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Language Reference Guide For Danish
Posted on Monday, October 15 @ 05:42:29 EDT
Topic: Lingustics

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1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set

Section One – Grammar and Spelling

1. Gender/articles: Danish uses the noun genders ‘en’, and ‘et’, for ‘a’,(indefinite articles) and ‘den’ and ‘det’ for 'the’ (definite articles). For most words the gender is clear, but for many IT-related words the chosen gender is merely the preference of the translator.

2. One-letter words: The two Danish characters 'ø' and 'å' can be used as complete words.

3. Accents: The only accent used in Danish is the accent aigu (´). It is used to denote stressed or accented syllables and can be used on upper case characters.

4. Plural: To form the plural, ‘er’ is often appended, but there are quite a few exceptions.

5. Capitalisation: In Danish we use the personal pronouns ‘De’, ‘Dem’, ‘I’, ‘Jeres’, ‘Deres’ for formal address which are capitalised even when they appear mid-sentence.

Section Two – Punctuation

1. Full stops: There are no full stops after headings or titles. Full stops should be used after bullet points if they are not simple lists; if the points are made up of sentences, a full stop is used at the end. A full stop should beused after figures in dates: 24. december. Where brackets are used, the full stop appears outside the brackets.

2. Speech marks: The following examples show how speech marks are used in Danish:

1. “Give me more work!”, shouted Chloe. = "Giv mig mere arbejde!", råbte Chloe.

2. “Would anyone like some tea?” asked George. = "Er der nogen, der vil have te?", spurgte George.

3. “I’m bored – can I go home now?”, Michala said. = "Jeg keder mig - må jeg gå hjem nu?", spurgte Michala.

3. Apostrophe: Danish uses the apostrophe to add endings to words such as ‘wc’, ‘tv’, ‘hf’, ‘SF’, for example: ‘wc'et’, ‘tv'et’, ‘hf'er’, ‘SF'er’. Figures and symbols also use the apostrophe: 13'er, 1930'erne. Words ending in ‘-s,’ ‘-x’ or ‘-z’ take either an apostrophe + s or an apostrophe on it’s own, for example: ‘Lars's værelse’ or ‘Lars' værelse’ (‘Lars’s/Lars’ room’).

4. Colons, semi-colons and ellipsis: These forms of punctuation are used similarly to how they are used in English.

5. Capitalisation: Use of capitalisation is similar to English, but there is no capitalisation in headings. A capital is used after a colon. In bulleted lists, the first letter is capitalised each time. Dates, weekdays and months are not capitalised.

Section Three – Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurements: In most cases only ISO units are used. For some technical purposes inches are used (paper width for plotters; print resolution, rack width etc.).

Decimal commas are used: 3,7 %.
Thousands are separated with a dot: 16.000

Time: Examples would be as follows:

10.30 am – kl. 10.30
noon – kl. 12.00
4.30 pm – kl 16.30
midnight – kl. 24

Date: Examples would be as follows:

20 February 2004 = 20. februar 2004
20th February 2004 = 20. februar 2004
20/02/2004 = 20/02-04
February 20 = 20. februar

Spacing: There should always be a space between a number and a measurement, including the % symbol.

For Celsius measurements, technically-inclined people write temperature as 30°C, whereas linguists seem to prefer 30 °C.

Currency: The Danish currency is DKK (Danish kroner). 10 GBP (£10) or €15 is equivalent to roughly 111 DKK. In Danish the international 3-letter code is used to denote currency symbols.

2. Abbreviations:

N/a = ??? or 'ikke relevant'
No. (nos.) = nr.
e.g. = f.eks. (or fx)
WxLxHxD = BxLxHxD bredde x længde x højde x dybde
1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th = 1./2./3./4.
Mr. / Mrs. = Hr./fru.
Messrs. d'hrr. (hardly ever used)
Miss = Frk.
Dear Sir / Madam = Kære hr./fru.
m (for metre) = m
cm (for centimetre) = cm
lb (for pound weight) = this is not normally used in Danish. If is has to be
included it will be the same as in English with the Danish conversion in either
grams or kilograms alongside in brackets.
g (for gram) = same
km (for kilometre) = same
yr (for year) = not normally abbreviated in Danish as it only consists of two
letters = år
k (for 1000) = same
EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Asia) = same

Days of the week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun = man., tirs., ons., tors., fre., lør., søn.

Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec = ja., feb., mar., apr., maj, jun., jul., aug., sep., okt., nov., dec.

Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (not normally abbreviated in English) = not abbreviated in Danish: forår, sommer, efterår, vinter

Section Four – Hyphenation

Danish uses hyphens when a foreign word part is followed by a Danish word, and when a name is followed by a Danish word (SCSI-disk). Hyphenation is used extensively in Danish to split words over a line as word parts are concatenated, giving long words. The hyphen is placed between two syllables.

Words joined together using hyphens are becoming more and more common with all the imported IT and technical words from English. As regards end-ofline hyphenation, the only thing to remember (apart from the obvious things that are the same for English) is that there should be at least three letters after the hyphen.

As regards dashes, short ‘N’ dashes (–) rather than long ‘M’ dashes (—) are used.

Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities

For place names, in Danish we tend to use the spelling from the place of origin, e.g. Firenze, München etc.

Surnames are normally given after the first name, and it is not common practice to write them all in upper case.

Section Six – Geographic Distribution

Danish is spoken by the 5 million inhabitants of Denmark, and is also the official language of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are considered part of Denmark. It is one of the Scandinavian languages, which constitute a branch of the Germanic languages, which in turn are a part of the Indo- European family.

Danish is most closely related to Norwegian and Swedish. During the centuries that Denmark and Norway were one country, a dialect closer to Danish than Norwegian was spoken in the Norwegian cities. This is still in use today and is sometimes referred to as "Dano-Norwegian". The Danish alphabet is the same as the Norwegian, consisting of the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet plus æ, ø, and å at the end.

Danish is spoken/used in the following countries:
Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland.

Language Family
Family: Indo-European
Subgroup: Germanic
Branch: Northern (Scandinavian)

Section Seven – Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes

c C
d D
e E
l L
n N
o O
r R
s S
t T
u U
æ [0230]Æ [0198]
ø [0248]Ø [0216]
å [0229] (aa)Å [0197] (Aa)

By Wordbank Ltd,
TEL: +44 (0) 20 7903 8800, FAX: +44 (0) 20 7903 8888,


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