Danglish is a portmanteau of Danish and British or American English. The term is used in Denmark to refer to the increasingly strong influx of English or pseudo-English vocabulary into Danish. While it has been argued that the influx of English words, similar to the import of Latin and French words in the past, makes the language more expressive, it remains controversial in many sectors of society, notably with older people, who are often less accustomed to English terms.
Many Danes fully accept a takeover of correct English expressions when a proper Danish expression either doesn't exist or can not be created out of several possible reasons. This is particularly true for expression from the sector of modern computing and / or media. What many detest, however, is the increasing tendency of an unnecessary substitution of existing Danish words by more or less sensible Anglicisms and, even worse, the creation of an – often distorting – pseudo-English vocabularly – preferably for marketing purposes – and referring re- and misinterpretations of the original words (whether English OR Danish).
Danification of English words
Danglish words often receive standard Danish endings and prefixes, in other words they are conjugated or declined in the same manner as Danish words.
- Jeg blev nødt til at genstarte / reboote computeren, fordi programmet crashede. (I had to reboot the computer because the software crashed.)
- Har du allerede hentet / downloadet den nyeste version? (Have you already downloaded the newest version?)
Twisting of Danish idioms and grammar rules
The adaptation also takes the other route, where literal translations of popular English expressions slowly but insistently replace the correct Danish words and idioms. Widespread examples of this evolution are:
- At handle på noget (To act on something/Take action. Formally: Skride til handling)
- Tager ikke nej for et svar (Don't take no for an answer. Formally: Tager ikke nej for et nej)
- At få alting frem i det åbne (To get everything out in the open. Formally: At få alting frem)
- At have sex (To have sex. Formally: At dyrke sex)
- At svare telefonen (To answer the telephone. Formally: At tage telefonen)
These phrasings may have originated from (subtitled) English-language movies and other media translated into Danish, but they are also used in everyday language.
Anglification of Danish sentences
Most of the Danes are familiar with English as a second language, but sometimes the translation from Danish to English is more Danglish:
- "I am at the beginning of my period." ("My term in office has just begun." – Marianne Jelved, politician, current Minister of Culture.)
- "Screw Down a little bit the Expectations" ("Lower Your Expectations" – Richard Møller Nielsen, National Football Manager)
- "The prick over the I" (Danish saying meaning "the finishing touch" – Jytte Hilden, Former Minister of Culture)
- "Can I borrow the toilet?" ("Can I use the restroom?")
Several schools have lately changed their names to become more international recognized. "Handelshøjskolen i København" is now known as "Copenhagen Business School" or "CBS".
Many American films such as "Armageddon", "Toy Story" or "Ice Age" do not translate their titles into Danish. Menus of many global fast-food chains also usually go partly or completely untranslated: Double Whopper