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1. Greetings in Danish

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1 Introduction 2 Lesson Materials 3 Review Line-By-Line Audio Vocabulary Quizzes Vocabulary Flashcards
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INTRODUCTION
GINA: Hello and welcome to DanishClass101.com. This is the Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 1, Greetings in Danish. I'm Gina.
ANNA: Hej, I’m Anna. And we’re here to make your Danish absolute beginner experience as easy and productive as possible. Okay, Gina, what’s the focus of this lesson?
GINA: In this lesson you'll learn how to greet people in Danish.
ANNA: The conversation takes place on the street between Mark and Louise, who are friends.
GINA: And they’ll use what you could call informal Danish.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
GINA: Now it's time for a little cultural insight. Danes are most likely to greet people with a simple Hej at any time of the day, in any situation.
ANNA: There are no formality levels in spoken Danish. But in case you feel like sounding more formal – for example, in a job interview situation – you have another option.
GINA: What’s that?
ANNA: Goddag, which means "Good day." But if you’re not sure which would be the most appropriate way to greet someone, just wait for that person to greet you first.
GINA: Ah yes, of course! Let the other person decide the level of formality, if any at all!
ANNA: You can also adjust your greetings according to the time of day, and they're just as neutral or informal, so to speak, as hej.
GINA: I see.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
GINA: Let's take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
ANNA: Yes, in addition to their meaning, we'll explain more about their composition and usage.
GINA: The first phrase from the dialogue is...
ANNA: Det går godt, and it means "It’s going well."
GINA: This is an important phrase, because it's often the answer you give when someone asks you how things are going.
ANNA: The phrase is composed of the pronoun det, which most often means "it," the verb går in present tense, which literally means "goes," and the adverb godt, which means "well" or "good."
GINA: That's right! So that gives us...
ANNA: Det går godt.
GINA: Great. What's next, Anna?
ANNA: Hvad med dig?, which means "What,” or “How, about you?"
GINA: This phrase usually follows statements where you have expressed something about yourself, and want to show interest in the person you’re talking to.
ANNA: For example, after someone has asked you how you’re doing, you can ask about the other person by saying Hvad med dig?
GINA: Just like in English!
ANNA: Right. Another example is after stating what you would like to eat or drink. Asking about the other person is a good way of showing interest and consideration.
GINA: Definitely.
ANNA: Next is Det går også godt, which means "It's also going well."
GINA: This is basically the natural answer to the earlier question where you’ve been asked how things are going by someone after you’ve already asked them the question.
ANNA: Of course, if things aren't going well, you might want to rephrase that answer.
GINA: How would you do that?
ANNA: Simply remove også, which means "also," "too," or "as well;" and replace the godt with skidt, for example, which means "bad." So that gives us Det går skidt.
GINA: I hope you don’t have to give that answer though! Okay, now onto the grammar!
GRAMMAR POINT
GINA: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to greet people.
ANNA: And ask how they're doing.
GINA: So, "Hi. How’s it going?" in Danish is…
ANNA: Hej. Hvordan går det?
GINA: There are several ways of greeting someone and asking how they're doing in Danish.
ANNA: But let’s focus on the usage of Hej. Hvordan går det? in this lesson.
GINA: Okay Anna. What's so great about this phrase?
ANNA: Well, it's more or less a learned standard phrase, and it can be used at any time of the day when meeting and greeting friends, family, and acquaintances.
GINA: It's also a way of showing interest and consideration for another person’s well-being, condition, feelings and the like.
ANNA: Exactly! And you can expect one-word answers like godt, which means "well" or "good." But you're most likely to hear answers like Det går okay, which means "It’s going okay” or “alright." This mainly applies to young people though.
GINA: Right. And if not a lot has happened…
ANNA: ...the answer can be Stille og roligt, which literally means "Quiet and calm." But it indicates that nothing of much importance has happened lately, or since the last time you spoke.
GINA: Ok, so what if things aren’t going well…?
ANNA: Then you can expect answers like Det går ikke så godt, which means "It's not going so well." Or Det går dårligt, which means "It's going badly."
GINA: Are you referring to your health here, or…?
ANNA: Well, I am if I think that's what the other person is really asking about. But the answer can also refer to how I think my life has been going lately.
GINA: I've noticed that the phrase Hvordan går det? seems to be in simple present tense, but how come the English version is "How's it going?"
ANNA: Unlike English, the simple present tense and continuous present tense of a verb are the same in Danish. This explains why Hvordan går det? becomes "How's it going?" in English. It literally means "How goes it?," but that doesn't sound right at all.
GINA: Definitely, it’s pretty odd. Ok, before we go, let's recap what we've learned quickly. If you want to greet someone and ask how they are doing, you say…
ANNA: Hej. Hvordan går det?
OUTRO
GINA: Okay, that's it for this lesson. In the lesson notes, you'll find more details about this expression. So be sure to read them.
ANNA: And if you have any questions or comments, leave us a post on the lesson page.
GINA: Thanks for listening, see you next time!
ANNA: Vi ses!
32 Comments
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Posting in Danish? Leave a translation. It's good practice and helps others.

avatar DanishClass101.com

Hvordan går det? *Try answering in Danish!

avatar Team DanishClass101.com

Hej Adolf

Thank you for your comment and for answering the question.

We are glad to hear you are doing well. So are we at DanishClass101.com :sunglasses:

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Mange tak!

Amalie
Team DanishClass101.com

avatar Team DanishClass101.com

Hej SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

Thank you for your comment and for answering the questions.

We are glad to hear you are doing well.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Mange tak!

Amalie
Team DanishClass101.com

avatar Adolf

Hej DanishClass101.com,

Det går godt! :smile: Hvad med dig?

avatar SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

Godmorgen Amalie,

Fint :)

Mange Tak,
SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

avatar Team DanishClass101.com

Hej SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

Thank you for commenting.

Det går godt. Hvad med dig?

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Mange tak!

Amalie
Team DanishClass101.com

avatar SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

Goddag Amalie,

Hvordan går det?

Mange Tak for your comments :)

Vi ses,
SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

avatar Team DanishClass101.com

Hi SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH,

Thank you for your comment and for answering the question.
Glad to hear you are doing well.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Mange tak!

Amalie
Team DanishClass101.com

avatar SANTHOSH SHIVARUDRAIAH

Goddag

Fint, Mange Tak :)

avatar Team DanishClass101.com

Hej SarahM

Thank you for commenting and answering the question.
Glad to hear you are doing well.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Mange tak!

Amalie
Team DanishClass101.com

avatar SarahM

Det går godt. Mange tak. :smile: