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Should I learn Danish or Norwegian?

  Tags: Danish | Norwegian
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
49 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Next >>
royalblue
Newbie
Canada
Joined 3770 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: French

 
 Message 1 of 49
28 January 2009 at 6:37pm | IP Logged 
I've heard they are very similar and I was wondering which is easier to learn. I would lean towards Danish because of its use in Greenland (A place I would like to visit someday) but if they are very similar maybe I could just learn the easier one since I'm not really a pro at languages yet.
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Frisco
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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381 posts - 399 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Norwegian, Italian, Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 2 of 49
28 January 2009 at 6:56pm | IP Logged 
The written forms are very similar, but the spoken forms are noticeably different. I don't want to say Danish is harder to pronounce, but it has the reputation of sounding mumbly.
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Frost
Newbie
United States
Joined 3794 days ago

27 posts - 26 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Norwegian, Faroese, Greek

 
 Message 3 of 49
28 January 2009 at 8:52pm | IP Logged 
They also learn Danish as a second language in the Faroe Islands. Anyway, I'm going through a similar dilemma. I love Scandinavian culture but I still have my senior year and college years ahead of me. One college I'd like to go to actually offers Norwegian as a major (not that I would, probably a minor) so I'm leaning toward Norwegian. However, the pronunciation is a bit daunting and it doesn't have a Rosetta Stone program. I know RS gets a lot of heat around here but I used it with Spanish and was very pleased. Danish does have a single installment in Rosetta Stone, while Swedish has 3! See? There's all sorts of pros and cons to each, and sometimes Icelandic is thrown in the mix too! According to the UN, Iceland is the best place to live. I look forward to reading some of the replies in this thread.
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maya_star17
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
Canada
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269 posts - 291 votes 
Speaks: English*, Russian*, French, Spanish
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 49
29 January 2009 at 2:09am | IP Logged 
If you're interested in Scandinavian languages/culture in general, I would say go for Norwegian... I've heard that it's the "middle language", in the sense that learning it makes it easier to understand both Danish and Swedish, compared to eg. learning Danish and then trying to understand the other two languages.

That said, I don't think any Scandinavian language is remarkably more/less difficult than the others (although I could be wrong)... all Scand. languages are Germanic, so you'll see plenty of words that look like English words :)

Lastly I'd just like to say that it's always best to learn whatever interests you the most... so, as cheesy as it might sound, go with your heart :)
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tantrum
Triglot
Newbie
Switzerland
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Speaks: English*, Swedish, German
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 5 of 49
04 February 2009 at 5:15am | IP Logged 
Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are all, in my opinion, about equally as difficult to learn. (And they are relatively easy in terms of languages I would say.) Icelandic is much more complex.

Years ago, when I was fluent in Swedish and speaking Swedish virtually the whole day, I met some Norwegians. I didn't know they were Norwegian until later, but I understood almost all of what they said. I could pick that there was something different about the way they were speaking, but I figured it was some accent I wasn't familiar with - little did I know it was a different language! (Disclaimer: I was extremely drunk - it was New Year's Eve.)

When it comes to Danish however, I can hardly understand a word, because of the accent.

Not sure if that helps, but it perhaps just backs up the previous post about Norwegian being a "middle" language.
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Sennin
Senior Member
Bulgaria
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5 sounds

 
 Message 6 of 49
04 February 2009 at 7:08am | IP Logged 
Frost wrote:
.. According to the UN, Iceland is the best place to live. I look forward to reading some of the replies in this thread.


Not at the moment ^_^

Edited by Sennin on 04 February 2009 at 7:09am

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Amoore
Senior Member
Denmark
Joined 3761 days ago

177 posts - 218 votes 
Speaks: Danish*

 
 Message 7 of 49
06 February 2009 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
Do yourself a big favour and learn norwegian.

If you speak danish you understand Norwegian.
If you speak swedish you understand Norwegian.
If you speak Norwegian you understand Danish and Swedish.

I am a dane, and i easily read Norwegian books, and speaks with Norwegian people. If
someone from sweden talks to me i hardly understands a word. If i could pick i would
speak norwegian myself.

Dont get me wrong, danish is an AWESOME language. :)



Edited by Amoore on 06 February 2009 at 8:36pm

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Elindomiel
Tetraglot
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3755 days ago

8 posts - 10 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Norwegian, German
Studies: Italian, Finnish, Faroese

 
 Message 8 of 49
13 February 2009 at 9:35pm | IP Logged 
"If you're interested in Scandinavian languages/culture in general, I would say go for Norwegian... I've heard that it's the "middle language", in the sense that learning it makes it easier to understand both Danish and Swedish, compared to eg. learning Danish and then trying to understand the other two languages. "

In my experience I have found this to be true. I have learned Norwegian, and I can read Danish 98% of the time, and Swedish about 70% of the time. Apparently the inverse is true with the spoken language, but while I have a harder time understanding Danish news or other broadcasts, I have found it quite easy to converse with Danes face to face. I haven't had much similar experience with Swedish.

They say that the Faroese are the best at all forms of Scandinavian, because Danish and Faroese are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I have a Faroese friend, and we can talk in Norwegian easily (although his sounds a bit Danish at times, or nynorsky at other times). Also he understands Icelandic about 75% of the time or more. I have studied Faroese only a little, but I can read almost as much Icelandic as Faroese now! (Both are still at a very basic level).

Norwegian is probably the most bang for your buck. And Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish are all pretty easy, I think, although I find Norwegian easiest to pronounce, and the clearest to understand, since they 'mumble' in Danish and 'sing' in Swedish. Icelandic is a lot harder and different from the others, so unless almost all of your interest is in Iceland itself, you should probably learn one of the others.


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