Danish/Alfabet

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Alfabetet ~ The Alphabet


Vokaler ~ Vowels[edit]

There are nine vowels in the Danish/Norwegian alphabet, a, e, i, o, u, y, æ, ø and å. For people who only speak English they are often not pronounced quite the way you would expect.

The 5 first vowels are pronounced similar to most European languages the rest are similar to the nordic languages the Danish y is also reminiscent of how it was pronounced in Classical Latin and has not changed since it was adopted along the rest of the alphabet.

  • Long a is pronounced as some English speakers say long a or short a in rat .
  • Long e is pronounced as some English speakers say ee,it is identical to Standard German ee in nee and similar to e/é in Standard French et / écoute
  • Long i might be confused with the Danish Long e or English ee.This sound does not occur in some English dialects,however some might pronounce their long-e/ee as this sound, it's similar to the French qui and identical to German in biete
  • Long o is pronounced nearly identical to the way some english speakers say oo in took just longer,it is identical to Standard German oo in boot and to ô in French côté
  • Long u is pronounced as in the way many english speakers say the oo in boot.It is identical to the ou in standard French nous or oe in Standard Dutch toe
  • Long y is pronounced as the i above but rounded. This sound does not occur in the dialect of most English speakers, it's similar to the Standard French u in tu or Standard German ü in rübe.
  • Long æ is pronounced as in every or 2) as in any or end but longer.
  • Long ø is pronounced like Danish Long e mentioned above but rounded.
  • Long å is pronounced as awe and or or 2) sort of like as in no or low.

It is important to distinguish between long and short vowels. A short vowel is often indicated by doubling the consonant after it.

For instance skulle with a short u means should, but at skule means to stare. Pile means darts, but pille means pill.The vowel quality in the short vowels takes a darker sound than the long versions so as short e is said with the same quality as long æ but said short.

Konsonanter ~ Consonants[edit]

b, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, s and t are pronounced more or less as in English.

  • t is said practically identical to Standard English at the beginning of words but when found in between vowels or at the end it might become a soft t somewhat like the the and in other places like a voiceless d in dinner.
  • d is silent if found after an n, as in hende. If doubled in the middle of a word, as in hedder or found at the end as in hed, it is pronounced somewhat as th in the English the or tether. The d can also take on the sound of a hard d, "at dykke" (meaning, "to dive" where the d's are pronounced the same).
  • g is usually pronounced as in guess at most word beginnings ,after vowels it takes either a semi-vowel quality or lengthens the vowel before . Some might pronounce it as dg as in G.E (Global English) edge if the word of foreign origin has it, for example: teenagere however many might say it as G.E dy(di in Dionne) or an English y sound ,in such words.
  • v is usually pronounced somewhere in between a w and a v at word beginnings ,after vowels it takes the semi-vowel quality of w sound in the G.E cow or (in some speakers) as a rounded G.E y only when following e,ø, i, y and æ.
  • j is pronounced as the y in yes.


c, q, w, x and z are mainly used in foreign words.

  • c is pronounced as s when it comes before e,ø i, y and æ, and as k in all other cases. (Exception: Cypern (meaning Cyprus) is pronounced with a k sound))
  • q is pronounced as k.
  • w is pronounced somewhere in between a standard english w and v.
  • x is pronounced as s if it is the first letter in a word and is pronounced as ks if it is not.
  • z is pronounced as s.
  • r is pronounced almost as French/German r but more "smoothe", without the vibrating sound.

Note that Danish does not have the voiced z-sound, so Danish s, x and z are never pronounced as in English is, example or zoo.


Eksempler ~ Examples:

xylofon (x pronounced like s)

fox (x pronounced like ks)

See also[edit]