A note on pronunciation
Danish words are rather difficult for English-speakers to pronounce correctly when given only the written form. Even after hearing the words being spoken, the sounds can be frustrating to reproduce. The pronunciation guide is an attempt to explain how the words should be spoken, but these rules are quite hard to follow when confronted with a word like Smørrebrødsjomfru (refers to a woman making something called "Smørrebrød", which is a slice of dark bread with butter and a lot of fillings on top, like salad, fish, "remoulade" etc.).
Here's a very incomplete list of tips for the simple greetings in this lesson:
- Hej ("Hi") = almost like the English Hi. Sound sample Media:Hej.ogg
- Dav = say Dau. Sound sample Media:Dav.ogg
- Goddag ("Goodday") = the last g is silent. Sound sample Media:Goddag.ogg
- Godmorgen ("Goodmorning") = "go-moarn". The r is pronounced in the back of the throat, nearly silent. Sound sample Media:Godmorgen.ogg
Hellos and Goodbyes in Danish
Hello! Hej! Hejsa! Dav! Goddag! Good morning! Godmorgen! Good evening! Godaften!
Goodbye!/Farewell! Farvel! Bye! Hej hej! Later! Vi ses! Good night! Godnat!
Samtale 1 ~ Conversation 1
Sofie and Louise are friends. They meet and talk about their day.
Louise: Hej Sofie, hvordan går det?
Sofie: Det går godt, tak. Hvad med dig?
Louise: Jeg har det fint.
Sofie: Hvad så?
Louise: Ikke noget særligt
Sofie: Hej hej, Louise.
Louise: Vi ses.
Ordforklaringer ~ Vocabulary
You can probably figure out the rest, with the help of the Hellos and Goodbyes table.
Take a look at this short formal conversation to see how Danes address each other formally.
Hr. Nilsen: Goddag! Hvordan har De det?
Hr. Klaaborg: Goddag! Jeg har det fint, tak.
Hr. Nilsen: Godt, Farvel!
Hr. Klaaborg: Farvel!
Voice sample (one voice) Media:Da-samtale2.ogg
You may have noticed that hr. Nilsen referred to hr. Klaaborg as De. This is the polite form for you, as opposed to the casual du, which Sofie and Louise used. This is rarely used in Danish today though, but can still be seen when people demand great respect, like, for example, the nobility.
Flere ordforklaringer ~ More vocabulary
besøge visit bro bridge ven, venner friend, friends samtale, samtaler conversation, conversations grammatik grammar lektie homework lektion lesson gade, vej street, road ordforklaringer word explanations, vocabulary
at gå to go/walk med with at være to be
at møde to meet at besøge to visit at forstå to understand
men but, however også also, too, as well tak thank you; thanks det it (pronoun) nej no ja yes korrekt correct allerede already smuk beautiful meget very og and
Pronominer ~ Pronouns
The Danish pronouns shouldn't be too hard to memorize, as they are most of the time close to their English equivalents. vi = we and os = us, for example.