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Advice on how to pronounce the Danish soft "d"?

How does one properly pronounce the "d" as seen in "mad", "hedder", "brød"? I've heard that it's halfway in between a "d" and an "l", but also shares similarities with the phoneme ð. Are there any danskere here who can give a proper explanation of the soft d?

August 31, 2014



Y'know, I really wonder who started using the soft d. Because if I knew who it was, and had a time machine, I'd go and punch him.


Here's a great website! http://www.speakdanish.dk/en/pronunciation/alph-a.php

(Unfortunately, I can't explain it, I'm not a native speaker)


Thanks so much; that is excellent. A super useful link!


    This video is in Danish, but it has a reasonably good explanation of how to pronounce it. I remember it being described to me as trying to pronounce the English "th" but with my tongue behind my lower teeth (which is kind of like the diagram he has in the video)

    • 41

    Here's a summary of the video:

    Vowel + d = soft d [ð]

    Place tip of tongue behind lower teeth and hold it there while making soft d [ð] sound

    The combination d+e [ðə] can be pronounced two ways. In everyday speech the e sound [ə or schwa in phonetics terms] is often omitted. This creates a longer soft d [ð] sound and the pitch rises.

    Examples are given of pronunciation of d [ð] + stød (gottal stop)

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