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October 15, 2013
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I've seen it joked about a few times by Swedes and Norwegians that Danish is so difficult to understand that not even Danes understand it and occasionally have to switch to other Nordic languages to have a conversation.

I thought it was just a joke, but after traveling a lot to Norway and Sweden I've realized that surprisingly many Norwegians and Swedes honestly believe Danes can understand Swedish/Norwegian even when they (the Swedes and Norwegians) don't understand Danish.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but the trouble of understanding goes both ways. Of course it can be done depending on where you're from, how slow you speak, and how willing you are to listen, but I know a few people who work in tourist areas and they all say they understand the Germans better than people from other Nordic countries, even if they didn't have German in school.

So for the joke to be more correct it should be that Danes understand no one. Not Swedes, not Norwegians, not Danes, but a bit German.
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:iconsweetmarshmallows:
SweetMarshmallows Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014
I don't really have that problem...but I live south-west in Norway, so my dialect is a little similar..in a way.. Inekoitplz 
Personally, I think it's harder to understand people that lives in the north of Norway than Danes....mission impossible..  :wtfblink:
I don't know much about swedish, though...Last time I was in Sweeden, I was very small..so I don't remember anything..
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:iconfiresofwar:
Firesofwar Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
The same happens with Spanish and Portuguese. People think Portuguese people absolutely understand spanish considering how similar the languages are and how they're bordering neighbours.
Truth is, if a spanish person comes to portugal, they'll find it that it's really hard on us to make out what they're saying without any previous experience or training and vice versa; my sister went to Barcelona a few years back with a friend and while she was there, her friend was speaking in Portuguese that she wanted cheese and the guy on the counter didn't understand anything~
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:iconlintilaarchaeologist:
Well it's true. Statically danish children learn to speak later than others, not because we're more stupid, but because our language it so extremely weird. They say the french draw the words together? Well, it's nothing compaired to danes, but for us it's not even an integrated part of the written language. 
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:iconsage2434:
sage2434 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lol I need to learn more languages :iconotlplz:
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:iconinto-oblivion97:
Into-Oblivion97 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually understand most Nordic languages fairly well, at least enough to get a gist of what they're saying. Then again, I also speak Faroese apart from Danish, so I might have a double advantage. I find Icelandic the hardest. It reads like bastardized gibberish Faroese to me. Also, I find that Norwegian sounds alot like speaking Danish with a thick Faroese accent.

I remember meeting a group of Swedes once on a summer camp, and I understood perfectly well what they were saying, so I just answered them in Danish without thinking about it. They looked at me as if I had three heads. I tried repeating myself slowly, but to no avail. Against my better judgement, I even tried speaking a vile abomination of home-brewed Swedish, trying to use whatever little vocabulary I had picked up from watching all those Swedish movies and TV series. They were pretty much screaming in laughter, so I quickly gave up on that idea and we switched to English. 
So much for Nordic brotherhood. :b 
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:iconinto-oblivion97:
Into-Oblivion97 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Interrestingly, my mother who learned Danish as a second language claims she much prefers to read Nynorsk and Bokmål, because those are easier for her to understand than Danish. She says especially Nynorsk and Faroese have many words in common. Also a rather peculiar thing, apparently the dialect they speak on Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland is almost identical to Southern Faroese dialect (this is just something I've been told). 
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:icontoyger:
Toyger Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
On the other hand though, my dialect is often subtitled on Norwegian TV series :XD:
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:icontoyger:
Toyger Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
When I was in Denmark and needed customer service the man decided to answer in English. I tried talking in simple terms and not too fast, so he did actually understand my Norwegian (though my dialect is one of the more.. danish ones =P ) but refused to even try answer in Danish (which he spoke perfectly to a coworker before I walked up) Of all my time there though he was the only one to do so. I understood and was understood by everyone else =^_^=
My dialect is from the west coast and are referred to as the "soft coast line", sometimes "the danish coastline" =P
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:iconvitrial:
vitrial Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013
Kion pri Esperanton?
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:icongothicanimegirl:
GothicAnimeGirl Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student Writer
Well I'm American and we can't understand anyone unless you're lucky (my view) to live in an area with a variety of cultures and so understand a bit of Spanish. Because of school I understand a bit of German, my parents taught me a bit of French, and because of the internet I can understand a bit of Swedish and Japanese. I think it's just laziness that makes people so unwilling to understand a language, especially if it's a nearby country.
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