The Danish Language
The Danish language, “Dansk,” belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. It’s closely related to Norwegian and Swedish and is part of the Scandinavian languages group. Danish has had a significant impact on the linguistic landscape of the North Atlantic and has influenced the vocabulary of the English language.
- Danish traces its roots back to Old Norse, the common tongue of the Vikings and Norsemen who lived in Scandinavia during the Viking Age.
- In the Middle Ages, Danish began to form a unique identity distinct from Swedish and Norwegian, mainly due to the influence of the Kingdom of Denmark and its overseas territories.
- During the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation led to the translation of the Bible into Danish, which greatly standardized the written language.
- The modern version of Danish, as we know it today, has evolved since the 19th century and is somewhat different from the Old Norse.
Speakers and Usage:
- Danish is the first language of around six million people worldwide, most of whom live in Denmark.
- It is one of the official languages of the Kingdom of Denmark, which includes Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.
- While Danish is not the primary language in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, it is widely taught and understood.
- Danish is also spoken by significant communities in Northern Germany, particularly in the region of Southern Schleswig and in other Scandinavian countries due to its similarities with Swedish and Norwegian.
Interestingly, Danish speakers can also understand Swedish and Norwegian and vice versa, meaning that by learning one of these languages, you will be understood by people who speak the other two languages, too! Although Danish has nouns split into two genders, just like French, it is unlike French in that the genders are not masculine and feminine but are known as neuter and common. Unlike English, the Danish alphabet has 29 letters, with the most recent one added in 1948. Even more intriguing, the Danish language has no word for ‘please’.
Example of Text:
- Danish: “Jeg elsker at lære nye sprog.”
- English translation: “I love to learn new languages.”
Influence on and from English:
- Many English words have Danish origins due to historical Viking invasions. Examples include “sky”, “skin”, “knife”, and “egg”.
- Conversely, Danish has also adopted many English words, especially in technology, business, and popular culture. Examples include “computer”, “manager”, and “cool”
The Danish language is a significant element of Denmark’s rich cultural history and plays a critical role in shaping the nation’s identity. Despite its relatively small number of speakers, Danish’s influence extends far beyond the borders of Denmark, evident in the shared history and linguistic exchanges with the English language. It’s a vivid reflection of the historical journey of its speakers and continues to evolve with time.
Here at Brightlines, Danish is one of the most popular language requests. Our Danish translators and proofreaders have worked with brands such as Avery Dennison, CareFusion and Microsoft.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.