Danish Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p,
Q q, R r, S s, T t, U u, V v,
W w, X x, Y y, Z z, Æ æ, Ø ø, Å å


Danish belongs to the Scandinavian branch of the North Germanic languages and was the official language of Norway until 1830 and Iceland until 1944. The language has over five million speakers. It is closely related to Norwegian and Swedish.

The letters q, w, x, and z are only used words of foreign origin

Danish vowels can be open or closed and they can be short or long.

Letters not listed are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a   - a as in cat; aw as in law
E, e   - eu as in fleur; e as in let; aw as in law before g and j
I, i   - i as in pin; i as in machine
O, o   - o as in note; sometimes o as in gone
U, u   - u as in duke inside a word; aw as in law before an n
 
Æ, æ   - e as in let
Ø, ø   - eu as in fleur
Å, å   - aw as in law
 
C, c   - s as in see before "e" or "i" but k as in king elswhere
D, d   - d as in day at the beginning of a word; th as in they after a vowel;
    silent after l, n, r, and before t, s
G, g   - g as in girl at the beginning of a word; oo as in soon on the inside of a word;
    ng as in sing, i as in time after a vowel; sometimes silent inside a word;
    silent in words ending in "ig"; silent after "i," "y," and "u"
H, h   - h as in hat in the beginning of a word; silent in words beginning with hv;
    silent before "v" or "j"
J, j   - y as in yes
R, r   - r almost as in the French rue in the beginning of a word and after a consonant;
    a as in henna at the end of a word
V, v   - v as in very but as a fast u sound at the end of a word
 
GLOTTAL STOP:
 
'   - glottal stop. The glottal stop is used in the stressed or accented syllable of a word.
     Both short vowels and consonants can have the glottal stop.
 


Copyright © 2011 by Dick Oakes