What does it mean to speak Danglish? To blend languages? It’s a big part of the Danish culture and it’s not just for the sake of looking smart. It’s something fun; there’s a little glimmer of irony. It gives a warm feeling in the stomach. Some words work better in English: they give more meaning -it’s a practical thing.
Let’s take a few examples. In Danish you can use the word, ‘dejligt,’ which means, ‘lovely,’ or, ‘nice.’ But why not just use nice? It's a much-loved word here. Det lyder nice = That sounds nice. You could easily have said, ‘det lyder dejligt,’ but which is more fun? You decide. :)
There’s another example in the word, ‘precise(ly),’ which in Danish is, “præcis.” You could also say, "nemlig," which means, "exactly," but why not use, "exactly?" I don't know why, but the English word seems to have more weight, the meaning is clearer and it's a simple one-word-killer to slip into your Danish.
Swear words/Bande ord
The Danes love English swear words, they mix them up in their Danish all the time. This is one thing I find so interesting, because in Danish (with a Danish accent or thrown into a Danish sentence) the words are not so sharp.
They don't sound the same or have the same connotations as when an American/Brit uses them. If you are just starting Danish or you don't understand any Danish yet, BUT you listen to the language when you are on the train; listen out for the word, 'fuck,' and all variations of it.
Fuck dig = Fuck you
Fuck det = Fuck it
Fucking lort = fucking shit
Fuck det hele = fuck everything
Det var helt fucked = It was totally fucked
In English, these words sound super sharp and they are definitely not words you would use around at Grandma's house. It takes the edge off to use Danglish. The only thing that is sharp, is the feeling of joy that bolts around your stomach when you use them.
In England, parents go mental if they hear their kid say, 'fuck,' but in Denmark, it's as good as a joke. My mouth dropped like it was hot when I first heard a kid call me a 'lorte fuck' in Denmark -another blending of words: Shitty fuck. But I soon realised they are just words, and it kind of feels fun to use them, especially to blend them into a smoothie of swearing goodness.
They are just words, after all. It becomes interesting when you consider the Danish swear words; which DO sound sharp. They have just the same affect as the word, 'bastard,' would have in the UK coming from a five-year-old mouth. I didn't intend to give you a lesson on Danish swear words, but why not? 'For helvede,' for example, doesn't sound nice coming from a five-year-old in Denmark. It means something like, 'for fuck's sake/for the sake of hell,' pretty dark, huh?
When you blend languages, something fun happens. There's a transformation. It's more fun, less serious, and much less sharp to the ear.
An example of good Danglish is any talk around music software, hardware, or instruments. There are of course Danish words for all these, but it often makes more sense to use the English words.
Klaver = Keyboard
Forstærker = Amp
It makes perfect sense to use Danglish.
Jeg spiller keyboard = I'm playing/I play the keyboard.
Jeg har brug for en amp = I need an amp.
Generally, it's a verbal thing. It's of course quite 'slangy.' So you should avoid this in written Danish. Sorry, but you still have to learn the Danish equivalents.
But go crazy (also a one-word-killer) when speaking.
A few nice examples of perfect Danglish:
Det lyder ret crazy = That sounds totally crazy
Jeg er simpelthen for awesome = I am simply too awesome
Jamen, du er også mega god til det = Yes, but you are also mega good at it
Ejj, hvor er det bare super fedt, mand = No way, that's just super cool, man
Det kan godt være lidt tricky = It can be a little tricky
Tak for nu Thanks for now