Double Danish - Vowel Sounds and Consonants

How the hell?

Like in English, there are many words in Danish that look almost the same, and when you read them, it may be hard to know how or if they sound different.

How do I pronounce these suckers? Are there any differences? Maybe you want to write a word. You know how to say it, but how the hell do you write it?


What about definite and indefinite forms?

For example:

Indefinite Definite

En kop koppen

A cup The cup

In Danish, when you want to write the definite form the cup (koppen), you have to throw the article (en) on the end of the noun (kop). But notice how you have to add an extra letter P. Why? When?

I have a trick for you.

The Double Danish Trick.

Let’s use the same example. The word kop has a short vowel sound like the English hop. Whenever there is a short vowel sound, you need to add the extra consonant--in this case an extra P--after the vowel in the definite form (koPPen).

You can also use this trick to find out how to pronounce a word.

For example:

Smiler in Danish means smiling. There is one consonant after the vowel (the letter i), so this is a long vowel sound like in the English peeler.

A few more examples:

En klasse > klassen (short vowel sound like in English hassle = 2 consonants)

A class > The class

En klase > klasen (long vowel sound like in English chase = 1 consonant)

A bunch > the bunch

A few more examples:

En hane > hanen (a rooster) long vowel

En hæl > hælen (a heel) long vowel

At hælde (to pour) short vowel

At rive (long)

At mose (long)

At snitte (short)

At drysse (short)

Woah, that was a bit heavy. Quick, go and eat some potatoes and drink a Carlsberg! But first, check out the video below for pronunciation.

I hope this Double Danish trick helps you along the road to become a Danish master. Happy learning.

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