Velkommen — welcome — to our Danish Language Guide, a series of short but informative videos about Denmark, Danish, and what it is like to learn the language. Your guide is a native Dane who is passionate about sharing the cultural delights of her country. She offers an honest but encouraging assessment for any aspiring Danish speakers of what it means to learn the language.
We hope you enjoy this brief tour of Denmark and its native tongue. And if you’d like to know about our Danish language course, you can find out more here.
The happiest country in the world
When learning another language, it is not enough to just know the words and grammar rules. It is crucial to understand something about its people, as well. Culture and social norms help shape language, from the words we use and the jokes we tell, to how we interact with one another.
For instance, Danes are widely considered friendly, open, and welcoming; even if they are a little private when you first meet them. However, there is an underlying social norm that encourages humility. It is so prevalent that it has its own name: The Jante Law. Your guide will explain why it is essential that any language learners who intend to visit Denmark or work with Danes are familiar with this tendency. Otherwise, they risk being perceived as arrogant or imposing.
Further, Danes consistently rank as one of the happiest populations on earth. Your language guide will explain why, from their celebrated cuisine to some truly impressive cycling statistics! Again, knowing this information is useful to understand why Danes prioritize the things they do—like leaving work on time to spend the evening with their families.
Danish dialects and intricacies
Our videos will give you a short introduction to Denmark and its more than 400 islands! Throughout history, these once-isolated communities each developed their own dialects and even Danes struggle to understand one from the next, let alone foreigners!.
Sadly, many of these dialects are dying out. Fortunately for you, your guide will explain that this is because most Danes speak a standard Danish, called Rigsdansk. As a language learner, this means you shouldn’t have any problem being understood if you decide to travel around Denmark; especially as most Danes also speak fluent English!.
Still, the more you don’t assume to converse in your native language but try Danish, the more the locals will value you. This is because Danes know how difficult their language can be and appreciate the effort. (Many also like to enjoy a laugh at your expense as you pronounce some of their more difficult phrases.) Your guide will explain the intricacies of the language and a few of its trickier elements. For example, Danish uses a relatively high number of vowel sounds while frequently silencing consonants. It also utilizes a unique vocal noise, called the glottal stop, which many foreigners struggle to imitate.
How long to learn?
But don’t let these challenges put you off! Your guide will assure you that anyone can learn Danish. She even gives some rough estimates for how long it will take you to reach different levels of proficiency.
Finally, your guide will end her series of videos by answering some of our frequently asked questions about Danish. Such as, “How do I pronounce the unusual letters?” and “Is it easier to learn another Scandinavian language if I already know Danish?”.
Don’t worry if you have a question which hasn’t been answered in any of the videos! Just click the “Quick Inquiry: Danish Courses” button above or head over to our contact page to send us your queries about the Danish language and our courses.
We hope you like our videos and that they expand your knowledge of this fascinating language and the beautiful country and people behind it!.