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: "mæth logh skal land byggas"
    modern orthography: "med lov skal land bygges"
    english translation: "with law shall a country be built"
    pronunciation[ˈtænˀsk][1]
    native to
    • denmark
    • greenland
    • faroe islands
    • schleswig-holstein (germany)
    ethnicitydanes
    native speakers
    6.0 million (2019)[2]
    language family
    indo-european
    • germanic
      • north germanic
        • south scandinavian[3]
          • danish
    early forms
    old norse
    • old east norse
      • early old danish
        • late old danish
    dialects
    • (eastern danish)
    • jutlandic
    • south jutlandic
    • insular danish
    writing system
    latin script:
    dano-norwegian alphabet
    danish orthography
    danish braille
    signed forms
    danish sign language
    official status
    official language in
    •  kingdom of denmark
    •  •  denmark
    •  •  faroe islands
    •  schleswig-holstein
    •  nordic council
    •  european union
    recognised minority
    language in
    •  •  greenland
    •  germany
    regulated by
    dansk sprognævn
    (danish language committee)
    language codes
    da
    dan
    iso 639-3either:
    dan – insular danish
    jut – jutlandic
    dani1285  danish[4]
    juti1236  jutish[5]
    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 soundlisten); dansk pronounced [ˈtænˀsk] (about this soundlisten), dansk sprog [ˈtænˀsk ˈspʁɔwˀ])[1] is a north germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in denmark, greenland and in the region of southern schleswig in northern germany, where it has minority language status.[6] 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 first 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,[7] 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, acquire and understand",[8] and some evidence shows that children are slower to acquire the phonological distinctions of danish compared to other languages.[9] 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
  • history
  • geographic distribution
  • dialects
  • phonology
  • grammar
  • vocabulary
  • writing system and alphabet
  • see also
  • notes and references
  • bibliography
  • external links

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: "Mæth logh skal land byggas"
Modern orthography: "Med lov skal land bygges"
English translation: "With law shall a country be built"
Pronunciation[ˈtænˀsk][1]
Native to
EthnicityDanes
Native speakers
6.0 million (2019)[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
da
dan
ISO 639-3Either:
dan – Insular Danish
jut – Jutlandic
dani1285  Danish[4]
juti1236  Jutish[5]
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 soundlisten); dansk pronounced [ˈtænˀsk] (About this soundlisten), dansk sprog [ˈtænˀsk ˈspʁɔwˀ])[1] is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark, Greenland and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status.[6] 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 first 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,[7] 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, acquire and understand",[8] and some evidence shows that children are slower to acquire the phonological distinctions of Danish compared to other languages.[9] 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.