Tag Archives: Danish Dialects

Rigsdansk and Dialects: Danish Throughout Denmark


This recent post by Transparent Language’s Danish language blog discusses the different dialects within Denmark:

“A century ago the dialects were so different that a person from the outskirts of Copenhagen and a person from the countryside around Ålborg in Jutland would have a hard time understanding each other… Today almost everyone speaks a variety of rigsdansk [REEce-dansk] (‘Danish of the Realm’), which is the Danish equivalent of Queen’s English.  The accent, however, changes a lot between regions, as does the choice of words.  You can easily hear whether a person comes from Jutland or Sjælland (Zealand).  In that way it still makes sense to speak of ‘dialects’ or ‘regional dialects,’ even if the differences are much smaller today.”

The dialects highlighted are categorized by region:

  • Sjællandsk.  It is primarily spoken in Copenhagen and distinguished by a rising tone and stød (minor coughing sound).
  • The stød-less fynsk (Funen)
  • The Swedish-influenced bornholmsk (Bornholm)
  • Jysk.  Its speakers are often associated by Copenhagen natives with rural stereotypes.  Certain variations are viewed as unintelligible by speakers of other dialects.  (Jutland)