How To Talk About Family In Danish

Hygge is often a family affair.
family in danish sitting around rustic outdoor table enjoying a meal in the countryside

A great deal of ink has been spilled over the Danish concept of hygge, which is way bigger than just a feeling of comfort or coziness you might experience by a campfire. Hygge is woven into everyday expressions like “Nice to meet you,” and it often evokes the feeling of being in the company of people who are dear to you. In other words, if you’re going to talk about hygge, it’s not unlikely you’ll wind up talking about family in Danish as well.

But first, you’ll need to learn some basic vocabulary terms. They may also subvert some of your expectations around how familial terms are supposed to work. For instance, “granddaughter” and “grandson” are gender-neutral in Danish (in that you use one word to describe both), but “cousin” isn’t. Why? Who knows, but English certainly isn’t the standard bearer of grammatical gender.

Below, you’ll find the most common terms you’ll need to talk about family in Danish. To hear how they’re pronounced by a native speaker, click the play button next to each word.

Essential Vocab For Family In Danish

a family — en familie

relatives — slægtninge

extended family — fjerne slægtninge

ancestors — forfædre

a descendant — en arving

parents — forældre

a mother — en mor

a father — en far

children — børn

a daughter — en datter

a son — en søn

siblings — søskende

a brother — en bror

a sister — en søster

a stepchild — et stedbarn

a half-brother — en halvbror

foster parents — plejeforældre

a guardian — en formynder

a grandmother — en bedstemor

a grandfather — en bedstefar

a grandchild — et barnebarn

an aunt — en tante

an uncle — en onkel

a nephew — en nevø

a niece — en niece

cousin — en fætter (masc.) / en kusine (fem.)

a second cousin — en grandfætter (masc.) / en grandkusine (fem.)

parents-in-law — svigerforældre

great-grandparents — oldeforældre

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