Danish Language Facts
If you’re thinking about learning Danish it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Danish language facts:
5 Interesting Danish Language Facts
1. Danish is a North Germanic language
The Danish language is derived from Old Norse. Originally the same language as Swedish, Old Danish evolved into Medieval Danish in the 12th century. In 1550, the orthographic choices of Christiern Pedersen for translating the Bible into Danish set the writing standards for Danish.
2. Danish is spoken by around 6 million speakers
Danish is an official language in Denmark and the Faroe Islands.
3. Danish is very similar to Swedish and Norweigan
Danish speakers can actually pretend to speak three languages. Indeed, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are all derived from Old Norse. As a result, they share strong similarities and are mutually intelligible.
4. There are three extra vowels in Danish compared to English:
The three extra vowels are Æ, Ø and Å. Danish also has an extensive number of vowel phonemes – 27 in total.
5. Just like German, Danish words can be added together to form very long words
‘Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode’ is the longest Danish word, meaning “period of plan stabilising for a specialist doctor’s practice”. Other examples include:
- multiplikationsudregningstabelshæfteopbevaringsreolsproduktionsfacilitet (“production facility of storage shelves of boxes for notebooks for the calculations of multiplication tables”);
- Gedebukkebensoverogundergeneralkrigskommandersergenten (“General-clothes-press-inspector-head-superintendent-Goat-legs”), the latter having been created by the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen.
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