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70+ Survival Danish Travel Phrase Guide with Pronunciation

by Michele
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Basic Danish Phrases for Travellers
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Know how to ask for directions to ‘The Little Mermaid’ statue, order a famous salmon-topped smørre­brød, or get tips from the locals with these super useful and basic Danish phrases.

Travellers to Denmark can easily get around without knowing a word of Danish since the Danes are rockstars in English. However, here at The Intrepid Guide, I like to encourage you to learn a few phrases and choice words in the local language. Knowing even a little bit of Danish can go a long way. Your travel experience will be all the richer as you’re greeted with an inviting smile wherever you go and you’ll be more likely to make friends. Who knows, you may even be invited in for some hygge (See #22 for definition).

To help me create this new travel phrase guides to my collection, I asked my Danish friend Becci from Becci Abroad to provide accurate Danish translations and pronunciation tips. Tak Becci!

Let’s take a closer look at the Danish language.


Table of Contents


A brief history of Danish

Danish (Dansk in Danish) is a Scandinavian language and is part of the North Germanic language group which includes Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish and Faroese. As such, the written form of Danish is very similar to all these languages.

To give you an idea, the differences between written Danish and Norwegian aren’t any bigger than the differences between British English and American English.  So, if you’re familiar with any of these Scandinavian languages, you’re already halfway there!

The part that needs more attention is spoken Danish since the Danes use different sounds and pronunciation not found anywhere else.

Where is Danish spoken?

Danish is the official language of Denmark. Outside of Denmark, Danish is spoken in Canada, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and the USA. Danish is spoken by 5.4 million people in Denmark. According to Ethnologue, the total number of speakers of Danish worldwide is estimated at around 5.6 million. Between 15–20% of Greenland’s population speak Danish as their first language.

Danish Pronunciation

Denmark is made up of the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands. Even though Denmark is about three times smaller than New York different dialects are spoken from island to island.

To keep things simple, the pronunciation provided in this Danish travel phrase guide uses the form of Danish called Nudansk, which literally means ‘Now Danish’. This form of Danish is spoken in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen and is understood everywhere in Denmark.

Danish Alphabet

Below is the Danish alphabet and pronunciation.

a (ah) j (yee) s (ess)
b (be) k (kå) t (te)
(se) l (el) u (u)
d (de) m (emm) v (ve)
(eh) n (enn) w (dobbletve)
(eff) o (o) x (eks)
g (gay) p (pe) y (y)
h (hå) q (ku) z (sett)
i  (ee) r (err) Æ (ah) Ø (uh) Å (oh)

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Basic Danish Phrases for Travellers

Basic Danish Phrases for Travellers

Want the infographic to take with you? Scroll to the bottom of the page.

English Danish Pronunciation

Greetings

   
Hello Hej high
Good morning God morgen gor morn
Good afternoon god eftermiddag – not frequently used, instead use ‘god dag‘ which means ‘good day’ gu day
Good night Godnat gu-neht
Goodbye Hej hej /  Farvel high high / fa-vel
How are you? Hvordan har du det? vor-dahn hah du deh
I’m well, and you? Godt, hvad med dig? godt, vah meh dye
Good, thanks Godt, tak! godt, tahk

Essentials

   
Thank you Tak tahk
Please Være så venlig (be so kind) – There is no Danish word for ‘please’. Instead, use your tone of voice and say ‘tak’ a lot. ver soh ven-lee / tahk
You’re welcome Selv tak sel tahk
Yes Ja yeh
No Nej nigh
Excuse me (getting attention)

Excuse me (when you didn’t hear or understand the person)

Undskyld oon-skool
I’m sorry Undskyld oon-skool
I don’t understand Jeg forstår ikke yaiee for-star ee-keh
Do you speak English? Taler du engelsk? tay-ler doo eng-elsk

Questions

   
How much is…? Hvor meget er det? vor maarl er deh
Where is…? Hvor er…? vor air deh
When? Hvornår? vor-norh
Can I have…? Má jeg bede om…? moh yai beh om…

Eating Out

   
Beer Øl oul
Red wine / white wine) Rødvin / Hvidvin rod-veen / verd-veen
Water Vand vahn
I don’t eat… Jeg spiser ikke… yaiee spee-sar ee-keh
I’m a vegetarian Jeg er vegetarianer yaiee air veh-ge-tah-ree-ah-ner
The bill, please Regningen, tak reh-ni-nhen, tahk

Getting Around

   
Left Venstre vehn-streh
Right Højre hoy-reh
Straight ahead Lige ud lee ool
Turn left Drej til venstre dreh til vehn-streh
Turn right Drej til højre dreh til hoy-ah
Bus stop Busstoppested boos-stop-peh-stehd
Train station Tog station tog sta-shon
Airport Lufthavn loof-tavn
Entrance Indgang in-gung
Exit Udgang oo-gung

Numbers

   
1 En en
2 To tohw
3 Tre treh
4 Fire fee-reh
5 Fem fehm
6 Seks six
7 Syu sew
8 Otte oo-deh
9 Ni nee
10 Ti tee
20 Tyve tur-verh
30 Tredive treh-verh
40 Fyrre fur-rah
50 Halvtreds hal-trehs
60 Tres trehs
70 Halvfjerd hal-ferh-es
80 Firs fears
90 Halvfems hal-fems
100 Hundrede huhn-red-eh

Days

   
Monday Mandag men-dah
Tuesday Tirsdag tirs-dah
Wednesday Onsdag oons-dah
Thursday Torsdag tors-dah
Friday Fredag freh-dah
Saturday Lørdag luhr-dah
Sunday Søndag suhn-dah

Emergencies

   
Help! Hjælp! yelp
I need a doctor Jeg har brug for en læge yaiee har bro for en leh-er
I don’t feel well Jeg har det dårligt yaiee har deh door-lit
Call the police! Ring til politiet! ring teh po-lee-teer
Fire! Ild! eel

I hope you enjoyed this Danish travel phrase guide as much as I enjoyed bringing it together. If you have any requests for other languages, let me know in the comments section! In the meantime, check out the rest of my collection of free travel phrase guides.


Danish Travel Guide Infographic

Like it? Pin it for later!

Basic Danish Phrases - Danish Travel Phrase Guide


Sources Lonely Planet Fast Talk DanishBecci Abroad


Visiting Denmark?

Want to know more about learning languages? Start here!


Over to you!

Which of these Danish phrases did you find the most useful? Are you planning a trip to Denmark or have you already been there? Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
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