https://www.duolingo.com/RudyFares

Help needed ! Which Scandinavian language to learn?

Hey all,

I am determined to learn a Scandinavian language as my 5th language. I know that they're close to each other in some cases, but I have no idea for which one to go for: Norwegian, Swedish or Danish ?? I already know English, French, Arabic and learning German.

I have to take into account the following: - How easy the language is (I know there is nothing as "easy language", but easier in pronunciation, grammar...) - How interchangeable it is with other Scandinavian languages, as in which language is the mot "middle ground" language and its speakers are able to understand the other languages?

Any help ?

1 month ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/baerghest
  • 25
  • 14
  • 10
  • 2

If you actually like learning German, go with Swedish. They have the same mania for structures and rules. If you liked learning French better, go with Norwegian. They have a lot of exceptions and idiosyncracies, and some toleration of differences. I would say that Swedish is more logical and Norwegian easier. As a native Danish speaker, I cannot recomend Danish. The spelling is bizare and the pronounciation is a challenge. The other two are much clearer and more logical.

Generally Swedes and Norwegians understand each other. Danes and Swedes only understand each other well in the borderlands. Everyone else fails to understand Danes. However, the written forms are so similar that if you learn one, you can read all.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/australsk
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 1114

What a well thought out answer! I liked the way you used German and French to explain the differences between Swedish and Norwegian.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 20
  • 19
  • 16
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 1048

If you don't like difficult pronunciation, don't choose Danish. I think most people agree that its pronunciation is by far the hardest of the three. In terms of grammar, the differences are small. My experience is that with fluent Swedish, I can easily communicate with Norwegians and at least read Danish. I would assume that knowing Norwegian makes understanding Danish even easier and the mutual intelligibility with Swedish would still be there. So maybe Norwegian is a slightly better middle ground than Swedish.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimus1961
  • 20
  • 19
  • 19
  • 70

Hello, I think you should think at which of the three languages can accurate you more motivation. Have you some friends in one of those countries? Do you think to visit one of the countries? Why? I am learning danish because i have some friends in denmark, but if i would choose for a particular interest in nature, for exemple, i woud like to visit more usally norway, and my choice for the lenguage would be norwegian then. But Sweden is also a beautyful country and Swedish is spoken by most people.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dreamloomer
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 20
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 290

All three languages have very similar, really easy grammar, but if you're looking for an easy pronunciation, then Danish is certainly not a good choice. I second that Norwegian seems a better idea. For me it is also the most "interchangeable". If you know Norwegian, then you can relatively easy understand spoken Swedish and written Danish.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/melker420
  • 16
  • 8
  • 7
  • 21

Being Swedish myself, I might be partial here. However Swedish is the language spoken by most people in Scandinavia. Also in my experience, Norwegian and Danish speaking people have an easier time understanding Swedish than the other. I heard Norwegian is suppose to have more English influences (this I dont know for fact), so you might pick up on words quicker then. Danish is definetely the hardest pronunciation. The grammar is pretty much the same whichever one you pick. Good luck :)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 266

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are mutually intelligible. But Danish have a tricky pronunciation. How they count things doesn't make any sense at all. It's similar to how they count in French. Swedes and Norwegians understand each other when speaking. Danish is closer to Swedish when it comes to writing. I would say this is the ultimate Scandinavian accent to use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B8tudanskt_accent

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ycUvuSap
  • 21
  • 15
  • 7
  • 5
  • 560

Danish is closer to Norwegian bokmål when it comes to writing.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Noah273667

Danish! Danish is such a beautiful language and it is just so great to learn!!!

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PannasOwen
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 17
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 747

Just choose whichever one you want. I suggest Norwegian

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PamelaAWT
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 408

I'm working on Danish. It's fun and easy enough to figure out the written words when combined with knowing some German. I don't think I'll ever be able to speak it, though. To me it sounds very different from how it is written.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/australsk
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 1114

It is stated that Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish are mutually intelligible. This may be so for natives but I think this is less likely for foreigners. If it is true, then Norwegian may be the best to learn as it's pronunciation is similar to Swedish but it's writing is more akin to Danish (in many ways).

If you want more bang for your buck, I would recommend Swedish. As baerghest suggests learning to read one of the three languages will enable you to read them all. Swedish is standardized, unlike Norwegian, and what you learn can be readily utilized throughout Sweden. Finally, Swedish is also an official language in Finland, which means you will be able to use and practice it there as well.

Best of luck!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/potatoemouse

As a native english speaker learning Danish as a second language, I can read Norwegian pretty easily. Listening and speaking is a different matter though. My Danish listening skills are still not fantistic, but I seem to be able to can pick out more words from spoken Swedish than Norwegian. It does vary between individual speakers, and I’ve probably been more exposed to Swedish film and tv.

4 weeks ago
Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.