual words mean by the time a Dane has already finished his speech (not to mention the great gap between pronunciation rules of the two languages: everyone knows the pronunciation gap between Danish and Swedish is by far wider than that between Norwegian and Swedish). I would estimate that if it were not for the fact of you being a Västergötlander from southwestern Sweden on the NO-SE border, it could be even harder for you to understand colloquial Danish without any training.

An example from Norwegian to illustrate the latter: "to sound like" in it is å höres ut som, which in Swedish is att låta som. The thing is, "to look like" is att se ut som here, and that makes å höres ut som super easy to understand even if you haven't heard it before in your life, it's the exact same thing with a different sense, they simply use the word for "to hear" instead of the one for "to see" to move it from your eyes to your ears.


However, "å høres ut" is a very basic phrasal verb used in very basic conversations. I don't think the same case will apply when it comes to conversations on more advanced topics where a lot of complicated words & expressions emerge, and from the example of a comparison between "at træffe foranstaltninger" VS "att vidta åtgärder" I've given above you should have already noticed that when we look at conversations with such "more advanced" phrases or expressions, much more issues might arise which could lead to big communication barriers. :wink:

Btw, how do you say "Man kan ikke gå uden om, at.." / "Man kan ikke gå utenom at.."? Do you say "Man kan inte kringgå att.."? You'll definitely not say "XXMan kan inte gå utan om att..XX".
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