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https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn

Danish,Norwegian,Finnish,or Swedish?

spanish.unicorn
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I am feeling the need to start learning a Scandinavian language.I'm kind of torn right now,so I need your help.Which of these languages should I learn and why?

2 years ago

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

People can tell you what they like until they're blue in the face but when it comes down to it, if you're not passionate about the language you won't be fully invested! I propose an idea. Why don't you tell us what you like about each language and learners/speakers can comment on those things to help you decide!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel
chirelchirel
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Just to help you with your choice: Finnish is not a germanic language like the others and its grammar and vocabulary, the whole logic of the language is very different from the others. The other three are close to each other, so close that when you know one of them well enough you can at least understand the other two to some degree.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
headlesscookie
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Plus, Finnish isn't a course on Duolingo yet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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I know it's not.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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Well, here are the facts about each one:

Finnish: Not a Scandinavian language. Finnish is not even a Germanic language, meaning that there are little to no ties with Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. The grammatical logic of Finnish is also very, very different.

Swedish: Like all of the other Scandinavian languages, there are two genders. Swedish pronunciation is not too hard, however the pitch accent, as well as a few sounds are not similar with English. Grammar rules are more complex than in Danish. Swedish is spoken at the front to middle of the mouth, and you sort of "glide" as you speak.

Danish: Much more guttural. Spoken at the back of the throat, with a fairly open mouth. They have many more sounds than Swedish, however it is kind of fun to speak in Danish! For instance, google translate "Hej! Mitt namn är Björn" in Swedish, and listen to it. Translate that sentence to Danish, and listen to it. Can you hear the difference? Danish also has less complexity to grammar rules.

Norwegian: I am least familiar with Norwegian. It is much closer to Danish than Swedish. To me, Norwegian sounds a bit like a Swede pronouncing Danish words. That's all I can say!

Icelandic: Not in your list, but a Scandinavian language. Icelandic is very close to Old Norse, and has very complex grammar rules. It is not mutually intelligible with the languages of mainland Scandinavia.

Personally, I have chosen to learn the Scandinavian languages in the following order: Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. Swedish has the easiest pronunciation compared to Danish, however does have a few sounds that you need to learn how to make. Having learnt Swedish, and being fairly proficient in it (B2), I have developed a strong interest in the Danish language. It just sounds so cool! The problem with Danish, is that pronunciation is crucial, and in order to not be spotted as a foreigner, your pronunciation needs to be bang on. I plan on learning Danish after I tackle another Romantic language. Finally, Norwegian. Norwegian (Bokmål) is the last Scandinavian language on my list. I know nothing about it, and want to learn it to have a strong understanding of it. Plus, it means that I can go anywhere in Scandinavia and be understood without the mutual intelligibility barrier.

So, I hope this helps you a bit! Tack, tak og takk!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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Oh, and the Norwegian course is the largest course on Duolingo!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Redelll
Redelll
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*soon

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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*Soon!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/12rameshv

You seem to be quite interested (and knowledgeable) in Scandinavian languages....

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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I love Scandinavian languages! I discovered Swedish and fell in love with Scandinavia! If you need help with your Swedish or French, let me know! (I am at a high proficiency in both).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/12rameshv

Thanks. I will ask you if I need any help. I have always loved Scandinavia for its settings, innovation, equality etc. And watching Frozen cemented my interest in Scandinavia.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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yes I am..They give me so much curiosity! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mundgeirr
Mundgeirr
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One correction though: in Norwegian Nynorsk there are three obligatory genders and in Norwegian Bokmål they are optative, but in most dialects they use three (sometimes just in a couple of words).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruslanruskan

I prefer Swedish, but I have basically studied all 3, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish. They are all basically almost the same. My best advice for you, out of the three is to pick the one that is easiest for you to pronounce. I prefer Swedish. So I spent a year doing Swedish. After that I did Danish and Norwegian. They are mutually intelligible so learning one basically means you can speak the other. I did them all just to see the differences.

Go to YouTube and type "learn Danish" or Swedish or Norwegian, and listen to which conversation works best for you in terms of pronunciation. Swedish was easiest for me because you roll the R often and I love rolling my R's.

My favorite Swedish song: Garmarna- Nio Ar

My favorite Danish song: Valravn- Koder Pa Snor

My favorite Norwegian song: Helen Boksle-Heiemo

My favorite Icelandic song: Pall Oskar-Allt Fyrir Astina (Yes, Icelandic is a Scandinavian language, you might like it so I added a song).

Listen to them, and good luck! Welcome to Scandinavia. ;-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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Thank you so much!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel
chirelchirel
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I chose Swedish (now in Duolingo) because I had to learn it as a child and I used to know it quite well. I wanted to relearn it in a fast and fun way. Swedish is also quite useful in Finland and there's a ton of resources. So for me it made the most sense to start with it even though I find Icelandic and Norwegian more interesting. But as a consequence of relearning Swedish I can already understand Norwegian texts and some spoken Danish (thank Bro/Broen :D).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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If you're deciding based solely on linguistic criteria, you might choose Finnish precisely because of how different it is from other languages you've studied. It will open your eyes to things that you might not have known language could do. As others have pointed out, it doesn't have a Duolingo course yet, so you'd have to find some other way to learn it.

Finnish is a non-Indo-European language. Although it's been hanging out with Indo-European languages for a long time and has borrowed words from a number of them, most Finnish words won't be cognates with words you know from other languages, and some of the ones that are cognates won't be immediately recognizable as such (some examples: suklaa 'chocolate'; kuningas 'king'; Ranska 'France'; mahtaa 'must do, probably do; can do' [cognate with English 'may' and 'might']).

In terms of phonology, Finnish distinguishes short and long vowels as well as single and geminate consonants. They also have vowel harmony; if a word contains front vowels (ä, ö, y) it generally can't contain back vowels (a, o, u) and vice versa.

Finnish has rich nominal and verbal morphology. A lot of the things that are done with prepositions in English are done with case endings in Finnish. For example:

  • talo 'house'
  • talo*ssa '*in the house'
  • talo*lle '*to the house'
  • talo*sta '*out of the house'
  • talo*on '*into the house'

Note that Finnish doesn't have articles (the/a).

When there's not a case ending to express a particular positional relationship, Finnish will usually use not a preposition, but a postposition:

  • talon *takana '*behind the house'
  • talon *rinnalla '*alongside the house'
  • taloa *varten '*for the house'
  • taloon *päin '*toward the house'

Finnish has suffixes that express possession:

  • talo*ni '*my house'
  • talossa*si 'in *your house'
  • talosta*mme 'out of *our house'

Instead of a word meaning 'not', Finnish has a negative verb:

  • minä olen ranskalainen 'I am French'
  • minä en ole saksalainen 'I am not German'
  • hän soittaa viulua 'She/he plays the violin'
  • hän ei soita huilua 'She/he does not play the flute'

Finnish forms yes/no questions with the help of the enclitic -ko or -kö:

  • Aino pitää kahvista 'Aino likes coffee'
  • Pitääkö Aino kahvista? 'Does Aino like coffee?'
  • Ainoko pitää kahvista? 'Is it Aino who likes coffee?'
  • Kahvistako Aino pitää? 'Is it coffee that Aino likes?'

I hope that gives you a taste of Finnish to help you make a more informed decision. Good luck!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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Thank you so much!I really appreciate it! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EoghanBostock

I like Swedish. Norway isn't in the EU, and Denmark is quite small (however in the EU), but Sweden is the largest one, and Swedish is also spoken in parts of Finland. I'm not saying the others are bad, but if you knew everything about me, you'd see it was a no brainier picking Swedish. But at the end of it, just pick the one you like the most.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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I fail to see how being in the EU is any meaningful criterion when picking a language to learn. I like Swedish too, but Norway's oil reserves make it rather more economically significant than either Denmark or Sweden.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
pont
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I fail to see how being in the EU is any meaningful criterion when picking a language to learn.

As EoghanBostock wrote, it's relevant to an EU citizen because they automatically have the right to live and work in any other EU country. Since OP lives in Spain, this is quite relevant to the question.

Even for a non-EU citizen it can be relevant: many people are keen to acquire EU citizenship, so it's useful to know which languages can help you reach that goal. If you learn Swedish and find a job in Sweden, you can, after a few years, gain Swedish (and therefore EU) citizenship. In Norway you can eventually gain Norwegian citizenship, but of course this doesn't get you into the EU.

Norway's oil reserves make it rather more economically significant than either Denmark or Sweden.

I'm not sure what you're using as a criterion for economic significance, but Swedish GDP, annual exports, and annual imports all exceed those of Norway. (I personally don't consider economic significance as a factor when learning languages, but if you do then you should probably take note of this.)

dqxxmvyvoedn

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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pont is right, of course. Just to add that you can move from one Nordic country to another without much hassle once you're a permanent resident in one (well, moving is of course always a hassle). The Nordic countries cooperate closely with each other even though some belong to the EU and others don't.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EoghanBostock

Couldn't have put it any better!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EoghanBostock

I forgot to mention. I'm already an eu citizen so I wouldn't have to worry about visas if I wanted to live there

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ingebj
Ingebj
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@garpike:Being in the EU just might mean you find some more texts you can compare between languages. And sadly, the Norwegian oil industry is not at its peak exactly.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer
Windrammer
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Things are pretty expensive here though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tattamin
Tattamin
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If you want to learn it here on duolingo, I recommend Norwegian. The tree is so much fun to work with!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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For the scandi I think you should start with Norwegian. I say start because, you will probably end up looking at all three - as a foreigner the temptation is too great not too, there is too much film tv and music coming from those countries to box yourself in to learning just one. Norwegian happens to be roghly in the middle of the continuum, and probably the easiest to pronounce and hear for outsiders in my opinion. After getting used to it, you'll find it yourself already understanding a lot of the other two without trying.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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Cool!Thank you so much for the advice,I really appreciate it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruslanruskan

I agree, Swedish is a bit sharp in pronunciation and if you cant 'break' your tongue then its not gonna be super easy. Danish is very smooth, its almost like speaking with an apple in your throat, and Norwegian is probably the easiest for more people to learn. I also ventured into all three because the Music is so emotional and in depth and the TV is amazing. I totally agree with your comment.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annemariekaas

Well, I think it's great when people wanna learn one of the Scandinavian language :) Since I'm from Denmark, and therefore hasn't felt the need to learn any of the other languages, I don't really have any idea on which language is the easiest to learn... But if you end up choosing danish, you are more than welcome to ask for help!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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Thank you!I will!Also,if you need any help with Spanish you can always ask me for help(I'm fluent even though Duolingo is not the best reflection for that haha)!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annemariekaas

You're welcome! :) Thank you so much, that would be awesome! If you at some point decide to practice Danish, we can help each other!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperNova1353

Swedish because its awesome

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stayawakepablo
stayawakepablo
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I'm not neutral in this question, but I'd say that Swedish would be the best option since swedishspeakers understand Norwegian and Danish better than they understand each other (from my experience). And people in Finnland are forced to learn Swedish for a couple of years in school. So if you learn Swedish, you can pretty much get by in all the countries.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindrhound
lindrhound
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Danish is also spoken on Greenland, and is learned in school in Iceland.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyAspeslagh

Pick whatever you love most, listen to the sounds of each language (look how it's written), I picked Swedish because I found it the most appealing to me. Also its grammar is fairly easy

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.unicorn
spanish.unicorn
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Thank you guys so much for the suggestions and advice!I really appreciate it! :)

2 years ago