Learning to speak Danish is a lot of work. No doubt about that! Maybe you follow a Danish course, maybe you learn Danish on your own. No matter what, it’s something that takes time, dedication and a lot of practice.
But what if I told you there is an easy way to instantly sound more Danish?
I have listed 10 words and expressions that Danes use all the time. And so can you!
Learn these super typical words and expressions, slip them into your conversations with the locals - and feel more at ease speaking Danish!
Let’s not wait any longer! Let’s get started!
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These are the 10 expressions
One of the fastest and easiest ways to instantly sound more Danish, is to add the word “super” [SU ber] to your daily vocabulary.
How to use this expression: Your colleague tells you the meeting is about to start and you go: “Super!” The Netto cashier tells you they put the receipt in the bag and you reply: “Super!” You overslept and will be late for work (again). With a deep sigh, you go: “Super” (and there you go, also a lesson in Danish irony!)
Someone asks you if you can do them a small favor and - as the open, friendly and helpful person you are - you reply with a big smile: “Selvfølgelig!” [se FØ li], which in English translates to “of course”.
Tak for i dag!
You leave work after another workday, and on the way out of the door, you wave to your dear colleagues and shout: “Tak for i dag!” [TAG for i DA]. Or: You spent a wonderful afternoon at your favorite cafe with your favorite Danish girlfriend. Before you head home, you hug and say: “Tak for i dag! Det var super hyggeligt!”. Or: You just had a much-needed haircut. You are happy with the result. And with the usual chats with your great hairdresser. It’s always so nice to come here! You pay and say: “Tak for i dag!”
This expression, that translates to “Thanks for today”, can be used in so many different situations; work, and even appointments with people that we have a professional or customer/service-provider relationship with.
If your friend, colleague or neighbour, for example, has told you that they are going to a concert, to Tivoli, to a dinner party or some other enjoyable activity, wish them a good time the typical Danish way by telling them: “Hyg dig!” [HYG da] or [HYG dai].
Someone sneezes and you say “prosit!” [pro sit], which is actually latin for “may it benefit”. The expression originates from the belief that sneezing was a good omen.
Want to instantly sound more Danish at work? Then make sure to wish your already lunch eating colleagues “Velbekomme!” when you pass their table at the canteen or when you sit down to join them.
Klap lige hesten!
Perhaps you have someone (Danish) in your life who gets carried away very easily and tends to get ahead of themself, so a good (and super Danish way!) to pull them back to reality is by telling them: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Klap (lige) hesten!” [KLAP (LII) HESTn]. This literally means: “Pat the horse”, but translates to something like: “Take it easy! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!”
This expression means “Dead-tired” and you use it when you basically are, well, dead-tired. Either when you are physically exhausted or just fed up with another person, with a frustrating situation or other things. “Jeg er dødtræt [DØð TRAD] af mit arbejde!” (meaning “I am so tired of my job!”)
Det går nok
This is a way to reassure someone who did or said something they shouldn’t have. With “Det går nok” [DE GOR NOG] you let them know that everything will be fine and that they shouldn’t worry so much about it.
Hold da op!
A personal favorite and one of the easiest ways to instantly sound more Danish. After learning this expression, you’ll probably notice Danes use it all the time now. Use “Hold da op!” [HOL da OP] to express surprise (positive or negative) or amazement. It literally means “stop it” and could translate to English “Wow!”
So, this was my list of 10 words and expressions that will make you sound more Danish instantly.
I’d really love to know if these 10 ideas were helpful for you!
So before you move on, share in the comments below which of the 10 expressions were your favorite(s) and which one(s) you will be adding - for sure - to your Danish vocabulary!
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