Essential Danish 2

Asking “Where is…? questions in Danish.

If you’ve already learned and practiced Essential Danish 1 you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials.
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian, or English – that is, maybe one of the languages you speak as well.

The Next 12 Danish Phrases: “Hvor er…?”

Traveling in Denmark…

A few years ago we spent two weeks in Denmark. We had rented a car in Germany and took the ferry from Fynshav to Bojden.
We don’t have any experience with train travel in Denmark, except for using the Copenhagen subway and S-trains. Both were quite efficient and convenient to use. In fact, the two new driverless metro lines (a city loop is expected to be completed in 2019) made our Boston, MA Red Line even look more like the antique that it is.
All the bus stops in Copenhagen had signs that showed the arrival of the next 1-2 buses.
One noticeable feature that we saw everywhere, at every little town or community we entered: A radar read-out that showed our car speed. It seemed very effective.
While the Netherlands may have the reputation as the bicycling nation, Denmark and especially Copenhagen don’t seem to be far behind. Bike paths are everywhere and renting an e-bike is easy and fun.
We even took a Segway tour that used the bike paths in downtown Copenhagen.
You can read more about our experiences in European Travels 8 – Denmark: Zealand and Copenhagen.

“Hvor er…?”-Questions Answered…

Asking “Hvor er…?” questions could let the person you are asking assume that you speak Danish.
(This indeed happened to Ulrike, when she asked a passerby in a small Danish town for the closest ATM!)
The result will often be an answer and a stream of Danish words you may not understand.
It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Danish – left, right, straight ahead, etc.
Check back with us for next 13 Danish phrases in a few weeks.

Essential Danish 1

Danish polite phrases & greetings…

If you’re planning to visit Denmark, you can learn and practice 50-100 essential Danish words and phrases here. We’ve posted the first 11.
Record yourself.
Play back and compare. 
(See “Learn and Practice Tips” below!)

The First 11 Danish Phrases

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Danish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Danish speaker.

Walking in the country side…

While there’ll be many opportunities to use basic greetings in Copenhagen and other Danish towns, knowing them when you’re outside of a city is even more important. 
Being a visitor in a Denmark will make you much more welcome, when you make the effort to greet people in Danish. 
Yes, the Danes are one of the most English-speaking people in Europe. But surprising locals you meet with just a few Danish words and phrases will often get you a smile.

Personal Experiences and a Little History

In 2013 we took a trip with the Hurtigruten line along the Norwegian coast. During our trip we met several Swedes and also stayed in Stockholm for a week. We learned quite a bit about the common Swedish/Norwegian/Danish history and wrote about the Norwegian Language Politics in our Gamesforlanguage Blog.
Interestingly, the current Norwegian Royal Family was founded by the Danish Prince Carl, (who became King Haakon VII), his British born wife, Princess Maud and son Olav. Prince Carl was “recruited” by the Norwegians after Norway decided by referendum to leave the union with Sweden.
In 2017 we very much enjoyed our 2 weeks in Denmark and wrote about it in our European Travels 8 post.
While we certainly found many similarities between the Nordic languages, we found Danish sometimes difficult to understand because of its tricky pronunciation.

The next 12 Phrases

Once you’ve mastered some of the basic words, polite phrases and greetings, it’s time to learn asking some “where…?” questions. 
Even with GPS enabled smart phones, you’ll often want to know where the bathroom is or the next ATM, information those phones still don’t have!
The next 12 Danish phrases you’ll find in Essential Danish 2.