Danish 101

Most Danish words are derived from the Old Norse language, with new words formed by compounding. A large percentage of Danish words, however, hails from Middle Low German (for example, betale = to pay, måske = maybe). Later on, standard German and French and now English have superseded Low German influence. Because English and Danish are related languages, many common words are very similar in the two languages. For example, the following Danish words are easily recognizable in their written form to English speakers: have, over, under, for, kat. When pronounced, these words sound quite different from their English equivalents, however. In addition, the suffix by, meaning "town", occurs in several English placenames, such as Whitby and Selby, as remnants of the Viking occupation.

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