1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Danish
  4. >
  5. "Prinsen siger til tjeneren, …

"Prinsen siger til tjeneren, at han gerne vil læse avisen i morgen."

Translation:The prince says to the servant, that he would like to read the newspaper tomorrow.

November 26, 2014



This question could be more challenging... It is already complete!


when did the waiter become a servant??


They always have been. At tjene means 'to serve'. Just that the English people decided to not call them 'servant' anymore in most occasions.


not to seem stupid but if this is the case why is the word for waitress so different??


"Servitrice"? My best guess is that servants have been mostly male in historical times, and waitresses only became a thing with a bit of international influence. French, in this case. For some reason calling male waiters tjener stayed through that influence. (You can call waitresses tjener as well, of course. The Danes aren't big on gender splits.)


Cool thank you for the explanation


There are waiters that don't serve??


Can someone explain the word order in the second clause—why it's "gerne vil" (when we're used to seeing "vil gerne" in shorter sentences)? I'd like to get a better hold on Danish syntax.


In the main clause (here it is "Prinsen siger til tjeneren") the word order is verb-adverb, in the subordinate clause ("at han gerne vil læse avisen i morgen") this is then swapped. This PDF has all the basics on Danish word order and goes into a bit more detail with what I just said and for even more detail on word order click here and scroll down to "Word Order"


thanks, Xneb. so just to check: usually in main clauses (at least, in main clauses that start sentences?), the word order is subject + verb + adverb ("han vil gerne"). but in subordinate clauses, word order is always subject + adverb + verb (which is why we have "han gerne vil"—but it could also be "pingviner ikke flvyer," or whatever). right?


you won yourself a lingot :D


Gerne is an adverb??


It sure is. It modifies the manner of the vil læse construction here, shifting it from "want to/will read" more to "like to do the reading". English doesn't have a comparable adverb, which makes proper translations a bit harder.

Det gør jeg - I will do that.
Det gør jeg gerne. - I like doing that. / I will do it with pleasure.


If it were supposed to be "in the morning," what would it look like?


"Om morgenen".


In my opinion, a better English translation is, "The prince tells the servant that he would like to read the newspaper tomorrow." You would use the verb "says" more often as the intro to a quote. "The prince says to the servant, 'I would like to read the newspaper tomorrow.'" However, you accept "tells" already anyway, so you're a step ahead of me!


.... the Danish word for ...."like" was simply not there to select from!

Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.