Learning Danish: forskrækket – frightened; spændende – exciting

 Haderslev, Denmark - Historic homes

Dagens chok: Går lige om hjørnet på huset, og dér står et stort rådyr – jeg ved snart ikke, hvem der blev mest forskrækket.
Today’s shock: Going around the corner of the house, and there stands a large deer – I know soon not know who was most frightened
Pronounciation tip:   lige – soft or silent ‘g’
 The next phrase comes from a danskursus online ( Danish course online) where you can hear audio links to some words and work on your pronounciation.
spændende – exciting, thrilling
spænding     –  excitement
spændstig (adj) – elastic! supple
Er det rigtigt?/ Hvor spændende!
Hvor længe har du været i Danmark?
Really? How exciting!
How long have you been in Denmark?
Spændende is very commonly used in Denmark, even for things less exciting.
Pronounciation tip: Hvor spændende!  – Hvor – silent ‘h’ ;  spændende – silent ‘d’ – so it sounds a bit like the english word ‘spinner or spanner’, pronounced with a broad Australian accent!  ” Spinning is exciting” is a good meme to remember the correct pronounciation of this adjective.
Pondering what it sounds like with other accents…
Photograph is from the Town Square, Haderslev, Denmark, with houses dating back to 16th Century


Haderslev is a market town that is more than 700 years old and which used to be a centre for trade between western and eastern Denmark. Goods were transported across land from Ribe in the west and shipped further east from the harbour in Haderslev. Even today, the roads in Haderslev – from Ribe Landevej in the west, across the town square and down to the harbour by Møllestrømmen – are the same as when the town was founded in the 12th Century.

Life in the old town

The long history has left it’s mark on the town centre of Haderslev. The old part of town with the Cathedral and square in the heart is – in spite of violent fires in 1627 and 1759 – wellpreserved and includes houses that dates all the way back to the 16th Century.

2 thoughts on “Learning Danish: forskrækket – frightened; spændende – exciting”

  1. I think I’ve said this before, but I have trouble wrapping my head around 700 year old buildings and towns! Nothing here is that old!
    Re: Danish….I watched 3 seasons of the tv series Ørnen (with English subtitles) and got fairly good at recognizing certain words and understanding some of it. In fact, midway through season 2, one of the episodes didn’t have subtitles and I didn’t realize they were gone until I found myself rewinding a lot to catch what was being said! I guess I was beginning to understand what I was hearing, but in no way shape or form could I actually converse in Danish.
    So how would you say you are doing with it, overall? Is the conversation flowing yet?


    1. Well done! Perhaps I am a little slower than yourself at picking it up. But yes, I agree one can pick the context fairly easily, but not converse back in Dansk. I have been listening to the internet radio denmark (live) and I think that is helping with picking up “my ear” for the less complicated phrases. That was an excellent series and it is good to know that they are showing the series in danish and not overdubbing it with english. I think it is much better to keep the danish. It is mind boggling how old the European and Scandinavian civilisation is when compared to us in the “new worlds” Nice to hear from you, Karen.


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