Category Archives: Norwegian

Danish as a complete barrier to communication

While my understanding of spoken Danish has now surpassed my understanding of spoken Swedish (it’s the Swedes who speak as if they have potatoes in their mouths!), I still love jokes about how Danish is completely unintelligible. I got a lot of laughs out of this bit (Parts One and Two) from the Norwegian comedy programme Uti Vår Hage, which begins with a supposed Dane complaining:

The Danish language has always been impossible to understand for most Scandinavians, but in recent years it has been impossible to understand for us in Denmark too. So, for me the Danish language has just collapsed into meaningless guttural sounds.

I wonder if the comedians needed much practice before they could comfortably generate pseudo-Danish at length. And I love the jab at Norwegian language politics:

There’s one worse than Norwegian we don’t understand, that’s New Norwegian [Nynorsk]. What the fuck?