"Min kæreste elsker når vi har stearinlys."

Translation:My girlfriend loves when we have candles.

March 16, 2015

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Is "stearinlys" too narrow a translation for "candles"? Candles could be made of beeswax, soy, tallow, and other stuff. On the other hand, "lys" seems to cover non-candle lights as well. Is there a generic Danish word for candles that are not necessarily made of stearin ?


There isn't a direct equivalent for candles in Danish. Normally people would use 'stearinlys' or just 'et lys' even if they were made of wax, and then say 'ægte stearinlys' if they wanted to stress that they were in fact made of stearin. You can also say 'vokslys' (wax) or 'tællelys' (tallow).

The term 'levende lys' is the antonym for 'elektrisk lys', but would also cover oil lamps etc.


Thanks for the detailed answer!

PS: It does have me wondering how to translate "electric candle" (the battery-powered LED-based fake tea-lights I see a lot of now).


I didn't ever see one before moving out of Denmark, so while they surely exist, the lack in your vocabulary shouldn't hamper you much. They aren't proper hygge at all!


When we talk about electric candles we are more specific most of the time saying elektrisk fyrfadslys (electric tea-light) or elektrisk bloklys (electric block candle) etc. or even just elektrisk lys when the context makes it obvious we are talking about electric candles.


Fun fact: Danes buy more candles than anyone else on the planet. Source: Year of Living Danishly.

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