The Danish Language

Danish (Dansk) is an East Scandinavian language that belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by about 5 million people in Denmark and a total of approximately 5.6 million people worldwide. Danish is also spoken in countries such as Argentina, Canada, Germany, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States of America (USA).

The Danish language stems from Old Norse, which was once a common language among the Vikings of the Scandinavian region. Over time, Norse dialects formed and each of them gradually evolved into distinct languages. However distinct they may be, Danish is still considered a close relative to Norwegian and Swedish as they are mutually intelligible. Most Danes can still understand what their Norwegian or Swedish neighbours are saying even without an interpreter, and vice versa.

Danish was heavily influenced by Low German dialects during the Middle Ages and during the age of Renaissance, Danish adopted many French loanwords. During the modern era, many English words have also been absorbed into the Danish language.

Danish has around 17 to 20 distinct vowel sounds in its pronunciation. This makes it a rather challenging language to learn, but when speaking it, Danish can actually sound quite musical. In the aspect of grammar, Danish is slightly easier than you think. There are only two genders in standard Danish - common and neuter. Verbs are conjugated only for tenses and not for objects or numbers. The following reveals the Danish writing systems, pronunciations, and grammar.


Danish Alphabets and Writing System, and how you can pronounce Danish words

Danish Numbers from 1 to 1001

Danish Grammar

Danish has two genders, and they are called the Common and Neuter genders. Every noun is associated with one gender and this gender is inflected differently when used with a noun. The majority of Danish nouns are made up of common gender. This is fairly easier as compared to learning three genders - Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter - which Danish used to have long long ago.

Danish grammatical genders

As Danish Nouns are associated with the common and neuter genders, they are represented by the indefinite articles en and et (meaning a or an) that are placed before the noun.

Learn Danish Grammar on Articles and Nouns

Learn Danish Grammar on Nouns and Pronouns

Danish adjectives are placed before the noun, just like in English, and they must agree in gender and number with the noun they are describing. Depending on the use of indefinite or definite articles, adjectives come with endings when describing a noun.

For indefinite articles, add a -t for the adjective describing neuter gender nouns, add an -e for the adjective describing plural nouns, and add nothing for common gender nouns. For definite articles, add -e for most adjectives describing all nouns.

Learn Danish Grammar on Adjectives

Danish prepositions, like English, function by connecting words into meaningful sentences.

Learn Danish Grammar on Prepositions

Danish verbs consist of three different moods - the indicative, imperative, and optative. Indicative mood is used everywhere and is very common. Imperative mood is used in commands such as “sit!” (sidde!), or “Come here!” (kom her!). Unlike English, Danish has three types of voices - active voice, passive voice, and middle voice.

Learn Danish Grammar on Verbs