10 Danish words you need to know

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The first thing you need to know about learning Danish, is that Danish is a really, really difficult… But luckily for you, basically everyone in Denmark speaks English!!  Now that said, it always impresses when foreigners can say even a few words in our language, so I’ll teach you how to do just that! 

  1. Hello – Hej
    • It’s always good to know how to greet people and that one is easy in Danish since “Hej” is pronounced like the English “Hi”
  2. Goodbye – Hej hej
    • Saying goodbye is also important and also very, very easy, you simply add another “Hej”
  3. Thank you – Tak
    • This one is important everywhere because people love it when others are polite! 
  4. Help – Hjælp
    • I realize that there is a letter here that you’ve never seen before, but this word is pronounced like “Yelp” because the h is silent.
      Now Denmark is not a very violent or criminal country so I don’t think you’ll need serious help, but you might need help with directions so it’s good to know how to say this.  
  5. English – Engelsk 
    • The beginning of the word is pronounced the same, so the “Eng” part is the same as in English, and then you just add an “l” sound to the “sk” sound of skateboard. But like I said literally almost everyone in Denmark speaks English, but if you want to make sure it’s nice to be able to ask.
  6. Airport – Lufthavn
    • The “u” here is pronounced like the “o” in open and “havn” is pronounced like “have” in English and then with a “n” in the end, this part is said quite quickly. If you are taking a bus or a train it’s nice to be able to ask if it’s the right direction or read it on one of the signs.  
  7. Yes – Ja
    • The “j” here is pronounced like the “y” in yes
  8. No – Nej
    • The “ej” part here is pronounced like “I” in English
  9. Cheers – Skål
    • The “å” here is pronounced like the “o” in open. 
  10. ??? – Rød grød med fløde
    • So this last one doesn’t really have a literal translation… It’s a dessert, kind of like a red berry porage and cream. It is, however, every Danes favorite thing to make any foreigner say, because it is as good as impossible, so a little practice might be good! 

Want to know more about what to do while visiting Copenhagen? Check out my post about what to see as a tourist.

I hope this helps you if you ever decide to go to Denmark, or if you just want to learn some Danish. If there’s anything else you’d like to know how to say, let me know! 

Lots of love, Anne

 

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