Denmark is very often described as one of the best countries to live in – high salaries, high life expectancy, significant benefits for citizens and very high on the freedom scale. Although the list of reasons why anyone would move to Denmark is quite long, there is one thing which deters most of them: the Danish language
. While most Danes speak English and you can easily use it to get by in the first few years of your stay, the local language is one of the hardest in the world to learn.
Danish (local name dansk) is spoken by around 6 million people around the globe, must of which residing in Denmark. There are some regions where Danish is treated as a minority language, like in northern Germany, the Faroe Islands or in Greenland. Of course, there are quite a few communities of immigrants around the world which brought their mother tongue with them, in countries like the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina overseas, and Norway, Sweden, and Spain in Europe. Being a direct descendant of Old Norse, Danish is somewhat similar to Swedish and Norwegian. Speakers of these three languages can typically understand each other up to a certain point.
Regarding usefulness, it is not widely spoken at a global level, meaning that you will only use it to better understand Denmark’s culture, social norms, and history.
Is Danish language easy to learn?
There has been quite an increase in the demand for Danish speakers in various professional domains, and since then, more and more people are researching if learning the language is worthwhile. Sadly, Danish is quite hard to learn, for the following reasons:
- If you don’t speak any Nordic languages, pronunciation is especially hard, since it doesn’t resemble English or Latin tongues.
- Although grammar is not especially difficult, it does have lots of exceptions and unwritten rules
- Lack of people to practice with will hinder your progress – if you go to Denmark and speak bad Danish, the locals will just reply in English
That being said, we can conclude that the Danish language is a great one to learn to gain knowledge about one of the best countries in the world at the moment. Although the learning process can be complicated, it will certainly be worthwhile.