Danish Language

Denmark has one official language: Danish. However, there are several minority languages spoken throughout the territory, if you include The Faeroe Islands and Greenland.

Danes are taught English from a very young age and 86% of all Danes speak English as a second language. Therefore, it is fairly easy for foreigners to move to Denmark and still be able to communicate with Danes. That being said, it is important to know that Danish is still spoken and used by your colleagues, your neighbours, in the local supermarket and by the Danish authorities. Typically people wonder if it is possible to take a position at the University of Copenhagen without learning the Danish language.

To help you, we have gathered some information about the use of languages in Denmark.

 

The University of Copenhagen has a policy of Danish/English parallel language use. The aim of the language policy is to ensure a good learning environment and a good workplace with fewer language barriers for both staff and students - regardless of language and cultural background. All information on the UCPH website is in both English and Danish. Your contract and your payslips will be in English and any administrative help is available in English. In addition to English, the people working for International Staff Mobility speak several languages, so if you are lucky they can even help you in your own language.

At your department
The use of language can vary from one department to another. However, most departments have an international workforce and in your daily work you will be able to express yourself in English. Some departments choose to have staff meetings in Danish, whereas others switch to English if international employees are present. The use of parallel language is managed locally and therefore varies from department to department. You can talk to your colleagues if you have any doubts of how to go about this.

Long-term career
If you are considering a long-term career at University of Copenhagen you should consider whether your language skills will have an impact on your possibilities. Some departments at The University of Copenhagen will require that you obtain a certain level of Danish.

Language policy
The language policy is a general set of rules for how we work with Danish and English at UCPH. The Board adopted the policy in January 2021, which further expands the University's practice of parallel-language use. You can read more about the ten principles of the language policy if you follow the link below. They describe, among other things, the language skills UCPH expects its staff to have, how to hold meetings when there are non-Danish speaking staff present and how to accommodate an international workplace.

https://kunet.ku.dk/employee-guide/Pages/Communication/Language-policy.aspx

 

 

UCPH collaborate with the local, municipality-funded language school called SPEAK. As an employee at UCPH you can therefore sign up for Danish language lessons on campus. Lessons take place primarily at SUND and SCIENCE but please sign up regardless of the faculty you work at. We offer both beginner courses and more advanced classes for intermediates and advanced students. New beginner courses start in January and February 2022. Each course consists of 3 lessons a week, each lesson lasting 45 minutes. All classes are held on campus at University of Copenhagen.

Enrollment and conditions:

  • You can enroll for a beginner course if you have not been enrolled in other language schools before.
  • You are eligible for free Danish courses for up to 3½ years within a 5 year period.
  • In order to enroll, you must have a residence permit , be 18 years old, and hold a CPR-number (Danish personal identification number).
  • Before you can start, you must pay a deposit of DKK 2.000,-. The deposit may be reimbursed to you, if you complete the course within the timeframe.

To register:

Please read more and register for classes here:

https://speakspeak.dk/danish-courses/danish-courses-at-ucph/

 

 

 

Courses for students

UCPH collaborate with the local, municipality-funded language school called UCplus. As an international student at UCPH you can therefore sign up for Danish language lessons on campus. We offer both beginner courses and more advanced classes for intermediates and advanced students. New beginner courses are expected to start in January and February 2022.

Enrollment and conditions:

  • You can enroll for a beginner course if you have not been enrolled in other language schools before.
  • You are eligible for free Danish courses for up to 3½ years within a 5 year period.
  • In order to enroll, you must have a residence permit, be 18 years old, and hold a CPR-number (Danish personal identification number).
  • Before you can start, you must pay a deposit of DKK 2.000,-. The deposit may be reimbursed to you, if you complete the course within the timeframe.

To register:

Please read more and enroll here: https://ucplusdansk.dk/en/danish-courses/danish-for-international-students/

 

 

At International Staff Mobility (ISM), we are happy to announce that The Dansk Café is now open again!

Once a month, ISM offers a Danish language café for all international researchers at the University of Copenhagen.

Dansk Café is a great and informal way to practise your conversational Danish skills with other researchers. There is no preparation required to participate, and it is free to join. You can join one or all café sessions – each session is carried out independently.

  • When: 
    • February 21 - Dansk Café for intermediates (B1 – B2 level) 17:00-18:30
    • March 16 - Dansk Café Special Edition ‘Crash course on pronunciation’ (all levels welcome) 17:00-18:00
    • March 28 - Dansk Café for beginners (A1-A2 level) 17:00-18:30
    • April 25 - Dansk Café for intermediates (B1 – B2 level) 17:00-18:30
    • May 23 - Dansk Café for beginners (A1-A2 level) 17:00-18:30
  • Where: International House, Gyldenløvesgade 11, 6th floor, Copenhagen V (Due to the current COVID-19 situation there is a possibility that these events will be held online - if this is the case you will be notified)
  • Organizer: Jo Ebert Håkonsson, Language consultant at ISM (and former Danish Language Teacher)
  • Contact information: joh@adm.ku.dk / 35 33 13 41

 

 

Danish courses at the University of Copenhagen; Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP)

CIP provides language skills development primarily targeted staff and students at the University of Copenhagen. The majority of the courses are Danish or English courses tailored to meet the needs and language level of the participants. CIP also offer courses in other languages, e.g. German, French or Spanish for staff at the University of Copenhagen upon request.

These courses come with a fee. Because of the costs assigned to the faculty, department or local institute, you need consent from your manager prior to registration.

You can find more information about all courses and registration here:https://cip.ku.dk/english/course-catalogue/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courses in Danish outside UCPH

As a foreigner with an official Danish address (folkeregisteradresse), you are offered publicly funded Danish lessons. Danish education at recognized language schools is free from 1st July 2020 onwards. You have to pay a fully refundable deposit of DKK 2,000 per person, when you sign up for Danish language lessons.

Official Danish language schools in and around Copenhagen:

Please be aware of the voucher system regarding free Danish lessons, read more below.

Many other private language schools also offer Danish language lessons, but for those lessons you have to pay fees. As opposed to the recognized schools as exemplified above, the private language schools do not require you have a CPR number in order to sign up for lessons. Moreover, there is no voucher scheme (read more below) or deposit required at the private schools. Please be aware that if you sign up for Danish lessons at some of the private language schools, you will not receive an official licensed diploma, when you finish a module at one of these language schools. If you wish to learn Danish at a private language school that is not recognized at a local municipality in Denmark, please contact them directly.