The Danish Language

Danish has been a comprehensive language of culture and literature since the 19th century. The development and preservation of Danish are an important part of Danish cultural policy.

Knowledge of English and other foreign languages is an invaluable strength for Danish society and for Denmark as a country with a national culture. But for a small country like Denmark, it is at the same time essential to preserve and develop the Danish language. 

Denmark does not have any legislation as such establishing the status of the Danish language, but the Ministry of Culture is responsible for the legislation on Danish orthography which lays down the rules of orthography applying to public institutions.

The ministry also finances a number of institutions whose task it is to contribute to the continued development of Danish language and literature.

Institutions

The Danish Language Council is charged with the following:

  • Observing the development of the Danish language
  • Answering questions about the Danish language and language use
  • Determining Danish spelling and editing the official Danish orthographical dictionary

Dansk Sprog- og Litteraturselskab (The Danish Language and Literature Society) is an independent institution supported by the Ministry of Culture and charged with publishing and documenting Danish language and literature from the earliest times to the present day.

The Danish Language Council and Dansk Sprog- og Litteraturselskab together edit the website sproget.dk, which provides guidance and information and answers questions concerning the Danish language.