Danish is one of the Scandinavian languages passed down from the Viking era. It’s reportedly one of the most difficult European languages to learn – but ultimately one of the most satisfying. There are numerous reasons to start learning the language, and here are a few of them:
- For successful business dealings.
If you are planning to do business in Denmark, it’s important to understand the basics. Most Danes speak English as it’s a widely taught second language; however, this is not always the case and learning your colleagues’ mother-tongue will indicate you have made an effort, alongside helping you to understand what is being said inside and outside of meetings. It’s a small language when you consider other European languages that are widely understood and spoken such as French or German so, from a personal development point of view, it’s a rare skill and will give you an edge in the business place.
- Visiting Denmark as a tourist
The Danish are proud of their heritage and language and, although English is widely spoken, it’s appreciated if you can speak some when abroad. Of course, when on holiday, it’s helpful to understand road signs, building names and even descriptions of monuments or objects of interest without constantly referring to a guidebook. Knowing the local language will make a trip abroad much more enjoyable and stress free.
- It is very similar to other Scandinavian languages
Danish is a Scandinavian language, one of the several spoken in Scandinavia. It derives from Old Norse, the language spoken by the Vikings, and has many similarities with Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese and Swedish. Therefore, if you can manage to learn it, you’ll find yourself able to understand most Norwegian and Swedish as well, which are the most closely related. If you ever plan to visit Greenland you’ll discover that 15-20% of the population speaks Danish there.
- Its linguistic rarities
There are some oddities which make it a fun language to learn. For example, there is no word for please, which can make it difficult to understand when you are being asked to do something.
The alphabet has twenty-nine letters, three extra in addition to the standard English alphabet. So it’s different, but not so different that it’s impossible to learn.
The Danes also use many idioms which are barely understandable when translated and it’s helpful to understand these so you aren’t left in the dark when conversing with a Dane. An example of this is ‘ugler i mosen’ which literally means ‘owls in the moss’, but in reality describes someone suspicious.
Learn Danish with Babbel
If you are thinking about learning Danish, then Babbel is a cost-effective and easy online method. It suits many people as it’s possible to study at your own pace. Babbel is a well-known language skills provider and has a proven track record of successfully teaching languages to beginners and improvers.