The Danish Language

The Danish language belongs to the East Scandinavian branch of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European languages.

      GERMANIC LANGUAGES
      ----------|------------
                |------English
                |------German
                |------Nordic
                          |                  
                          |----Vestern   
                          |       |------Islandic  
                          |       |------Faroe  
                          |       |------Norwegian (Nynorsk)
                          |
                          |----Eastern
                                  |------Swedish
                                  |------Norwegian (Bokml)
                                  |------Danish
 

      
 Like Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic, Danish is derived from a common Scandinavian language, which can be traced to runic inscriptions of the 3rd century AD. 

Significant changes occurred in the parent language during the Viking age (circa 800-1050), leading to distinct differences between the East Scandinavian dialects, from which Danish and Swedish evolved, and the West Scandinavian dialects, which are the sources of Norwegian (Nynorsk) and Icelandic.

The history of the Danish language may be divided into three main periods: 

  1. Old Danish       (800-1100),
  2. Middle Danish  (1100-1500)
  3. Modern Danish (from 1500)

 


The Danish alphabet

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ Ø Å

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z æ ø å

The Danish alphabet has a total of 29 letters:
9 vowels (a,e,i,o,u,y,,,) and
20 consonants

Notice the 3 special Danish letters:

Letter Construction Old writing
Æ, æ a and e put together Ae, ae
Ø, ø o with / through Oe, oe; ,
Å, å a with a small o above Aa, aa  

If your computer cannot write these letters, you may use the old way of writing.
You can also use the ASCII codes on your key-board by holding down the Alt key while typing 
the numbers shown below. 

Technique:

Letter ASCII HTML
alt + 146 Æ
alt +0216 Ø
alt + 143 Å
alt + 153  
alt + 145 æ
alt +0248 ø
alt + 134 å
alt + 148  

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"Danish Language," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.
"Language Tree" and "The Danish alphabet" made by John Madsen.