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Gud, guld og gul, takker, tager og taler.

jeg takker gud. men jeg tager guld. og jeg taler gul.

I find it very hard to understand the danish language when spoken. I'm sure I am not alone. I am Dutch. Many words, most of them, when read, I can place correctly. Some of them even seem familiar. But on the other hand, in this example, 'gud, guld and gul', all sound like 'gool'. I clearly hear a different pronunciation of 'takker, tager and taler', but I wonder why. 'takker' sounds to me like 'tagga' with hard g, and 'tager' sounds like 'taj' with soft g, almost like j. And then, unexpected, the a in 'taler', is pronounced as 'eh', like in english 'the', where in 'takker' and 'tager' it sounds like 'ah', like in english 'awesome'. I guess it is just a matter of getting used to, right?

August 11, 2016



Danish is fun to speak, because there are a bunch of hidden rules. With gud, guld and gul, the are all pronounced slightly differently. Gud uses a soft d, something which you can learn to pronounce here. The second one, guld, has a glottal stop at the end, much like in "bil." This is in fact stød which is a special kind of glottal stop unique to Danish. It is where the glottal stop is not a total plosive sound, but rather allows for a small amount of air to continue to pass, and is generally used in combination with the unvoicing of the beginning of the next sound. As for the last one, it is pronounced the same as gul however has no glottal stop or stød.

Hjælper denne?


Mange tak for hjaelper mig!


Very good description. It is the other way around with the glottal stop, however.

'Guld' is without glottal stop and 'gul' has the glottal stop.

Not very logical as both 'kuld' (litter of animals), 'fuld' (full) and 'muld' (topsoil) are all with glottal stop


I think it helps to think of many of the Danish consonants as having both a hard and a soft version. When you learn the pronunciation of the Danish alphabet, this would be the hard version (probably similar to the German pronunciation of consonants). The soft versions sound slightly different: t - > d, d - > ð (the infamous soft d), p - > b, v - > u, k - > g, g - > j (almost)

Generally, Danish words only have one vowel per syllable (exceptions are usually loanwords like "niveau" from French where "eau" is pronounced like an "o"). If the consonant precedes the vowel, it is usually hard but if it comes after the vowel (and is not included in the next syllable), it tends to be soft. Examples could be "tag" which is pronounced like "taj" and "gat" which is pronounced like "gad". By the same reasoning, "gud" should be pronounced "guð", which is correct. If you have double consonants like "takker", "hatte", "hopper" or a consonant bridging two syllables like "tager", the consonants are also soft so they become "tagger", "hadde", "hobber", "tajer". Also, some consonant clusters usually have a fixed pronounciation like "ld" ("guld" and "gul" is a great example of what the "d" does to the "l"), "ng" (like "ng" in the English "sing"), "nd" (like a slightly nasal "n"), "dt" (like "d") when succeeding the vowel. Finally, if the a word ends in "er", the "e" is pronounce like "o/å" (just like in English) and "de" like in "fløde", "flyde", "bade" turns into "eð". Many more of such "rules" probably exist but I have not yet figured them all out, especially regarding how vowels are pronounced. Note, however, that the "a" in "taler" and "tager" are the same (perhaps like in the English "ant" but definitely not like "the") whereas "takker" is different.

I hope this helps you


Tja, Deens heeft bepaald niet de makkelijkste uitspraak en je moet er inderdaad even aan wennen. Probeer gewoon fiks veel naar het Deens te luisteren. (muziek, films, tv-series enz.) Dat helpt echt een hele hoop.

Veel succes!


Maybe the following YouTube channel (Dansk Udtale, by Allen) will be of some use to you: www.youtube.com/channel/UCELY640l4PvwswWPTfMQ5YA/videos


jeg har en fest paa mit hjem nu, men jeg kigger i morgen paa siden! Mange tak! (Excuse my Danish :-) )


You have gotten amazing help here from the Danish Duolingo community! Only thing I might add is about the learning process. I find that what works is a combination of tuning my ear over time--in combination with understanding more and more of the rules and structure of the phonetic system. Negatively put, early on the explanations did not help much since I just could not hear the differences being explained. Gradually, gradually as I have better tuned my ear, things have gotten easier. Plus, some just find this easier than others. When it comes to learning pronunciation, I am a language teacher's nightmare. However, contrary to what some say about Danish pronunciation, I find there really is nothing mysterious about the learning of it. There are certain typical problems people have with Danish pronunciation and, over time, even those like myself who are not particularly adapt at learning can master them at least to the point where they not longer pose a large barrier to communication. Cupkakefarmer and lordhajuis, your explanations are wonderful. Thanks.


Mange tak IanEvison. Og ogsaa de andre folk. Jeg lyttede i dag fra siden fra Rutger_W. I er begge ret i. Praksis vill hjaelpe en masse.


jeg fandt nogle sider. jeg hoeber de er godt.



I kan lytter og laeser samme tid. Eventyer fra Andersen. De er meget smuk.


Der er noget galt med din første link. Jeg kan også godt lide HC Andersens eventyr, men pas på, fordi de er ofte skrevet på en gammel stavemåde.


I can't get the link right, sorry. When I upload an ampersand, it is transformed, if that is what it is called. What I mean to upload is a list of works by Andersen at 'Arkiv for Dansk Litteratur'.



For nogle uger siden, jeg var i Kobenhavn. Jeg sa denne bog, alle eventyr fra Andersen. Sammen med cd-rom. Det koster kun 300 dkk. Jeg spurgte min kaereste, men han sagt 'nej'. Nu jeg er rigtig kede af det ...

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