Travelers who are jetting off to the Nordic countries may be curious to visit Denmark. Before you go, it would be useful to learn a few words and phrases in Danish.
Language barriers can be a tough challenge to navigate, but you can make it easier on yourself by learning some of the local lingoes. With beginner Danish under your belt, you can make stronger connections to the locals and their culture.
Modern technology has made learning a new language more accessible because of the development of apps, websites, and games. However, it can still be hard for travelers to narrow down or identify key Danish words and phrases.
Our article will help you ramp up your Danish language skills, so you can travel with confidence. Highlighting all of the need-to-know Danish words and phrases, you can use this article as your survival kit for the Danish language.
Countries that speak Danish:
Pronouns are essential to all languages because they are used to identify and speak about yourself or other people. One of the first things you should memorize is your Danish pronouns, so you can clearly and effectively communicate with the world around you. By using proper noun titles, you can also show your respect to the local people and culture.
Travelers should feel comfortable using Danish pronouns, but it can be tricky to get the hang of speaking fluently. Danish uses informal and formal pronouns.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know how to address someone, you should always default to formal pronouns out of respect. People can then correct you or give their permission for you to address them informally.
- I, Me — Jeg
- You (Informal) — Du
- You (Formal) — De
- He, Him — Han
- She, Her — Hun
- They, Them — De
Formal vs. Informal
Danish is one of many languages, which uses a formal and informal version of “you”. “Du” is informal and it should be used when speaking to friends or family. “De” is formal and is used to address people that you do not know or those who are in a position of power.
Travelers are often curious by nature and find themselves asking a lot of questions. In unfamiliar places, it is important to know how to ask questions. These common question words can be useful when you need to ask for directions, information, or recommendations.
- Who? — Vem?
- What? — Vad?
- When? — När?
- Where? — Var?
- Why? — Varför?
- How? — Hur?
Travelers are active people and eager to interact with the world around them. When you’re meeting new people or passing by others, it is important to know how to greet your hosts or other travelers. Greetings are not only polite, but they can also help you make new connections and friends.
- Hello — Hej
- Hello — Goddag
- Good morning — God morgen
- Good afternoon — God eftermiddag
- Good evening — God aften
- Good night — God nat
- Nice to meet you — Det er hyggeligt
- Nice to see you — Godt at se dig
- Welcome — Velkommen
- What is your name? — Hvod hedder du?
- My name is… — Jeg hedder?
Finishing a conversation doesn’t have you be awkward and you shouldn’t leave a conversation without saying farewell. Here are a few ways to politely end a conversation and say goodbye.
- Goodbye (Informal) — Hej hej
- Goodbye (Formal) — Farvel
- See you soon — Vi ses
- See you soon — På gensyn
- Have a good day — Ha’ en god dag
- Take care — Pas på dig selv
Small Talk — Feelings
While it is always polite to greet someone, you may find yourself in a situation where a simple hello turns into a longer conversation. When others ask about how you feel, it is important to know what they are asking so that you can give an appropriate response.
- How are you? (Informal) — Hvordan går det?
- How are you? (Formal) — Hvordan har De det?
- How have you been? — Hvordan har du haftdet?
- What’s up? — Hva’ så?
- I am fine, how are you? — Jeg har fint, hvordan har du det?
- Good, and you? — Godt og dig?
Small Talk — More Responses
Travelers may want to convey a more detailed response when asked about how they feel. These phrases can help you communicate your feelings to others and keep the conversation flowing.
- I am very well. — Jeg har det rigtig godt.
- I am so-so. — Jeg er så så.
- I am a little tired. — Jeg er så traet.
- I am sick. — Jeg er syg.
Whenever you’re in a conversation and interacting with others, manners are important. Courtesy words are a great way to demonstrate your manners and show respect to others.
- If you’ll be so kind, as too… — Hvis du vil vaere så venlig at…
- Thank you — Tak
- Thank you very much — Tusind tak
- You’re welcome — Der var så lidt
- I am sorry — Undskyld
- Excuse me — Undskyld mig
- Mister — Mister
- Misses — Savner
- Miss — Savner
Please in Danish
Most languages have a word for “please”, which is polite to use when interacting with others. However, in Danish, there is no word for please and it is not very common for people to add a courtesy word at the end of their sentence.
For travelers, this may make them feel uncomfortable. For this reason, the best way to say please in Danish is by starting off with the phrase, “If you’ll be so kind as to… “ before making a request or asking a question.
Many times, people are also inquisitive about others and objects. Travelers may find some of these questions and phrases useful when exploring a new country. These phrases can also help you find out information about a person, place, or thing.
- How old are you? — Hvor gammel er du?
- Where are you from? — Hvor er du fra?
- I am from… — Jeg er fra…
- What time is it? — Hvad er klokken?
- How much does this cost? — Hvad koster det?
- What is this? — Hvad er dette?
- Do you understand? — Forstår du?
- Do you speak English? — Taler su engelsk?
- Where is the bathroom? — Hvor er toilettet?
- I need help. — Jeg har brug for hjaelp.
- Enjoy your meal — Velbekomme
- Cheers — Skål
- Well done — Godt gjort
- Don’t worry — Det skal du ikke bekymre dig om
Common and Useful Words
Travelers will also find that knowing some of the most common and useful words in Danish can make it easier to respond to questions or give directions. Here are some words that are useful for wandering travelers.
- Yes — Ja
- No — Nej
- Of course — Selvfølgelig
- Always — Altid
- Sometimes — Sommetider
- Maybe — Måske
- Never — Aldrig
- Left — Venstre
- Right — Højre
- Stop — Stoppe
- Hotel — Hotel
- Taxi — Taxa
- Food — Mad
- Water — Vand
- Check or bill — Regningen
Basic colors are another great way to communicate with locals because they can help you describe objects and places. Locals may also provide tourists with directions that are based on the color of a building or landmark.
- Red — Rød
- Orange — Orange
- Yellow — Gul
- Green — Grøn
- Blue — Blå
- Purple — Lilla
- Pink — Lyserød
- Black — Sort
- White — Hvid
- Grey — Grå
- Brown — Brun
Days of the Week
Travelers’ schedules can get hectic, but keeping your head on straight is important when you need to stick to an itinerary. Learning the days of the week IN Danish can help you make your reservation and travel plans without any confusion or mixed-up dates.
- Day — Dag
- Week — Uge
- Monday — Mandag
- Tuesday — Tirsdag
- Wednesday — Onsdag
- Thursday — Torsdag
- Friday — Fredag
- Saturday — Lørdag
- Sunday — Søndag
While we have covered multiple words and phrases in the Danish language, here are a few more words and phrases that you might encounter on your travels.
- Okay — Okay
- Come here — Kom her
- My love — Min elskede
- I love you — Jeg elsker dig
- What are you doing? — Hvad laver du?
- Very good — Meget godt
Practice Makes Perfect
Language barriers may make travelers hesitant to visit a foreign country, but they shouldn’t scare you from living your dream. With a little practice and effort before a trip, you can learn the basic phrases and words that are essential in the Danish language so you can travel in confidence.
Practice makes perfect and while you’ll make mistakes, you shouldn’t be afraid to test out your skills and speak with the locals. With our guide, you can jet off on an adventure well-prepared and start your journey to master the Danish language and enjoy your time in the Nordic nations.