The Danish language is Danish, or Dansk. As an expat you should learn at least a little bit of Danish, which will help ingratiate you with the Danes. Since most Danes are proficient at English, they will often start speaking english, if they detect that Danish is not your natural tongue.
English is widely spoken, especially in Copenhagen and other major cities. If you live furthur out in the country, especially on Jutland, there will be fewer people who speak english. The younger generation are quite good, but the older generation will not be able to speak english, so Danish will help you there.
Start by learning a few common Danish phrases.
Since Danish is a Germanic language, many of the words and phrases have much in common with German, French and English. Speaking Danish can be a tongue twisting exercise for many, but do not get discouraged. Many expats before you have mastered the language and so can you. Just by being immersed in the Danish culture, will go a long way.
It helps to remember that you can get along quite well in Denmark by speaking English. English is a mandatory subject in school and the Danes really enjoy showing off their language skills.
Danes will be put off, if you do not at least try to learn and speak a bit of the Danish language.
Take a look at the tongue-in-cheek video above to understand a bit more about the Danish language – prepare to laugh!
I originally had a long list of phrases, but discovered a wonderful site that had not only many of the same phrases, but also audio to help you. So check out these common words and phrases. You can see my list of danish language phrases, which I think every expat should be familiar with. They will go a long way to endearing you to the Danes and helping you out in many situations.
There is so much to cover with Danish language, that I have created a few other resources which can help you along.
They are broken into various categories, so you can quickly find what words you need. For example, if you are reading an article on homes and don't know what the term "tag" means, just go to the Home term page and there you will find that "tag" is the word for "roof".
It is also nice to browse the lists and find other terms which you might need in certain situations. If you find words are missing which you think should be included, email us your suggestions and we will try to update regularly.