Languages of Denmark[1][2]
Danish dialects
Regional(Officially recognised)
MinorityGerman, Romani
ForeignEnglish (86%)
German (47%)
Swedish (13%)
SignedDanish Sign Language
Keyboard layout
Knowledge of the German language in Denmark, 2005. According to the Eurobarometer,[1] 58% of the respondents indicated that they know German well enough to have a conversation. Of these 15% (per cent, not percentage points) reported a very good knowledge of the language whereas 33% had a good knowledge and 52% basic German skills.

The Kingdom of Denmark has only one official language,[3] Danish, the national language of the Danish people, but there are several minority languages spoken, namely Faroese, German, and Greenlandic.

A large majority (about 86%)[1] of Danes also speak English as a second language; it is mandatory for Danish students to learn from first grade in the public elementary schools (Danish: folkeskole), by far the most popular option in the country. In the 1st (or 3rd, depends on the school) grade of folkeskole, a third language option is given, usually German or French. The vast majority pick German (about 47% of Danes report being able to speak conversational German). The third most widely understood foreign language is Swedish, with about 13% of Danes reporting to be able to speak it.[4]

Officially recognized minority languages

Main article: Minority languages of Denmark


Further information: Faroese Dane

Faroese, a North Germanic language like Danish, is the primary language of the Faroe Islands, a self-governing territory of the Kingdom. It is also spoken by some Faroese immigrants in mainland Denmark. Faroese is similar to Icelandic and retains many features of Old Norse, the source of all North Germanic languages.


Since the Act on Greenland Self-Government was adopted by parliament on 12 June 2009, Greenlandic, or Kalaallisut, is the sole official language of Greenland. [5] Greenlandic belongs to the Eskimo–Aleut languages; it is closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut, and entirely unrelated to Danish.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Denmark". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Facts and Statistics". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Special Eurobarometer 386: Europeans and their languages" (PDF). European Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Act no. 473 of 12 June 2009" (doc). The Prime Minister's Office. p. 7. Retrieved 5 July 2018. Chapter 20; Greenlandic shall be the official language in Greenland.
  6. ^ "Language". The Nordic Council. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.