Spoken and Written Danish?

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DynaEmu

Spoken and Written Danish?

Postby DynaEmu » 2005-09-27, 1:56

What is the MAJOR differences between the two? I want to learn Dansk but this sounds so confusing, can someone explain the differences? thanks

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pasalupo
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Postby pasalupo » 2005-09-27, 6:39

Hi,
the major difficulty is that the quality of a sound often changes according to its environment. A grapheme can thus represent different phonemes.
There are a few audio ressources on the net:

This is a nice guide to the different sound qualities:
http://users.cybercity.dk/~nmb3879/danishpron.html

and this one shows how the language actually sounds:
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/ ... ymowa.html

Kind regards -- Wolfgang
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Postby Alcadras » 2005-09-27, 13:31

imho , speaking danish is too difficult.
i see a long sentence and its pronunciation is too short :D
i can't choose words.

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pasalupo
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Postby pasalupo » 2005-09-29, 11:14

Be assured, Alcadras, one can manage the language. Why not choose it as defiance, though the best way of mastering Danish it is through practice, unfortunately. :(
BTW Danish is not worse than English just compare the <ou> in though and through - can phonetics be more sadistic?

/Wolfgang
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Postby Ulven » 2005-10-11, 12:59

Granted, hearing Danish whilst reading what was being said for the first time, was an absolute shock for me. I honestly took the cassette out to make sure they put in the correct language item. :lol: I suppose I went into it expecting it to be Swedish-like. But oh no... :lol:
There are some patterns that you'll come to notice. Things like 'd' is only an English d at the beginning of words (including compound words). The rest of the time it's a th/l cross. (th in 'then'). Consonants are largely muffled, sometimes silent, and sometimes they act as a syllabic interval. eg bliver can be pronounced bli'er, I believe. (I'm no professional, so take my words with a salt-pinch)
Don't get tempted to pronounce, therefore listen for, Danish words too crisply. Swedes always say about Danes (well, I've met at least three that said this) "it's like they speak with a potato in their mouths". I say speaking Danish is what a Swede is doing when mumbling in his sleep. Either way, learn to take the letters much more lazily than is initially comfortable. You'll then realize that Danish is actually less effort to speak than English. You won't have to move your lips (nor the inside of mouth) much :wink: I guess Danes are just preserving energy for the winter :D

Some letters to look out for...
-These letters are often used as a syllabic break, and not always even sounded- v, g eg. uge/oo-ehr, bliver/bli-ehr
-'r' is often only lengthening words, depending on its placement eg. vejr-være-været (t not sounded, at least by some Danes I've heard)
You have to be pretty accomplished to tell some of these apart.
-t and d at the end of words are often either a th/l sound, or not pronounced at all.
-the word hovedet huwel (I thought I'd just throw this word in :lol: We all know it sounds nothing like it's spelt). And the word meget, while I'm at it. I've heard it pronounced ei, me-ye, meil, me-yel, me-yet. Loads of fun!

Again, I'm just a debutant, so don't take my words as gospel. And NEVER take English transliteration too seriously when learning Danish.

And kudos on the 'ough', Pasalupo. rough- where did the 'f' sound come from? :? bough, trough, though, thought, through- man! Not even Danish would be sadistic enough to give a 4-letter diphthing without telling you exactly how to pronounce it. It keeps us on our toes, I guess. Unless toe is spelt 'tough'? :P

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Postby óðinn » 2006-05-17, 18:09

pasalupo wrote:Be assured, Alcadras, one can manage the language. Why not choose it as defiance, though the best way of mastering Danish it is through practice, unfortunately. :(
BTW Danish is not worse than English just compare the <ou> in though and through - can phonetics be more sadistic?

/Wolfgang


Since I'm a Swede I just have to ask a stupid question if you don't mind. What do you mean by "Danish is not worse than English", I mean written danish is easier than Swedish but spoken is a nightmare. Though pretty cool if one can master it.

I like the danish tv-program "Krønikan", but to imitate spoken Danish is hard compared to Norwegian.

To my ears "For fanden" sounds [fÅ: fÆ:n] when pronunced so if you're going to learn Dansk I wish you'll need a lot of pronunciation practice. But it's a good language since you'll understand written Norwegian once you've learnt.

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Postby pasalupo » 2006-05-18, 6:01

Hm, the original idea was, that there are rules and that it might be easier to learn DK standard phonetics than English phonetics.
There is a great variation of spoken accents. This is not the correct word, but I can't think of a better one right now. If you compare the pronunciation of Karen Blixen (who conserved the 'accent' of Copenhagen bourgeoisie from the 1880s with educated speech from the beginning of the last century (e.g. Poul Reumert), you will notice that there are distinctive changes in their pronunciation. Nowadays elderly people are complaining that they don't understand younger people. I read in a review of 'Rejseholdet' about replikker som blev afleveret så mumlende that the reviewer had difficulties to understand them. And sometimes I switch subtitles on, because it hardly makes sense what they try to say. (Danish is a foreign language to me and I learnt it at a relative high age, in terms of language acquisition.)
An additional difficulty for a foreigner is the local colouring, e.g. when people pronounce Danish as if it were a Bornholm or Vendsyssel dialect. (The politicians Glistrup and Poulsgaard are frightening examples for this.)

I discovered that I would make to many error due to interference, if I tried to imitate Norwegian, so I had to give up that idea. In Swedish the lexical variations wouldn't allow a simple imitation.
By the way: I also have difficulties with spoken Swedish. No problem to follow the news, but as soon as speech becomes colloquial, there can be various problems to follow.

By the way, this week DR's team has been in Randers to film the last episode of Krøniken. Randers is the place where Jens Otto Krag was born.
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Postby óðinn » 2006-05-18, 12:35

Would a dane understand me better if I spode Danish with Swedish prununciation or would it sound like norwegian (written danish spoken swe/nor prununciation)?

Cause I'm thinking about going to either NO/DK/IS and work a year or something. But I'm terrified of the danish prununciation

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Postby pasalupo » 2006-05-18, 12:49

I have noticed that I Danes generally are vey lazy understanders. When my colleagues already have given up, I still understand de nordiske mål. If you had the word stock and pronounced it with a Swedish flavour (like Karin in Krønikken), most people would understand you, even Danes

I sometimes see Swedes who talk their own language - and are understood. After a time in this country, some start imitating Danish intonation.

When I came to Denmark, my teacher said that I was much too old to adopt a perfect accent. He was right. It very difficult to get the qualities of vowels right - but the main thing is to be understood and, of course, to understand what they say.
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Postby pasalupo » 2006-05-18, 12:51

BTW welcome to this forum and Unilang. It's generally very quiet here, unfortunately.
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Postby Hunef » 2006-05-19, 19:59

pasalupo wrote:I have noticed that I Danes generally are vey lazy understanders. When my colleagues already have given up, I still understand de nordiske mål. If you had the word stock and pronounced it with a Swedish flavour (like Karin in Krønikken), most people would understand you, even Danes.

Ironically, "Karin" (or Stina Ekblad in real life) is from Finland, just like ódinn. :) Finland "swedes" are considered to speak the generally most comprehensible scandinavian. (When they speak "högsvenska", at least.)
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
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Postby óðinn » 2006-05-28, 6:00

Hunef wrote:Ironically, "Karin" (or Stina Ekblad in real life) is from Finland, just like ódinn. :) Finland "swedes" are considered to speak the generally most comprehensible scandinavian. (When they speak "högsvenska", at least.)


That's correct! Her mother was born 10 kilometres away from where I live! 8) She should speak dialect (if she can, i dunno).

Well "högsvenska" is some kind of "speak like you write"--language that's why people in Finland with dialect as their mothertongue think of high swedish as a booring language. But of course it's very comprehendable I mean who does misinterpret Mumin? :D

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Postby 0stsee » 2006-10-13, 0:03

I stopped learning Danish because I doubted if I'll ever understand the spoken language.

But I guess if you're in Denmark it would be much easier.


Mark

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learning danish

Postby Æren » 2006-12-18, 13:52

hhh,,, it seems i'll be having lots of nightmares while dealing with this lang :(

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Guide to Danish pronunciation and phonetics

Postby SImon Gray » 2006-12-22, 21:03

If it is of any interest, I've started a small guide on Danish pronunciation (specifically, the Copenhagen dialect). It's only a short document right now and I haven't really studied the science behind languages so excuse me if the terms in use are somewhat colloquial rather than technical.

I began writing this because I was interested in mapping my vision of a reform of Danish spelling which is based on pronunciation rather than regularity (kinda like Nynorsk). Here is a PDF and an ODT (unless you use OpenOffice.org, you probably want the PDF):

http://monkeyblog.org/sprog/Standard%20 ... t%20d1.pdf

http://monkeyblog.org/sprog/Standard%20 ... t%20d1.odt

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Postby Æren » 2007-01-07, 13:16

it will be wonderful if such reform is made, though for me is interesting to study langs with non-phonetical writing

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Postby Mulder-21 » 2007-01-08, 19:35

IMHO, the differences between written and spoken Danish is one of the biggest differences between any written and spoken language. I dare say, that Faroese, which has pretty big differences, has smaller differences. Danish for instance drops several inter-vocalic consonants, for instance the already mentioned example: bliver -> bli'r, giver -> gir.

The strange part is though, that Faroese always think Danish is easier than Faroese, even in spelling!

Oh, well, but yes, the vowel qualities is definitely something, which a lot of attention has to be paid to in Danish. However, I think, that this applies for all Nordic languages, since their orthographies all are etymological (they are, right?).

Furthermore, there are so many dialects in Denmark, but IMO, this only richens Danish. It's just such a shame, that in Denmark using dialects is seen as a sign of lesser intelligence, even among town folk. :(
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

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Postby SImon Gray » 2007-01-10, 21:00

Mulder-21 wrote:there are so many dialects in Denmark, but IMO, this only richens Danish. It's just such a shame, that in Denmark using dialects is seen as a sign of lesser intelligence, even among town folk. :(


Selvom nogle dialekter kan være charmerende, så synes jeg nu at den nuværende trend, hvor dialekterne langsomt nærmer sig en fælles national dialekt er en god ting. Det gider på sigt større incentiv til at reformere skriftsproget.

Although some dialects have their charm, I do think the present trend of the dialects slowly nearing a common national dialect is a good thing. It provides better incentive to reform the written language in the long run.

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Postby Mulder-21 » 2007-01-11, 18:20

SImon Gray wrote:
Mulder-21 wrote:there are so many dialects in Denmark, but IMO, this only richens Danish. It's just such a shame, that in Denmark using dialects is seen as a sign of lesser intelligence, even among town folk. :(


Selvom nogle dialekter kan være charmerende, så synes jeg nu at den nuværende trend, hvor dialekterne langsomt nærmer sig en fælles national dialekt er en god ting. Det gider på sigt større incentiv til at reformere skriftsproget.

Although some dialects have their charm, I do think the present trend of the dialects slowly nearing a common national dialect is a good thing. It provides better incentive to reform the written language in the long run.


Ja, dér har du muligvis ret, men samtidig mister I den sproglige diversitet, der følger med, når man har mange og meget forskellige dialekter.

Yes, you might have a point there, but at the same time, you'll lose the linguistical diversity, you get by having many and very different dialects.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

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Postby Zorba » 2007-01-11, 20:14

It provides better incentive to reform the written language in the long run.


Do you think this could really happen in Denmark? Is there support for it? I'm interested because - apart from English - Danish is the only other language (that I've met) that has such a distant relationship between spelling and pronunciation. Danish pronunciation is completely impenetrable to me: when I was there I would compare the names of the train stations on the signs with what the train announcer called out, and could see very little similarity!!!

One of the main arguments against spelling reform for English is that any reform it would require a consensus of all the English speaking countries (and second langauge speakers too). It would also have to have a bias towards one particular variety of English, probably Standard American English.

I reckon it would be much easier to reform Danish spelling, as it is a small and compact country with few speakers as a second language. I suppose the Copenhagen dialect/accent would be used as the model for spelling reform?


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