Google translate is not a dictionary. I don't know for what it is of any use, but it is not a dictionary.Hello,
I was looking for a page like wordreference but for danish students and I found this. I know my answer is not exactly about the subject but I thought among you people maybe somebody knows one. Beginning to study danish is hard to find a good dictionary, I have been using google translate and others pages but none of them give a context or exemples of how to use the word therefore sometimes they are innacurate.
Even when speaking the same language people sometimes go "What did you say?" or "Pardon me?". This happens a bit more when we speak to our Scandinavian neighbors, but movies don't show this - as they don't when the movie is in one language. And they don't put all the 'eh's, 'hmm's, coughs etc. of natural conversation in either. And the reason is the same, I guess: It holds up the plot progression for no good reason.I recently saw the Bron/Broen series (season 1 and 2) and I was curious: does the level of mutual intelligibility between Swedes and Danes depicted in it reflect reality (keeping in mind that Martin is a Copenhagen Dane and the Swedes are (mostly) from Scania) or have a lot of potential misunderstandings been 'smoothed out' for television?
I have never studied Dutch, but I can read a Dutch text without much trouble. It's when you people speak, I have trouble.Also, to contribute something to this thread: Dutch (my language) really isn't mutually intelligible with the Scandinavian languages to any significant degree, as has been previously established. Regarding the Bron/Broen series, I could understand only a few words and phrases directly (and they were mostly Swedish ones uttered by Saga; I guess she has a pretty clear articulation). Written Swedish I can understand a lot better, without having any formal training, provided I know the context. This is probably not due to to the common Germanic source from which both Dutch and Swedish (and the other Scandinavian languages) evolved, but has more to do with the massive influence of Low German/Dutch on Scandinavian, starting from the High Middle Ages (the time of the Hanseatic League).
As a Dane, I can easily tell standard Norwegian from standard Swedish, but some of the dialects along the linguistic border (which, btw, runs far inside Sweden) can be hard to distinguish even for us. Sometimes I think the speakers of those dialects themselves can't even tell. And they don't need to. It's all Scandinavian.And also: as a Dutch native speaker, I can't distinguish Swedish from Norwegian, but I can distinguish Danish. To put it in Lord of the Rings terms: to me, Danish sounds like how the minions of Sauron would speak Swedish/Norwegian
A recent survey showed that Norwegians (in general) understand both Danish and Swedish quite well AND that Danes and Swedes understand Norwegian quite well. It also showed that the general population of Danes and Swedes (depending on dialect and previous exposure) sometimes do have some trouble understanding one another.Great info! And a bit contrary to what some Scandinavians were claiming before in this thread. I guess your linguistic situation is similar to the Dutch/Flemish/Afrikaans situation.
Yes, I often watch Norwegian TV. The vocabulary is virtually identical to Danish, they just pronounce the words differently (as if with a Swedish accent). I have no more difficulty than with Jutland Danish. Most people in Denmark feel the same way.Do Danish people understand standard vestnorsk / nynorsk, for example as used in the news: http://tv.nrk.no/serie/distriktsnyheter-rogaland/DKRO98090114/01-09-2014
"Norwegian is Danish spoken in Swedish"
Den avstand som skil oss to no skapar eit sakn hjå meg som berre du kan forstå; Kvart minutt så tenkjer eg på deg, eg drøymer om den dag du kjem hit til meg; Men tida går og alt eg har er bilete og minne frå ei tid der; Me...alltid var saman der, me... hadde fri; Aldri trudde eg det ville verta så tøft å væra frå deg, men det viser seg; Folk seier at det aldri vil gå at me held saman og eg tvilar no; Men tida går og alt eg har er bilete og minne frå ei tid der...
eg saknar deg
This does not sound/look like Danish:
You have to define the term "the same language".[/I]
It's the same language - Scandinavian. Norwegians just base their spelling on how they speak it in Oslo rather than in Copenhagen.
That's true. Everything depends on definition.You have to define the term "the same language".
Also true.It seems that this term is used very freely by different individuals.
That does depend on the definition, as you say.With a mutual speech understanding of less then 50% it's hard to call Danish and Norwegian one language.
Yes, in writing, as Goran quotes, mutual understanding is 89 and 93% - on average, for any speakers. That's easily 100% for competent, native speakers.Besides, spoken language and written language are two different things.
I don't agree with that. The pronounciation is not sufficiently different to hide the fact that the words are the same, as Goran's numbers indicate. Spoken understanding is over 70%.The similarity in spelling does not correspond to similarity im pronounciation.
Write both texts in phonetic alphabet, and the impression will be completely different.
A recent survey showed that Norwegians (in general) understand both Danish and Swedish quite well AND that Danes and Swedes understand Norwegian quite well. It also showed that the general population of Danes and Swedes (depending on dialect and previous exposure) sometimes do have some trouble understanding one another.
This suggests that Norwegian sits somewhere in the middle, half way between Danish and Swedish, which fits quite well with the observation of my Icelandic friend who has found an Icelandyfied Norwegian to be the most universally understandable and therefore the 'linguistic center' of the Scandinavian language(s).
This is somewhat surprising given the fact that Danish and Swedish are both classified at 'east Nordic' while Norwegian (and insular) are 'west Nordic'. One would think, therefore, that Danish and Swedish were closest to one another, but for some reason this is not the case. Not in terms of mutual intelligibility of the spoken language, at least. Maybe this is due to Norway and Denmark having been united in one country for longer time and much more recently (200 years ago) than Denmark and Sweden have (500 years ago).
I don't know how this compares to the Dutch/Flemish/Afrikaans-situation. To me they all sound like Dutch.
I think I may be able to distinguish Afrikaans from the other two, but I wouldn't put money on it.
If I had to learn one of the three, which one, in your opinion Varis, would be most intelligible by everybody in that language continuum?
I have a similar experience with a few Spanish variants, as well as mutual intelligibility between Spanish and Portuguese. I learned Spanish mostly with South Americans, most of them from Chile, but also other countries, as Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. When I first heard Spanish from Castilla Real, I thought it might be another language, although I understood everything. The phonetics were quite different from what I was used to. But I also understood Portuguese rather well, and some Italian as well. When in Galicia, I couldn't distinguish Galego from Portuguese, but I find Brazilian Portuguese easier to understand. One thing that puzzles me a bit is that my Cuban wife, knowing no other language than Spanish, cannot understand a word of Portuguese. To my ears, it seems as it should have better intelligibility than Danish to a Swede. The differences are mainly in the pronunciation.This is based on the experience I have observed.
For most native Norwegian speakers, specially adults under 50, it is quite easy to understand Swedish. This is because the phonetic similarity of both languages and maybe because there was a lot of TV in Swedish broadcasted in Norway before the 2000s. It is a little more difficult for the native speakers, but still happens all the time, to understand Danish. I have seen this because I work at a place where you find the 3 nationalities.
As a foreign person that has learned to speak Norwegian (bokmål) I can tell you that it has really helped me to understand Swedish. It is not easy but you can definitely train your ear for achieving this. I do not speak Swedish when I am in Sweden, I use Norwegian, and it works quite well. As for Danish, as pointed before on this thread, it is very easy to read it if you can bokmål, both are really alike in written form, but it very difficult to understand it in spoken form. I almost always change to English when I am speaking with a Danish person.
So I support what has been said here before. Norwegian (bokmål) is located more in the middle of the scale between the 3 of them, specially from a foreign speaker's point of view.
If you are tuned to understand, you do, but if not, you won't.I have a similar experience with a few Spanish variants, as well as mutual intelligibility between Spanish and Portuguese. I learned Spanish mostly with South Americans, most of them from Chile, but also other countries, as Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. When I first heard Spanish from Castilla Real, I thought it might be another language, although I understood everything. The phonetics were quite different from what I was used to. But I also understood Portuguese rather well, and some Italian as well. When in Galicia, I couldn't distinguish Galego from Portuguese, but I find Brazilian Portuguese easier to understand. One thing that puzzles me a bit is that my Cuban wife, knowing no other language than Spanish, cannot understand a word of Portuguese. To my ears, it seems as it should have better intelligibility than Danish to a Swede. The differences are mainly in the pronunciation.
So it seems that "intelligibility" is the key word. If you are tuned to understand, you do, but if not, you won't. I have had many conversations with Brazilians, I speaking Spanish, they Portuguese, and there is mutual understanding. Most Brazilians I met have no problem at all in understanding Spanish, although the opposite is not true. It seems as Italians have a lot harder to understand Spanish, and my wife does not understand Italian, although I understand it rather well. Maybe the training in mutual understanding of the Nordic languages makes it easier to understand nearly related other languages, when one of them is known? I have been working in Norway for some time, and I have no problem at all in understanding Norwegian, most dialects. However, Danish is really challenging, except when written.
We do have some false friends, but so does Spanish - in itself. For example, in Argentina, I would use "templar la viola" for tuning the guitar, and in Cuba "coger la guagua" for taking the bus, but not the other way around. To me, Spanish differs in different countries just as much as Swedish and Norwegian.
(Why do you say Swedish Pronunciation is hard? Do you mean the sj-sound? I live a lot of miles far away from Scandinavia in East Asia but I can sound the sj-sound properly!)I would recommend that you start with Swedish (I promise that I'm not bias ). Here are my reasons:
1. Swedish is the biggest/most spoken language of all of the Scandinavian languages (spoken by over 9 million people in Sweden and appr. 1 million in Finland).
2. I've been to Norway and Denmark and Swedish has helped me countless times (Norwegian is easier to learn if you know Swedish, Danish is much harder but if you speak Swedish in my dialect [“Skånska”] it’s much easier!).
3. Last but not least, Swedish grammar isn't that hard as people think that it is. The verbs are very easy to learn, because they only have one form in the present (and all other forms too by the way ). But pronunciation is hard!!! That will take you a while to learn, you may even have to live here .
So, that's my opinion. Hoppas ingen från Norge eller Danmark tar illa upp!!!
GOOD LUCK WITH WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE!!!
Of course I don't know exactly why robbie_SWE states that Swedish pronunciation is hard, but it is not only that some particular sounds are difficult for many speakers, but it is the melody as well, the intonation, accents. But also what's difficult for someone may be less difficult for another. Chinese people often get both pronunciation of the various sounds and the intonation correct, while both seem to be impossible to learn for most Spanish speakers unless they learn it at young age. People who speak closely related languages, as German or Dutch seem to get it rather easy, although English speakers tend to have more difficulty.Hej, och jag är en Hongkongare.
Jag lär mig svenska från mig själv. Nu kan jag handla uttalen av Svenska Språket, även 7-ljudet som är svår till er kan uttalas riktigt av mig.
(Why do you say Swedish Pronunciation is hard? Do you mean the sj-sound? I live a lot of miles far away from Scandinavia in East Asia but I can sound the sj-sound properly!)/.../ But pronunciation is hard!!! That will take you a while to learn, you may even have to live here /.../
Yes, he should be fluent by now…in all three languagesHmm... Difficult to say...
Anyway, the one who started this whole thread, alexandro, did it way back in 2006. Since nine years have past since then, I think that continuing this thread is probably pointless by now.
"The Germanic group of languages, according to linguistic conventions, is split into a Northern and a Southern group." Not quite right. While it is true that there is a northern branch, when I did my own research, I found no evidence that in terms of systematics, there was or is a southern branch. Instead, what I found by means of scientific terminology is that there are an eastern and a western branch of germanic languages. It might be true that the eastern branch originated in the north, but at least later on in history, it was designated as its own seperate branch. It is to this branch which languages like gothic, vandalic and burgundian are grouped to. However, later on in history, the eastern branch vanished from use completely. The other two branches have remained to this day.Being a fan of the “mutual intelligibility discussions” on this forum I’d like to bring to the fore some remarks. They come in two parts.