Language & Culture in Denmark
Although 87.7% of Denmark’s population are Scandinavian, the country has a liberal, tolerant and egalitarian stance which welcomes all races, ethnicities and orientations. The idea of ‘the greater good’ is held sacred – everyone does their bit, and the benefits are reaped in the nation’s rich quality of life. Danes are a quiet, reserved people who also know how to let loose – the country has a liberal alcohol culture.
The Danish language
Danish has around 5.5 million speakers worldwide and possesses similarities with Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic – all are North Germanic languages descended from Old Norse. Danish is the language you will hear the most in Denmark, however English is also very prominent, with nearly the entire population being bilingual (86%).
Although most Danes speak excellent English, this should not be assumed. Asides from helping you to get by, learning the language will help you to understand the nuances of the culture, and delving into Danish literature, art and film will grant you a larger perspective on cross-cultural matters. The language is considered one of the hardest to learn – however as soon as you master your pronunciation of Æ, Ø, Å you’ll be well on your way!
Opportunities to learn Danish
There are plenty of private and public institutions in Denmark that offer lessons at various levels. A popular option is the government run scheme where foreigners studying or working in Denmark can learn Danish for free at public language schools. All that is needed is a Danish CPR (national registration) number, a residence permit or a work contract. You can choose between day or evening classes depending on your schedule, or courses are usually available online.
Learn more about education in Denmark: