If you happen to find yourself spending the winter holidays in Denmark, rejoice! The Danish people love Christmas and you will be ready to impress them by learning here how to say Merry Christmas in Danish, as well as how to wish somebody a Happy New Year in Danish.
Christmas is Denmark’s most celebrated holiday, so you will surely be in for a treat. And even though most Danes would understand your greetings in English, it’s always a good idea to try and get one step further to impress them.
And what can be more impressive than learning how to say Merry Christmas in Danish, and even how to wish somebody a Happy New Year as well?
Aside from knowing these all-important greetings for the winter holidays, we will also learn other words essential for the winter season. So let’s get into the most important one of all!
How to say Merry Christmas in Danish?
Phonetically, it is pronounced as /ɡlɛːdəliɡ juːl/. This is also a politically correct form that means “Happy Holidays”. So you won’t end up offending anyone who isn’t celebrating Christmas.
But the truth is that I’ve never met a single Danish person not to celebrate it, so don’t worry too much about it and simply go with the flow, throwing Glædelig juls left and right.
If you want to be sure you get the sounds right, here is how to really say it:
Try to say the first word – “Glae-the-lee”, enunciating it slowly. Now, with those sounds in mind, say the three syllables as one, sounding similar to “Glally” but with the “ae” sound in between.
The second word is pronounced simply as “yuul”. Say it altogether – “Glally-yuul!” Don’t be intimidated by the pronunciation – just do your best and locals will surely understand. And, most importantly, they will appreciate you trying.
If it’s too much for you, another way to say Merry Christmas in Danish is “God jul.” Simpler, easier to pronounce -so choose this one if the mouthful before seems like too much for you.
And this would be it for the first “obstacle”. Now… off to the new year’s celebration, where we have a new greeting to learn!
How to say Happy New Year in Danish?
Hav et godt nytår!
The literal translation would be “Have a Happy New Year!” but this is the greeting that is used during this time of the year.
It sounds almost similar to “have a good new year” but it is said something like “have-e-got-nee-taa.”
Other winter holiday greetings & words in Danish
Let’s push the envelope further. If you are with some locals and you aren’t sure if they are celebrating Christmas per se but are having holidays this time of year, you can say “Nyd ferien” which means “happy holidays.”
And if you still want to impress you can always say “Hav en god vinterferie!” which means “Have a great winter vacation!” and “Vi ses næste år” which means “See you next year!”
All these celebrations mean that you will need to beef up on your Danish Christmas vocabulary. Here is a handy list of the basics.
Jul – Christmas
Juledag – Christmas day
Julemanden – Santa Claus
Juletræ – Christmas tree
Julekager – Christmas cake or cookies
JuleGave – Christmas Present
You might notice that the normal Danish words like dag and manden are affixed with Jul/Jule. Here are more Danish words of the season that you might enjoy practicing.
Sne – Snow
Snefnug – Snowflake
Snemand – Snowman
Klokke – Bell
Dekoration – Decoration
Ferie – Vacation
Helligdage – Holiday
And this would be all you need to know in order to make a solid impression to your Danish friends or loved ones during the winter holidays.
Even though I shared some more politically correct and general greetings like “happy holidays” it’s worth mentioning that most people in Denmark do celebrate Christmas and even if they don’t, they won’t be offended if you wish them a Merry Christmas.
So don’t be afraid to throw this greeting left and right in the spirit of the holidays!
And now with all that knowledge amassed, I think it’s the right time to check out some amazing, traditional Danish foods that you must try (during the winter holidays OR anytime you feel like eating something good).
Getting the pronunciation of these winter holiday-themed greetings and wishes in the Danish language is difficult if you haven’t practiced the language too much.
But, as I said, the people in Denmark will appreciate you for trying, so don’t worry about it not sounding right.
The most important part is that you have tried your best – and you’re already doing more than most who simply stick to English which is widely spoken here.
So now you know how to wish somebody a Merry Christmas in Danish, as well as how to say “Happy New Year,” plus a few other winter-related words to round up your knowledge nicely.
If you still have questions – or if you think I missed an important word or greeting, let me know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.