Visiting Copenhagen – Danish for Beginners: Part 1

Some of you have expressed doubt in traveling to Denmark, due to not knowing the language. I understand these fears, but after you know more about this time-honored language, you’ll be toasting your Danish hosts in the language that they know best!

Let’s start by playing a game. I will be dividing you into groups with the following categories: Swedes, Norwegians, and Finns. Now you’ll be representing the major groups of Scandinavian, just without the Danes.

The Swedes and the Norwegians would probably say, “Danish is the Guttural (a harsh and throaty spoken sound – Wiktionary) form of Swedish/Norwegian! At this point in our game, the Swedes and Norwegians will be broken into 2 separate groups with yelling going on on either side of this division. The one will accuse the other of the same thing that they just have accused the Danes of being, with a general head-bashing, “throw through the picture window” type of behavior that we all know and expect from American Cowboy movies!

The group with the Finns, will be standing off in their corner, knowing that their language is entirely different from the other club members,  will be conversing with each other in pure Finnish, while the other activities are taking place.

Why are their no Danes with this game, a number of you have asked me? Well, the Danes will be accusing the other 3 of the same language crimes, but will justify it by saying that “The other languages, other than Finnish, came from Danish as those Countries were originally under the Danish Flag at one time.



Why did I cross out the Faroe Islands and Iceland? Just because those people either are too few to care, or too wise to play this game in the first place.

See the Danish Flag? No? OK. I can see that this blog is way too advanced for some of you. I should have divided you into: “Knowing The Danish Flag, or Not” in my “Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas in Denmark” Tour number 117. My sign-up App is available on the Internet!

For the rest of you, who during this short break, have found the Danish Flag, you’ll be able to see the similarities between the makeup of this one and the other Countries? This is of course biased with Denmark coming first in the above picture, unless you are left-handed and consider Finland to be starting Country, of this very confusing explanation about a simple topic!

Remember, at the end of this game, then all of you will be classified as Danes, regardless of your original Country!

OK. I am getting a new message in my headphones from some of you who are not accepting the premise of everyone being a Dane. I guess, some of you have identified with the other Countries instead of Denmark? But Hey! We can accept the other Countries as well, just not Luxembourg, which lies outside of the scope of this blog (Tip: See map of Europe excluding Scandinavia).

Now it is time to end this game and move on to the main point of this blog: Language.

“Skål” pronounced “Skoal” is more or less the same in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian.

Skål means Cheers! which is probably the most important word to know in this part of Scandinavia.

What about the Finns? Well, they say Kippis, which is pronounced Kippis, which to any other Scandinavian is unintelligible all the same, which means that another flag will be removed from my next class of Cultural Differences and Cultural Similarities!

Some of you out there, for some unexplained reason, are still identifying with Luxembourg, so in the sense of European Solidarity, then:


Source: Wikipedia

Here is the flag of Luxembourg.

Knock yourselves out!