language, like Swedish
is a member of the northern (Scandinavian
) branch of the Germanic
group. Written Danish
bears a strong resemblance to these languages (the
biggest resemblance is to the Bokmål
variant of Norwegian
Learners of the language will find Danish's evolution in pronounciation the
hardest to follow or understand, however. It has been compared to hearing a
Norwegian mumbling, and this is due to softening of the sounds /t/, /p/,
/d/, /k/, /g/, and /b/, and also the Stød -- somewhat similar to a glottal
Gramatically, however, Danish has the same general rules and syntax as both
the Germanic and Scandinavian languages. Like Swedish it has two genders
-- common and neuter -- and like the Norwegian and Swedish it inflects the
definite article by way of suffixes to the noun.
Like German, Danish has a polite form of address -- using the personal
pronouns De and Dem -- generally used when speaking to senior
citizens and officials -- and a polite form (du and dig) when
speaking to anyone else.
As with Norwegian Danish uses the characters å, æ and ø, which will
be found at the back of a dictionary. The character å became "official"
after language reforms in 1948 -- before then the town Åbenrå was spelled
Aabenraa (this was a major point of contention with the inhabitants).
These also included the dropping of capitals on nouns, and some other