Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Usually Danes will speak English with foreigners. But you might come across the rare Dane who doesn’t speak English, or whose English is very heavily accented. Or if their Danish is very fast, their native speed might be a problem for you. When this happens, asking the speaker to say it again can make the difference between understanding a crucial piece of information, and spending the rest of the day trying to figure out what it was. The following phrase will not only give you a better sense of the language, but will also help you tune your ear!
GRAMMAR POINT
In Danish, "Could you repeat it?" is
Vil du ikke nok gentage det?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Vil du ikke nok gentage det?
Once more:
Vil du ikke nok gentage det?
The first part, vil du ikke nok, is one of the ways to ask for something in polite manner. In English, it means “would you not”.
(slow) Vil du ikke nok.
Vil du ikke nok.
Then comes the verb “to repeat”,
(slow) Gen-ta-ge.
Gentage.
And lastly you have det which means “it”
(slow) Det.
Det.
All together, that’s
(slow) Vil du ikke nok gentage det?
Vil du ikke nok gentage det?
If it is still too fast or you don’t understand, you can say
“Once more, please.”:
Engang til, be’om.
Let’s break it down:
(slow) En-gang til, be’om.
Engang til, be’om.
The first word, engang, is a conjugation of the words en meaning “one” and gang meaning “time”, together creating the meaning of “once”.
(slow) Engang
Engang.
Next we have til, which literally means “to” but together with engang creates the expression “once more” or “again”
(slow) Til.
Til.
And last we have the expression be’om meaning “please”.
The whole sentence is
(slow) Engang til, be’om.
Engang til, be’om.
To get the most polite way of asking for a repeat of something, you simply add the expressions to each other creating “Wouldn’t you please repeat that?” or in Danish, Vil du ikke nok gentage det. You can also add Engang til, be’om. It then becomes Vil du ikke nok gentage det engang til, be’om?
When the reason for not understanding is the speed, you may want to say “Could you speak a little slower.”
In Danish:
Kunne du tale lidt langsommere.
(slow) Kun-ne du ta-le lidt lang-so-mme-re.
Kunne du tale lidt langsommere.
The first word, kunne, is the root form of the verb that means “can.” in this case it is the polite “could”
(slow) Kun-ne.
Kunne.
Next we have du meaning “you” and tale meaning “speak,” so it becomes “you speak”
(slow) Du tale.
Du tale.
It’s followed by lidt, which means “a little”
(slow) lidt
lidt
Finally we have langsommere which is “slower” in English.
(slow) Lag-so-mme-re.
Langsommere.
Let’s hear the whole phrase one more time:
Kunne du tale lidt langsommere.
Now let’s make it informal by replacing kunne meaning “could” with “can” so that it becomes:
Kan du tale lidt langsommere.
(slow) Kan du ta-le lidt lang-so-mme-re.
Kan du tale lidt langsommere.

5 Comments

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DanishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Have you ever been in the situation you needed these sentences?

Team DanishClass101.com
Tuesday at 05:45 AM
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Hej Erica


Det var så lidt! ("You are welcome!")


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Mange tak!


Amalie

Team DanishClass101.com

Erica
Thursday at 04:57 AM
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Hej Amalie! Mere konstruktiv. Det er rigtigt! :)


Tak!


(More constructive. That's right! Thank you!)

Team DanishClass101.com
Tuesday at 05:27 AM
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Hej Erica


Tak for din kommentar (Thank you for your comment).


Jeg er enig (I agree)

"Kunne du tale lidt langsommere" er helt sikkert en mere konstruktiv ting at sige (“Could you speak a little slower” is definitely a more constructive thing to say).


Du vil imponere dem i København (You will impress them in Copenhagen).


Amalie

Team DanishClass101,com

Erica
Tuesday at 09:27 PM
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Hej! Tak for lektionen!


Når taler jeg russisk, sætningen at jeg bruger det meste er "Jeg forstår ikke." Jeg forventer, at jeg vil bruge det mange gange i København også. Men "Kunne du taler lidt langsommere" synes som en mere konstruktiv ting at sige. Jeg glæder mig til at bruge det!


(Translation: Hi! Thank you for the lesson! When I speak Russian, the sentence that I use the most is "I don't understand." I expect that I will use it many times in Copenhagen also. But "Could you speak a little slower" seems like a more constructive thing to say. I look forward to using it!)