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Language Tips (4)

English Speaking

Every Danish person we spoke to whether it was in hotels, shops, restaurants or on the street, spoke perfect English. After our first day in the city we stopped asking people if they speak English when asking a question or beginning a conversation - rather presumptous on our part but there was no point in asking just for the sake of it.

barryg23's Profile Photo
Jun 18, 2006


A good tip is to learn a few phrases in the local language of the country that you are visiting. For me Danish is a hard language (I would say it seems a bit harder to pronounce than say Swedish or Norwegian, even though the three languages are somewhat similar).

But here are some basic phrases taken from my Lonely Planet Scandinavian Phrasebook that you may find helpful:

Hello/Goodbye (informal): Hej / Hej hej
Hello/ Goodbye (formal): Goddag/Farvel
Yes/No: Ja/Nej
Thank You: Tak
Do you speak English?: Taler De engelsk?
I (don't) understand: Jeg forstar (ikke)
Open/Closed: Aben/Lukket
Entrance/Exit: Indgang/Udgang
Free Admission: Gratis Agang

Marpessa's Profile Photo
Jan 31, 2006

Language curiosities

Danes are proud of a few things: their flag, some of their most well-known sights, their beer, their royal family....and a word: hyggeligt. They say that this word does not exist in any other language, and that it cannot be explained. In fact, it does exist in other languages, as the very same word is used in Norwegian, Swedes have a different word with the same meaning, and if I'm not mistaken, the Dutch have a similar word with the same meaning too. But, ok, I suppose the big world languages don't. The closest synonym in English is probably cozy, but 'hyggeligt' means more than that. A person can be it (warm, friendly, making you feel at ease), a house can be it (somewhere you'd curl up in front of a fireplace with a warm fuzzy feeling inside), a dinner party can be it......anything can be hyggelig(t), really. It can be both an adjective, an adverb and a verb. So now you know...
Another language curiosity: In the english language danish pastry is called...well just that: danish pastry. In denmark, though, it's called wienerbr?d, as in "bread from vienna". Anyone know what it's called in Vienna?

Nov 30, 2003

It was amazing to us that our...

It was amazing to us that our Swedish and Danish friends had to speak English to each other, as the two Scandinavian languages sounded so similar to our untrained ears. They also had quite a rivalry and argued ,though good-naturedly, the whole day!

richiecdisc's Profile Photo
Aug 24, 2002
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Top 5 Copenhagen Writers

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"Windy-ful Copenhagen"
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"Operas and cycling in Copenhagen"
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"Highly Hygge!"
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Things To Do in Copenhagen

Things to do

Royal Library

The Royal Library Garden is located back from the road, so take care, you could walk straight past! The Library Garden is located on top of the former site of Christian IVs old Naval Harbour. This is...
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Black Diamond - Sorte Diamant

If you like ambitious modern architecture, then you will definitely want to take a look at the Black Diamond that houses the Royal Danish Library on Christiansborg. Its black, reflective, monolithic...
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Slotsholmen, or 'The Castle Islet' is a part of the centre of the city situated on what was originally a number of small islands in the water between Copenhagen on the shore of Zealand and the island...
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Børsen - Stock Exchange

Copenhagen, as you will immediately see on arriving in the city centre, is the city of towers and spires. A great many of them stretch into the sky, ranging from the playful Vor Frelsers Kirke to the...
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Church of Our Saviour - Vor Freiser Kirke

Ok, I do not like heights... but the golden tower looked so pretty that I wanted to climb up the 92 meters! The first part is fine - nothing to it, other than a whole pile of stair. Indoors, safe, a...
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National Museum

I was so pleased that I decided to visit this museum. I had saved it for my last day and spent 2 and a half hours exploring its wonderful displays. Even that wasn't really enough, because most of that...
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Getting to Copenhagen


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