Danish greetings and goodbyes
The summer holiday is over and we're back in business. We want to welcome all our old and new students at Copenhagen Language Center with the first Danish lesson: greetings and goodbyes in Danish.
Master these and you are one step closer to speaking Danish! Let the learning begin!
How to say hello in Danish
Learning how to greet someone is an important step in learning the Danish language. While greeting someone might sounds simple, it's not always the simplest thing to do. You might have to consider things like the time of the day, the social status of the person you are greeting compared to yourself, and so on.
With this in mind, you’ll be able to greet people properly and without sounding impolite or improper.
...And last but definately not least, Danes do not use 'how are you' as a greeting 😉
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The Danish hello
|Hej … Hi – this is the most used casual greeting in Danish. You can use this one in any situation and with anyone (strangers, friends, police, mother-in-law).|
|Hej du … Hi, you – you can use this with a romantic connection, or when you meet a close friend.|
|Hejsa … Hey – a more fun and personal way of saying ‘hej’. You can use it in the shops, with your friends and acquaintances.|
|Davs … Hi there - used as a comrade, jovial greeting when you meet someone. Not that commonly used in Copenhagen.|
|Godmorgen … Good morning – it’s a bit debatable until what time you should use ‘godmorgen’, but as a rule of thumb use it until around 10:00 A.M. Then, to be on the safe side, just switch to 'hej'.|
|Goddag … Good day – this one is pretty straightforward … a polite way to greet someone during the day (until 06:00 PM).|
|Godaften … Good evening – use this to politely greet someone after 06:00 PM.|
|Halløj … Hello – a more informal greeting. Use it with friends and family.|
|Halløjsa … Howdy – ok so, maybe it doesn't have the exact same meaning as the cowboy-like ‘howdy’. Let’s just say it’s a more goofy way of saying ‘Halløj’.|
|Hva' så? … What's up? – use this to greet your friends. It’s quite informal, so you should not use it for example in the shops or to greet your grandma.|
|Godt at se dig … Good to see you – just use it to express how happy you are to see someone (family, friends, aquaintaces).|
Want to learn more Danish? Check out our upcoming Danish classes.
How to say goodbye in Danish
Learning how to say goodbye is good to know in any language. In Danish, you can say goodbye in several different ways.
Here's your chance to expand your repertoire of Danish farewells with our pick of the most common ways to say goodbye in Danish.
The Danish goodbye
|Hej hej … Bye bye – this is the most common way to say goodbye casually in Danish. Use it with everybody.|
|Vi ses … See you – you can use this to say goodbye to friends, especially if you expect to see them soon.|
|Ses … See ya – just the short version of ‘vi ses’.|
|Farvel … Goodbye/Farewell – a more formal way of saying goodbye. You can use it with family, elderly people etc.|
|Ha' en god dag … Have a good day - pretty clear (for Danish language ;))… use it to wish someone a good day.|
|Hav det godt … Have a good one - a bit more informal than ‘Ha’ en god dag’. You can use it with friends.|
|Godnat … Good night - used mostly for family and friends.|
|På gensyn … See you later - use this to express that you hope to see each other again.|
|Farvel så længe ... farewell so long – old fashioned way of saying goodbye.|
|Pas på dig selv ... Take care of yourself.|