Danish supermarket

In this blog post we'll try to give a helping hand when it comes to Danish supermarkets: supermarket dialogue (plus pronunciation), confusing Danish products and good to know tips.

Danish supermarket

Welcome to Denmark and to the Danish supermarket. It is perfectly normal to feel somewhat confused when you go grocery shopping in a new country. So have no fear, we have your back on this one.

In this blog post we'll try to give a helping hand when it comes to Danish supermarkets: supermarket dialogue (plus pronunciation), confusing Danish products and good to know tips.

Your typical Danish supermarket conversation

Here is the Danish supermarket vocabulary you should learn and use. It’s simple, it’s a great way to boost confidence while trying to speak Danish.

The best part is that you have the same conversation 99,9% of the time, so it gets easier to understand what is being said.

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Danish supermarket
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 M: ... Kunne du tænke dig at købe en pose? [Do you want to buy a bag?]

 D: ... Ellers tak [Thank you, but no thank you]

      ... Ellers tak, jeg har min egen [Thank you, but no thanks, I have  my own]

      ... Ellers tak, jeg har ikke brug for en [Thank you, but no thank you. I don't need one]

       ... En stor/lille tak [A large/small one, thank you]

 M: ... God aften/God dag/ God weekend/ Hej, hej [Good afternoon/Good day/Good weekend/ Bye-bye]

 D: ... Tak i lige måde [Thanks, same to you]

'På beløbet' – What’s that supposed to mean?

'På beløbet' (on the amount) - you have probably heard this question before. Confusing isn’t it? It is common in the Danish supermarkets and some of the corner shops ( kiosk or  købmand) to withdraw cash by paying an extra amount with your bill and then get it in cash.

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For example you buy groceries for 100 dkk and then you ask the cashier if you can have 100 dkk in cash.You pay 200 dkk on your card and get back 100 dkk in cash. Makes sense? Maybe not … but it’s super useful.

This service might be available only for Dankort, so maybe ask before.

 Dig: ... Kan jeg få 100 kroner over? [Can I get 100 kroner extra?]  

 Medarbejder: ... Ja selvfølgelig. Værsgo. [Yes of course. There you go]

Sometimes the language barrier makes most of us, buy things we don’t really want. We made a list of some of the products expats get confused about or simply have no idea what they are.

Danish supermarket

Danish supermarket - Good to know

Expat observation 1 

Fruit and veggies are usually sold by piece and not by kg. Of course, you can find them already packed in bags or boxes.

If next to the price is written stk. (short for  stykke – piece ) then you know that the price you see is per piece.

Pr.Stk ( per stykke) ... per piece

Pr. Bk. ( per bakke) ... per tray/box

Pr. Ps ( per pose) ... per bag

Danish supermarket

Expat observation 2

You can actually see empty shelves as it gets closer to closing. It’s a good and bad thing. Good, because you know that they get fresh products every day (in theory) and reduce food waste. 

Bad, mostly because you really need carrots for dinner and now you have to go try your luck at a different supermarket.

 

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Expat observation 3

Depending on the supermarket, don’t expect a wide variety and selection of products. Think about it, you actually save time, instead of wondering for 10 minutes, which one of the 30 types of cereals should you buy, you are done in 2 minutes.

Expat observation 4

Again depending on the supermarket, don’t expect that the supermarket is going to be too tidy. It’s a bit like a treasure hunt, sometimes.

You get the chance to find new items, that you wouldn’t have normally noticed.

Back to you

Share your Danish supermarket experiences in the comments below 😀

For more vocabulary and pronunciation check our other related posts on vegetables, fruit and fish.

Comments

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  • Erin Gustafson

    This is so great! Which I’d had three years ago. I ALWAYS answer “ellers andet” incorrectly. In the States you are asked “Is that all?” normally to end a transaction – to which you answer Yes usually. So when asked “Ellers andet?” I instinctually answer Ja tak. To which the clerk stands there looking at me expectantly for what else I need. My daughter usually corrects me and after a few awkward moments I say, ah. Nej tak. Gah. One day I’ll get it.

  • Chris

    It’s cornflour – cornflower is a blue flower. Flæskesvær is pork scratchings – we have it in the UK too.

  • Matthew Blissett

    In British English, “cornflower” and “maize starch” are the same thing. The rougher thing is called “cornmeal”.

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