I didn't know Danish would be so hard to pronounce!

I love the language and wanted to try learning it, but I had no idea how hard it would be to pronounce. I wanted to know if anyone had any tips I should know to make the language easier to pronounce or how to pronounce things. I need as much help as I can get. Please and thank you.

November 29, 2018


Do the 7 official Memrise Danish courses in addition to Duolingo. All the spoken material has been recorded with native speakers. I think you have to buy a membership to get the feature Talk to the Locals (or whatever it's called), which I really loved. The lessons sentences are pronounced by a variety of speakers in Aarhus and Kopenhagen. I repeated everything several times, again and again. After not too long, it clicked. This was extremely helpful for me.

There is a YouTube series for Danish learners with tons of videos, Danish with Thomas. He speaks first at a normal speed, then repeats it more slowly, and there are Danish and English subtitles. Lots of material to practice listening and speaking.

There is an excellent YouTube series on Danish pronunciation (Dansk Udtale), but it is in Danish. I could follow it pretty well, but I also know Swedish. The guy writes lots of examples on the whiteboard and has one video for each pronunciation aspect. That was something like the finishing touch for me.

November 29, 2018

I second the recommendation of Dansk Udtale, it has definitely helped me a lot.

November 29, 2018

Norvegian people say that danish is easier to pronounce if you imagine you got a hot potato in the mouth... ;-)

November 29, 2018

Quite the meme across the Scandinavian countries.

November 29, 2018

Ha ha... Yeah, I get that a lot from Swedes and Norwegians alike.

December 2, 2018

Kuuma pottu suuhun ja tanskaa puhumaan.

December 5, 2018

Patience!!! I've been learning this language for two years (and almost a half) and I still have trouble with the pronunciation. So this is not a quick job tbh.

I recommend you to practice in front of a mirror. Exaggerate as much as you can, even if you think it is ridiculous, it'll help you to internalise the positions of the language and the mouth when pronouncing.

If you are checking the pronunciation of certain letters, better if you use a word that includes said letter than trying to pronounce it alone (but also check rules, specially in the cases of vocals, because the word might change the pronunciation of them!)

I hope this helps and good luck!

November 29, 2018

My mom, who's a native Danish speaker and official Dane, gave me a great tip of advice!

"Har en meget lille hikke" Which translates to "Have a very little hiccup"

At the end of some words like "rød" or "gøre", have a sudden stop at the end and that'll make it a bit easier to pronounce!

December 2, 2018

Practice & time. I've personally only been learning danish for six months (give or take a few) and I've only started to really get a grips of the pronunciations but I am still at a relatively basic level with just the written text as well a few things I do might also help.

A native speaker. Be it a youtuber, live streamer, a friend or someone. Listening and talking to them will help. I personally have a friend who is Danish and she helps me a lot with both written and vocal. Discord servers. There are probably hundreds of discord servers dedicated to learning languages. I currently only know of one but I'm sure they're not hard to find. This will also relate back to my previous suggestion of speaking or listening to a native danish speaker. It's all well and good of having people suggest things but it's also down to practice as well, how much time and effort you are willing to spend into learning this language.

November 29, 2018

You almost have to imagine that you're swallowing your words. Try holding your cheeks to your teeth and running your words together when you speak. It's just a different way of holding the muscles in your mouth.

November 29, 2018

I am taking lessons as well as doing duolingo, it helps to have someone speak it to you. Watch a danish show on netflix.

December 8, 2018

I have a Danish friend and he told me to shove a potato in my mouth and I'll get the accent perfect. lolol! But seriously, I've never had such a hard time with annunciation. I've taken 5 years of German, a few years of French and some Spanish, and Danish is hands down, the hardest to speak. I'm seriously thinking about the potato.

May 3, 2019

My tip- don't read a book or instruction about Danish pronunciation. Just keep listening and trying to emulate what you hear. Additionally, I think that it should be made known that Danes aren't sitting there pronouncing everything the same way and we're "getting it wrong". Sure there are absolutely incorrect ways to say something, like pronouncing a "muted d". But some Danes themselves will admit that different Danes say things differently. Try watching Danish TV or movies. Pronunciation varies. Even within the same movie. Some Danish actors articulate/pronounce things more clearly and are even "sing-songy" Danes (Nicolaj Lie Kaas) and others seem to combine words more or are more "mumbly" Danes (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau). I would say maybe this had to do with the characters they were playing and what tone they were going for in the same movie. However, I have seen them in other movies and notice the same speech patterns (much easier for me to undersand Nicolaj Lie Kaas).

March 22, 2019
Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.