The Problem with Danish

One of the first few nights after our move to Denmark I had a dream that Dave called me and said we are actually moving to Buenos Aires. In my dream, I remember thinking that this was certainly a good thing. I could at least learn the language!

Since then Denmark has really grown on me. Despite the weather, I can honestly say that there’s no other place I’d rather be right now. Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but I’m already daydreaming of staying here for good.

The weather? Whatever. I’ll get some wool sweaters. What worries me the most is the language.

Danish is incomprehensible. Most of the word sound basically the same. And not like words at all, but some sort of gurgling sounds made from somewhere deep in the throat or actually the side of the cheek. Imagine having your mouth full of mashed potatoes that were very hot and burning your mouth and then trying to talk. That’s how Danish sounds. Painful.

When I try to repeat after someone who speaks Danish I fail every time.

Here’s this YouTube channel I just subscribed to, trying to learn this blasted language. Here’s one lesson, for your listening pleasure:

My Danish friend Tessy was teaching me how to pronounce her boyfriend Søren’s name. I have a friend in Seattle who’s son is named Soren, so I thought I knew how to pronounce it. I was wrong. It turns out that most of the letters are silent. Especially the “r”. There’s absolutely no need for an “r” in this name since it’s completely ignored. I told Tessy that.

“So, you don’t pronounce the ‘r’,” I said.

“Oh, no! You do pronounce it! It’s just silent.”

There you have it. A quick guide to pronouncing any word in Danish:


Frighteningly accurate.




  1. And here are some nice Danish words & phrases: In a lift you’ll read: I FART . On the road: FART KONTROL . At the local harbour: BAADFART. On the door to a restroom: BAD TOILET .And many more 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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