Ethnologue: Areas: Europe

Denmark

5,129,000 (1995). Kingdom of Denmark, Kongeriget Danmark. Literacy rate 99%. Also see Greenland. Greenland and Faroe Islands both have home rule. Also includes English 10,000, Western Farsi 9,000, Turkish 30,000, Romani 3,000, from Yugoslavia 10,000, from India or Pakistan 4,000. Data accuracy estimate: A2, B. Christian, secular, Muslim. Blind population 9,350. Deaf population 3,500 (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 20. The number of languages listed for Denmark is 8. Of those, 7 are living languages and 1 is a second language with no mother tongue speakers.

DANISH (DANSK) [DNS] 5,000,000 in Denmark (1980); 7,830 in Greenland (1986); 194,462 in USA (1970 census); 50,000 in Germany; 27,395 in Canada (1971 census); 12,000 in Norway (1993); 5,292,000 in all countries. Indo-European, Germanic, North, East Scandinavian. Dialects: WESTERN DANISH (JUTLAND), CENTRAL DANISH (SJAELLAND), EASTERN DANISH (BORNHOLM). Dictionary. Also see Norwegian, Riksmal. National language. Typology: SVO. Christian. Braille Bible. Bible 1550, in press (1993). NT 1524-1989. Bible portions 1528-1987.

DANISH SIGN LANGUAGE [DSL] (3,500 deaf in Denmark; 1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Used in all 5 state schools for the deaf. The first school was begun in 1807. Some signs are related to French Sign Language. Intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian sign languages with only moderate difficulty. Not intelligible with Finnish Sign Language. Signed interpretation required in court, college classes, at important public events, in job training, social services and mental health programs. Instruction provided for parents of deaf children, for other hearing people. There is a committee on national sign language, an organization for sign language teachers. A lot of research. Some TV programs for deaf people. Dictionaries. Grammar. Video and films. Signed Danish is distinct, but used in intercommunication with some hearing people. Survey needed.

FAROESE [FAE] 47,000 (1976 Stephens). Faroe Islands. Indo-European, Germanic, North, West Scandinavian. Not inherently intelligible with Icelandic. The Faroe Islands are self-governing in most matters. Braille code available. Bible 1948-1961. NT 1931-1937. Bible portions 1823-1931.

GERMAN, STANDARD [GER] 23,000 first language speakers (1976 Stephens); 98,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). North Slesvig (Sydjylland). Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, High. There are German schools. Official regional language. Braille Bible. Bible 1466-1982. NT 1522-1983. Bible portions 1522-1987.

INUKTITUT, GREENLANDIC (GREENLANDIC ESKIMO, GREENLANDIC, KALAALLISUT) [ESG] 7,000 on Denmark mainland (1990 L. D. Kaplan); 40,000 in Greenland (1990 L.D. Kaplan); 47,000 in all countries. Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Inuit. News in Greenlandic is broadcast daily in Denmark from FM radio stations. Bible 1900. NT 1766-1893. Bible portions 1744-1985.

JUTISH (JUTLANDISH) [JUT] German-Danish border area, Southern Jutland on the Danish side, and in northern Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Indo-European, Germanic, North, East Scandinavian. The westernmost and southernmost dialects differ so much from Standard Danish, that many people from the Eastern Islands have great difficulty understanding it. From the viewpoint of inherent intelligibility, it could be considered a separate language (Norbert Strade). All inhabitants in Rudbol village are allegedly able to speak 5 languages: Danish, Jutish, North Frisian, Low Saxon, and German. Survey needed.

SCANDINAVIAN PIDGIN SIGN LANGUAGE [SPF] Also in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Deaf sign language. Used for intercommunication among users of Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish sign languages. Second language only. No mother tongue speakers.

TRAVELLER DANISH (RODI, ROTWELSCH) [RMD] Indo-European, Germanic, North, East Scandinavian. An independent language based on Danish with heavy lexical borrowing from Northern Romani. Not inherently intelligible with Angloromani. It may be intelligible with Traveller Norwegian and Traveller Swedish. Romani people were transported to Denmark by James IV of Scotland in July 1505. Spoken by a Gypsy group in Denmark. It may be linguistically extinct (D. Kenrick 1986). Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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