Perkerdansk, Immigrant Danish or Gadedansk[1] is a multi-ethnolect[2][3] spoken in Denmark, a variety of Danish associated primarily with youth of Middle Eastern ethnic background. It is a contact variety that includes features of Danish as well as Arabic, Turkish, English and other immigrant languages. Particularly common in urban areas with high densities of immigrant populations, its features have also spread to general youth language in Denmark.

The term "perkerdansk" may be perceived as offensive, just as "perker" may be offensive slang for immigrants and descendants of primarily Middle-eastern origin. However, it may also be used as an endonym.

The following is an example of Danish spoken by two youth in Copenhagen. Speaker A speaks Berber as a first language and speaker B's first language is Kurdish. Nonetheless, their Danish includes elements of Arabic (wallah "I swear") and Turkish (kız "girl", para "money"), and English (I got "I have", -s plural ending on the Turkish word para).

A: wallah jeg siger min storebror han skylder mig 700 kroner jeg skal have 350 i dag og 350 om to uger. I got paras. Skal du til den der fest på fredag.
"Wallah I say my older brother he owes me 700 crowns I am getting 350 today and 350 in two weeks. I got paras. Are you going to that party on Friday?"
B: mm..
A: wallah man jeg siger dig efter den der tur jeg tænker bare på fest og kız.
"Wallah man I tell you after that trip I think only about party and kız"[2]

Other non-standard features are grammatical, such as the simplification of grammatical gender system, and syntactical, such as lack of word order inversion in subordinate clauses ("når man er i puberteten, man tænker mere") and after initial sentence adverb ("normalt man går på ungdomsskolen"); Standard Danish is a V2 language, with an exception for subordinate clauses. Phonetic features include the loss of stød in some words and an isochronic shift from being stress-timed to syllable-timed.[4]

The Danish poet Yahya Hassan made creative use of elements of immigrant Danish in his work.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Sufi, Ali; Cadin, Tobias (2021). Gadedansk-ordbogen - 10 års gadesprog. Grønningen 1. ISBN 9788773390634.
  2. ^ a b "Multietnolekt". University of Copenhagen. 10 April 2015.
  3. ^ Cheshire, Nortier, Adger 2015
  4. ^ Quist, Pia (2000). "Nydansk på Nørrebro", in Mål og Mæle, November 2000.
  5. ^ Barding et al. 2015