Return to Danish (thing)
|The Danish language, like Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese,
is a member of the northern (Scandinavian) branch of the Germanic language
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 stop.
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 provisions.