Denmark as a unified kingdom dates back to the 8th century, but historic documents indicate that “Danes” lived in this area in as early as 500 AD.
Danish is a descendant of Old Norse – the common language of the Germanic people who lived in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. Today, Danish is spoken by around 6 million people worldwide. It is an official language in Denmark and the Faroe Islands. It is also spoken in Greenland, Faroe Islands, Germany, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, USA, Brazil, Argentina and United Arab Emirates.
- There are three extra vowels in Danish compared to English: Æ, Ø and Å.
- Danish gained a new letter in 1948.
- Danish is mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Swedish. As such, speakers of these languages can often understand the others fairly well.
- Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode, meaning “period of plan stabilising for a specialist doctor’s practice”, is the longest Danish word.
Denmark is one of the EU’s best performing economies, with low inflation, strong growth and low unemployment. Danish companies control one third of the global wind market and continue to invest in UK wind energy, which is creating opportunities in composites, nacelle components shipping and installation, fabrication and O&M.
The Danish oil and gas industry is also expanding creating further opportunities in engineering, fabrication, consulting, crewing and shipping. Further to this, Denmark is heavily investing in new super hospitals, which requires construction and infrastructure support, pharmaceutical products and general hospital equipment.
Other lucrative markets include IT and telecoms, biotech, automotive, financial services, big data, wine, animal feed, fresh vegetables, and processed foods.
Denmark has an informal culture and formality can be seen as rude and unfriendly. Even though Danes are more relaxed, they’re very direct and pre-meeting small talk will be limited. As such, it’s important to circulate agendas before meetings take place to ensure everyone can be organised. Danes will take this opportunity to plan their work around points you want to discuss without deviation. They will ask questions and expect you to provide to the point answers.
Another reason for sharing agendas is to allow each person equal opportunity to consider points they wish to raise. Each person attending a business meeting is expected to share their opinion, no matter their position, even if it contradicts with what their boss believes.
Business tip: If it looks as though a business meeting is going well, it is acceptable to give a gift after agreements have been signed. If you receive a gift in return, you should open it in front of the person rather than waiting.
It’s also recommended that you learn some simple Danish greetings to establish a friendly connection.
|Hello / Hello (formal)||Hej / Hallo|
|How are you?||Hvordan har du det? |
Hvordan har De det? (formal)
|Pleased to meet you.||Hvis du vil være så venlig at ... |
(If you’ll be so kind, as to ...)
We work extensively with Scandinavian languages in the health & wellbeing sector, including Danish. Examples of projects we work on are: product catalogues, monthly newsletters, and product information. Typically the subject matter is marketing content but it also involves some more scientific elements.