Danish language

Danish
dansk
Codex Holmiensis CE 1350.jpg
The first page of the Jutlandic Law originally from 1241 in Codex Holmiensis, copied in 1350.
The first sentence is: "Mædh logh skal land byggas"
Modern orthography: "Med lov skal land bygges"
English translation: "With law shall a country be built"
Pronunciation[ˈdanˀsɡ][1]
Native to
EthnicityDanes
Native speakers
5.5 million (2012)[2]
Early forms
Dialects
Latin script:
Dano-Norwegian alphabet
Danish orthography
Danish Braille
Danish Sign Language
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by
Dansk Sprognævn
(Danish Language Committee)
Language codes
ISO 639-1da
ISO 639-2dan
ISO 639-3Either:
dan – Insular Danish
jut – Jutlandic
Glottologdani1284[3]
Linguasphere5 2-AAA-bf & -ca to -cj
Idioma danés.PNG
The Danish-speaking world:
  regions where Danish is the language of the majority
  regions where Danish is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Danish (ʃ/ (About this sound listen); dansk, dansk sprog [ˈdanˀsɡ ˈsbʁɔwˀ])[4] is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status.[5] Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their home language.

Along with the other North Germanic languages, Danish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples who lived in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. Danish, together with Swedish, derives from the East Norse dialect group, while the Middle Norwegian language before the influence of Danish and Norwegian Bokmål are classified as West Norse along with Faroese and Icelandic. A more recent classification based on mutual intelligibility separates modern spoken Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish as "mainland Scandinavian", while Icelandic and Faroese are classified as "insular Scandinavian".

Until the 16th century, Danish was a continuum of dialects spoken from Schleswig to Scania with no standard variety or spelling conventions. With the Protestant Reformation and the introduction of printing, a standard language was developed which was based on the educated Copenhagen dialect. It spread through use in the education system and administration, though German and Latin continued to be the most important written languages well into the 17th century. Following the loss of territory to Germany and Sweden, a nationalist movement adopted the language as a token of Danish identity, and the language experienced a strong surge in use and popularity, with major works of literature produced in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, traditional Danish dialects have all but disappeared, though regional variants of the standard language exist. The main differences in language are between generations, with youth language being particularly innovative.

Danish has a very large vowel inventory comprising 27 phonemically distinctive vowels,[6] and its prosody is characterized by the distinctive phenomenon stød, a kind of laryngeal phonation type. Due to the many pronunciation differences that set apart Danish from its neighboring languages, particularly the vowels, difficult prosody and "weakly" pronounced consonants, it is sometimes considered to be a difficult language to learn and understand,[7] and some evidence shows that small children are slower to acquire the phonological distinctions of Danish.[8] The grammar is moderately inflective with strong (irregular) and weak (regular) conjugations and inflections. Nouns and demonstrative pronouns distinguish common and neutral gender. Like English, Danish only has remnants of a former case system, particularly in the pronouns. Unlike English, it has lost all person marking on verbs. Its syntax is V2 word order, with the finite verb always occupying the second slot in the sentence.

Classification

Danish and its relationship to other North Germanic languages within the Germanic branch of Indo-European

Danish is a Germanic language of the North Germanic branch. Other names for this group are the Nordic or Scandinavian languages. Along with Swedish, Danish descends from the Eastern dialects of the Old Norse language; Danish and Swedish are also classified as East Scandinavian or East Nordic languages.[9][10]

Scandinavian languages are often considered a dialect continuum, where no sharp dividing lines are seen between the different vernacular languages.[9]

Like Norwegian and Swedish, Danish was significantly influenced by Low German in the Middle Ages, and has been influenced by English since the turn of the 20th century.[9]

Danish itself can be divided into three main dialect areas: West Danish (Jutlandic), Insular Danish (including the Standard variety), and East Danish (including Bornholmian and Scanian). Under the view that Scandinavian is a dialect continuum, East Danish can be considered intermediary between Danish and Swedish, while Scanian can be considered a Swedified East Danish dialect, and Bornholmsk is its closest relative.[9]

Mutual intelligibility

Danish is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Swedish. Proficient speakers of any of the three languages can often understand the others fairly well, though studies have shown that speakers of Norwegian generally understand both Danish and Swedish far better than Swedes or Danes understand each other. Both Swedes and Danes also understand Norwegian better than they understand each other's languages.[11] The reason Norwegian occupies a middle position in terms of intelligibility is because of its shared border with Sweden resulting in a similarity in pronunciation, combined with the long tradition of having Danish as a written language which has led to similarities in vocabulary.[12] Among younger Danes, Copenhageners are worse at understanding Swedish than Danes from the provinces, and in general, younger Danes are not as good at understanding the neighboring languages as are Norwegian and Swedish youths.[11]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Даниэбзэ
Afrikaans: Deens
Alemannisch: Dänische Sprache
አማርኛ: ዳንኛ
Ænglisc: Denisc sprǣc
Аҧсшәа: Адат бызшәа
العربية: لغة دنماركية
aragonés: Idioma danés
arpetan: Danouès
asturianu: Idioma danés
azərbaycanca: Danimarka dili
Bân-lâm-gú: Tan-be̍h-gí
башҡортса: Дан теле
беларуская: Дацкая мова
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Дацкая мова
български: Датски език
bosanski: Danski jezik
brezhoneg: Daneg
català: Danès
Чӑвашла: Дан чĕлхи
čeština: Dánština
Cymraeg: Daneg
davvisámegiella: Dánskkagiella
dolnoserbski: Dańšćina
eesti: Taani keel
Ελληνικά: Δανική γλώσσα
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Danéś
эрзянь: Датонь кель
español: Idioma danés
Esperanto: Dana lingvo
euskara: Daniera
Fiji Hindi: Danish bhasa
føroyskt: Danskt mál
français: Danois
Frysk: Deensk
Gaelg: Danvargish
Gagauz: Dan dili
Gàidhlig: Danmhairgis
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Tân-ma̍k-ngî
한국어: 덴마크어
Հայերեն: Դանիերեն
हिन्दी: डेनिश भाषा
hornjoserbsce: Danšćina
hrvatski: Danski jezik
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Denmark
interlingua: Lingua danese
íslenska: Danska
italiano: Lingua danese
עברית: דנית
kalaallisut: Qallunaatut
Kapampangan: Amanung Danes
ქართული: დანიური ენა
қазақша: Дат тілі
kernowek: Danek
Kiswahili: Kidenmark
коми: Дан кыв
Кыргызча: Дания тили
latviešu: Dāņu valoda
Lëtzebuergesch: Dänesch
lietuvių: Danų kalba
Limburgs: Deens
Livvinkarjala: Danien kieli
lumbaart: Lèngua danéza
magyar: Dán nyelv
македонски: Дански јазик
മലയാളം: ഡാനിഷ് ഭാഷ
მარგალური: დანიური ნინა
مصرى: دنماركى
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Denmark
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Dăng-măh-ngṳ̄
мокшень: Данонь кяль
Nederlands: Deens
Nedersaksies: Deens
нохчийн: Датхойн мотт
Nordfriisk: Däänsk
Norfuk / Pitkern: Danish
norsk: Dansk
norsk nynorsk: Dansk
Novial: Danum
occitan: Danés
олык марий: Датчан йылме
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Dan tili
پنجابی: ڈنمارکی
Papiamentu: Danés
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភាសាដាណឺម៉ាក
Picard: Danoé
Piemontèis: Lenga danèisa
Tok Pisin: Tok Denmak
Plattdüütsch: Däänsche Spraak
Qaraqalpaqsha: Dan tili
qırımtatarca: Dan tili
română: Limba daneză
Runa Simi: Dan simi
русский: Датский язык
Gagana Samoa: Fa'atenimaka
Scots: Dens leid
Seeltersk: Deensk
Simple English: Danish language
slovenčina: Dánčina
slovenščina: Danščina
српски / srpski: Дански језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Danski jezik
svenska: Danska
Tagalog: Wikang Danes
Taqbaylit: Tadanict
татарча/tatarça: Дания теле
Türkçe: Danca
українська: Данська мова
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: دانىش تىلى
vepsän kel’: Danijan kel'
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Đan Mạch
Volapük: Danänapük
walon: Daenwès
West-Vlams: Deens
ייִדיש: דעניש
粵語: 丹麥文
žemaitėška: Danu kalba
中文: 丹麦语
Lingua Franca Nova: Dansce