German-Danish Translations by Experienced, Native-Speaker Translators

Danish

Language combinations for translations involving Danish:

  • Danish to German
  • German to Danish
  • English to Danish
  • Danish to English

Eisenmann Übersetzungsteam provides technical translations by native speakers of Danish into and from Danish for all subject areas: economics, law, technology, medicine, advertising, IT etc.

Our subject areas range from finance to law, from technology to advertising, websites, certificates and references.

All texts are translated by experienced specialist translators of Danish into their mother tongues (Danish or German), as per the native speaker principle.

The History of Danish

Danish belongs to the Germanic languages, and together with Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Faroese forms the group of Scandinavian languages. Danish is an official language in Denmark,  the second official language in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and is the lingua franca in Iceland (formerly a colonial language). In addition, it is protected as a minority language in Schleswig-Holstein by the state constitution.

Danish has approximately 5.5 million native speakers in Denmark as well as Germany (in South Schleswig, which was Danish until 1864, in the centre of Flensburg), Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Canada and the USA.

The Bokmål variant of Norwegian is often termed a Danish dialect by linguists, although it should culturally be a separate language and is perceived thus by its speakers. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian together form the so-called virtual “Interscandinavian language”. This term means that this language does not have an existing written form, and that all three are considered dialects from a linguistic perspective, and are mutually understandable. We must add here that Swedish is not a dialect of Danish, rather both dialects of “Interscandinavian” (continental Scandinavian) should not be confused with the insular Scandinavian spoken on the Faroe Islands and Iceland. For example, native speakers on the Faroe Islands often ask whether you speak Scandinavian, not Danish.

Danish itself is broken up into many dialects, some of which are only mutually understandable with great difficulty. So-called Radio Københavnsk, that is to say the spoken variant in Danish radio and television, is considered to be the standard language. In recent decades, the dialects have been increasingly suppressed by the spread of this standard language.

Petuh, spoken in Flensburg, is related to Danish. It is partially based on Danish grammar (sentence structure) and a range of Danish concepts. The origins of Petuh are in the 19th Century: it probably arose when the Danes attempted to learn the German language.

In the Danish West Indies until the 20th Century, there existed so-called Creole Danish. However, it was not passed down in writing and has therefore died out.

As shown above, Danish has left significant traces in Germany, particularly in South Schleswig and Schleswig-Holstein. For example, in South Schleswig there are some Danish schools aimed at the Danish minority living there, but which are also attended by the children of German native speakers. However, in these cases the parents should also speak Danish because, for example, parents’ evenings at these schools are normally held in Danish.

The most well-known and traditional school, and the only Danish high school in Germany is the Duborg Skolen in Flensburg. Danish is also offered as a third foreign language in a large number of German schools in Flensburg.

The German language contains some words borrowed from Danish; so called Denmark-isms. The most well-known of these is “Lego”; the name of the children’s toy (in Danish it is “leg godt!”, or “play well!”). In South Schleswig, many place and family names have a Danish or Old Scandinavian heritage, for example any places ending in “oder”, “rup” and family names including Jacobsen and Hansen.

In addition to German, Faroese and Norwegian have been strongly influenced bv Danish. Its enormous influence on Norway’s Bokmål is due to the 400-year union between Norway and Denmark, which today tends instead to be perceived by Norwegians  as foreign rule.

On the other hand, the Danish language has been strongly influenced by German, in particular Low German. A large part of the Danish vocabulary consists of borrowed Low German words and translations.

There are also many anglicisms in today’s Danish language. Many Danes greet each other with “Hej” (from “Hi”); a greeting which they borrowed from the Americans after the Second World War.

However, despite the diverse range of mutual influences, in particular those between Danish and German, we should not think that Danish is an easy language to learn. Danish is, and remains, a Scandinavian language, and therefore contains many elements foreign to us, i.e. special alphabetical characters.

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