50 Phrases in Danish to Get By in Denmark
As you set foot in the enchanting land of Denmark, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in a culture rich with history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted locals. And, while English is widely spoken and understood in this welcoming country, making an effort to speak a few phrases in Danish will undoubtedly enhance your experience and leave a lasting impression on the locals.
Just like the English, Danish people take pride in their language, and they are genuinely grateful when visitors attempt to communicate in Danish, even if it’s just a few basic phrases. In this blog, we’ll equip you with 50 essential phrases in Danish that will help you get by and make your journey through Denmark even more memorable.
Table of Contents
- Simple Phrases in Danish: Greetings and Courtesy
- Shopping: Bargaining and Expressing Preferences
- Eating Out: Ordering and Enjoying Danish Cuisine
- Asking for Help: Emergency and Navigational Phrases
- Danish Sayings: Embracing Local Wisdom
- Slang Phrases in Danish: The Key to Speaking Like a Local
- Beyond Danish Phrases: Start Working on Your Fluency with a Native Teacher
Simple Phrases in Danish: Greetings and Courtesy
When one looks back at their favorite memories from past trips, many of our most cherished experiences are connected with human interaction. This is especially true for those who have been to Denmark, a country where people are as friendly as they are beautiful.
Learning a few basic greetings and polite phrases in Danish is the first step to having delightful interactions and making indelible memories while you travel the country:
- Hej (Hi/Hello)
- Godmorgen (Good morning)
- Tak (Thanks) – Show your appreciation with a simple “thank you.”
- Undskyld (Excuse me/Sorry)
- Farvel (Goodbye)
- Ja (Yes) and Nej (No)
- Hvordan har du det? (How are you?)
- Jeg hedder… (My name is…)
- Selv tak (You’re welcome)
- Hyggeligt at møde dig (Nice yo meet you)
Shopping: Bargaining and Expressing Preferences
Denmark is famous for its fashion and has a wide array of shops, boutiques, department stores, and markets to explore.
Copenhagen, for example, is known for its excellent clothes shopping opportunities. Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe, is a shopaholic’s paradise, featuring a mix of international brands, local designers, and department stores. The surrounding streets also house a plethora of fashion stores, ensuring you can find the latest trends and styles.
Whether you’re looking for a present for a loved one or just want to indulge in a shopping spree, these Danish phrases will come in handy:
- Hvor meget koster det? (How much does it cost?)
- Jeg vil gerne købe dette (I would like to buy this)
- Har I det i en større/længere/større? (Do you have it in a larger/longer/bigger?)
- Er der nogen udsalg? (Is there any sale?) – Inquire about ongoing sales or discounts.
- Kan jeg betale med kreditkort? (Can I pay with a credit card?)
- Kvittering, tak (Receipt, please)
- Har I en pose? (Do you have a bag?)
- Jeg kigger bare (I’m just browsing)
- Det er for dyrt (It’s too expensive)
- Kan du pakke det ind som gave? (Can you wrap it as a gift?)
Eating Out: Ordering and Enjoying Danish Cuisine
Danish gastronomy is a delightful reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and close connection to its natural surroundings. Renowned for its emphasis on simplicity, freshness, and seasonal produce, Danish cuisine has earned global acclaim in recent years.
Whether you’re looking for traditional dishes or more innovative options, Danish cuisine is a delightful journey, and these phrases in Danish will ensure you relish every bite.
- En menukort, tak (A menu, please)
- Jeg vil gerne bestille… (I would like to order…)
- Hvad er dagens ret? (What is the dish of the day?)
- Må jeg bede om regningen? (May I have the bill?)
- Kan jeg få en tallerken/gaffel/kniv, tak? (Can I have a plate/fork/knife, please?)
- Er der nogen vegetariske retter? (Are there any vegetarian dishes?)
- Smager godt! (Tastes delicious!)
- Er der service inkluderet? (Is service included?)
- Jeg er allergisk over for… (I’m allergic to…) – Inform about any food allergies.
- Kan jeg få vand/brød på bordet? (Can I have water/bread on the table?)
Asking for Help: Emergency and Navigational Phrases
Learning Danish phrases for asking for help before traveling to Denmark is crucial for ensuring a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free journey. When you’re in an unfamiliar environment, you may encounter unexpected situations or face language barriers that could make communication challenging.
Having the ability to seek assistance in the local language can bridge the gap between you and the locals, making it easier to navigate transportation, find essential services like medical facilities or police stations, and ask for directions.
Here are a few phrases in Dutch you will want to remember:
- Hjælp! (Help!)
- Jeg har brug for en læge (I need a doctor)
- Hvor er nærmeste toilet/apotek/politi? (Where is the nearest toilet/pharmacy/police?)
- Jeg har mistet mig (I’m lost)
- Jeg forstår ikke (I don’t understand)
- Kan du tale engelsk? (Can you speak English?)
- Er der et taxiholdeplads/busstoppested i nærheden? (Is there a taxi stop/bus stop nearby?)
- Jeg har mistet min taske/telefon/pas (I’ve lost my bag/phone/passport)
- Hvornår lukker butikken/museet/banken? (When does the store/museum/bank close?)
- Jeg har brug for hjælp til at oversætte (I need help translating)
Danish Sayings: Embracing Local Wisdom
As you delve into the heart of Denmark, you’ll discover a treasure trove of curious sayings that offer glimpses into the country’s culture. Embracing these local idioms allows you to connect with the soul of Denmark and understand the essence of its people.
1. Det blæser en halv pelican
Translation: It blows half a pelican
Real meaning: Danish people say that “it blows half a pelican” to comment that it is extremely windy
2. Håret/skægget i postkassen
Translation: Hair/beard in the mailbox
Real meaning: To be “caught red-handed”
3. At gå som katten om den varme grød
Translation: To walk like a cat around hot porridge
Real meaning: To beat around the bush.
4. Det er ingen ko på isen
Translation: There is no cow on the ice
Real meaning: There is no problem!
5. Klap lige hesten
Translation: Pat the horse
Real meaning: Hold your horses!
Slang Phrases in Danish: The Key to Speaking Like a Local
Learning Danish slang is not just one of the easiest aspects of learning Danish: it’s an effective way of enhancing your travel experience and connecting more authentically with the locals. Remember: while most Danes speak English fluently, understanding and using local slang can break down barriers, foster rapport, and create a sense of camaraderie with the people you meet.
Here are 5 slang phrases in Danish you should learn before traveling to Copenhagen:
- Skide fedt! (Super cool/awesome!)
- Fis i en hornlygte! (Nonsense/lies! Literally: “a fart in a horn lantern”)
- Jeg er helt paf! (I’m completely stunned/surprised!)
- Skal vi tage en bajer? (Shall we grab a beer?)
- Hvad går den på? (What’s going on?/What’s the deal?)
Beyond Danish Phrases: Start Working on Your Fluency with a Native Teacher
So, what are you waiting for? Embark on an extraordinary adventure through the captivating wonders of Denmark, armed with these 50 essential phrases in Danish. By embracing the local language, you’ll unlock the hearts of the Danish people, immersing yourself in their warmth and hospitality.
Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Copenhagen, savoring delectable Danish delicacies, or simply asking for directions with a touch of Danish charm, these phrases will undoubtedly enrich your journey and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Are you eager to master the art of Danish conversation? Why not take your language skills to the next level with our personalized Danish lessons?
Our expert language teachers are passionate about teaching and will guide you on a personalized learning journey. From basic phrases to advanced fluency, they’ll help you become a confident Danish speaker, deepening your connection with Denmark and its people.
What’s more, they will make sure every lesson is tailored to suit both your learning style and learning goals.
So, don’t wait any longer! Contact us now and join us in celebrating the beauty of the Danish language and culture – a gateway to unforgettable experiences in the heart of Scandinavia! Start your language journey with Listen & Learn today and let the adventure begin!