Why translate into Danish?
What are the business arguments for having your website or marketing material translated into the Danish language? Denmark may surprise you with its importance as a major business market of Europe!
Read on to discover why you’ll want a slice of the thriving Danish pie for your business, and why there’s a lot more to Denmark than those pretty-coloured buildings in Copenhagen’s Old Town (as beautiful as they are)...
Information on the Danish language itself: what is there to know?
Danish (dansk) is a language spoken predominantly in Denmark and a small part of northern Germany. There are approximately 5,600,000 native speakers of the Danish language, with the total number of global speakers numbering around 6,000,000.
As well as being one of two official languages in the Faroe Islands, Danish also holds recognised language status in Greenland, where it is spoken natively by approximately one fifth of the island’s inhabitants.
The language represents one of the trio of major Scandinavian languages, alongside Swedish and Norwegian - descending from Old Norse, there is an element of mutual intelligibility between these languages because of their shared history.
Interestingly, Danish verbs don’t change according to the subject, with Danish using the 26-letter Latin alphabet with an additional three letters - Æ, Ø and Å. As with German, words can be added together, giving Danish words potentially limitless length.
The longest word in the Danish language used in an official context is Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode - meaning ‘period of stability planning for a specialist doctor’s practice’. Not a word you’ll need to use on a daily basis, sure, but you get the idea!
All very interesting - but why speak Danish as a business?
It’s simple to do business in Denmark
Let’s start with the fact that Denmark is ranked #1 in Europe for ‘ease of doing business’ in a 2019 World Bank report - a title it has held since 2012. The country is also the third globally.
Table 1: Ease of doing business by country ranking, Doing Business 2019 (2019)
|Rank||Economy||'EODB Score'||EODB Score Change|
|4||Hong Kong SAR||84.22||+0.04|
Key industries in Denmark, as identified by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, include tech, life science, cleantech, food, maritime, design and innovation. The country is also an incubator for wireless and mobile technology, as well as a global leader in sustainability; Denmark’s ‘culture for sharing knowledge keeps it at the forefront of innovation’.
The UK government’s export information notes that ‘Denmark is a wealthy, educated and open economy, receptive to UK products and investments.’ Are you missing a trick by not tailoring your messaging to Danes?
‘If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful in Denmark’
Department for International Trade, ‘Doing Business in Denmark’
Three-quarters of the Danish economy is represented by services, with industry and agriculture accounting for the remainder. The country is also a business hub and geographical crossroads for the Nordic region.
Danes are spending big
Denmark’s wealthy economy is highly developed and diversified, with Danes enjoying a very high standard of living, with a healthy projected growth rate of 1.6% currently.
Indeed, a 2018 report noted that Danes - the ‘happiest people on Earth’ - are set to spend at the fastest pace in over 12 years.
Denmark’s incredible digital infrastructure is backed up by an extraordinarily-high Internet penetration amongst its citizens - which currently stands at 96.6%.
Also consider that ecommerce is booming in Denmark. Only recently, B2C ecommerce turnover grew by 15%. Ecommerce penetration in Denmark is 74.4% in 2019, set to grow to 77.5% by 2023. Nudge nudge, wink wink - perfect for a website translation!
Don’t all Danes speak English, though?
English is widely taught in Danish schools and is a predominant second language, so yes, it is very well spoken - but translating your business material into Danish is still crucial.
This is not only because there is still a significant proportion of Danish people who don’t speak English as a second language (14%, according to a European Commission report), but because even English-speaking Danes will appreciate your business’s message more in their native tongue.
We’ve written at greater length about how ‘they all speak English, anyway!’ isn’t a good enough excuse - and could penalise your marketing efforts!
Easy to do business. Wealthy, online, high-spending consumers. A highly-developed economy. What are you waiting for?
Alexika has decades of experience in getting products and services like yours translated for Danish consumers. Get in touch for a chat with our friendly team, and let’s get the ball rolling.