To give thanks in Danish

Danes have a special thank you for almost everything. Except for maybe actually saying 'thank you for everything' which is usually reserved for the final goodbye on the gravestone (rest in peace).

Danish politeness and gratitude

There is no specific word in Danish that literally translates the word 'please'. Instead Danes use phrases, and gestures to be polite, such as 'vær så venlig' ...(be so kind ...) and 'hvis du vil være så sød' ... (if you would be so sweet ...).

There is also a lot of thanking going on in Denmark. It's considered polite to say thank you for everything from your dinner to both before, during and after a social get together.

We recommend that you learn how to use the word 'tak' early on. Here’s our little guide to thank you in Danish.

A few Danish phrases for thanking someone

The Danish word 'tak' is used in many different ways. We have collected a few phrases with thank you in Danish.

  Tak skal du have ... [Thanks shall you have]. Use it to say 'thanks a lot'.
   Tusind tak ... [A thousand thank yous]. If you want to emphasize your gratitude, you can use 'tusind tak' which means 'thank you SO much'.
   Selv tak ... [Myself thanks] If someone thanks you for doing something for them, you can say 'selv tak'. Meaning: You're welcome or thank you too.
  Tak i lige måde ... [Thanks in straight way] If someone wishes you a merry Christmas, a good holiday or just say that you look great, you can say 'tak i lige måde'. Meaning: The same to you.
   Tak for sidst ... [Thanks for last] is used a lot in Denmark. You basically thank people for the last time you saw them - typically for a social get-together e.g. a dinner or a party.
   Tak for i dag / i aften ...  [Thank you for today / tonight] If you want to thank someone for a lovely evening or a great day, you use this one.
   Tak for mad ... [Thanks for food] Always, always ... remember to say 'thank you for the meal' to the chef or host/ hostess. It is considered impolite not to give thanks after every meal.
   Tak for kaffe!! ... [Thanks for coffee] is used as an exclamation to express surprise.
   Ellers tak ... [Otherwise thanks] Use it to say thanks, but no thanks.
   At takke ja / nej ... [To thank yes or no] This means to accept or to decline something.
  Tak skæbne!! ... [Thanks fate!!] An exclamation expressing surprise, alarm, dismay, or some other, usually negative emotion.
  Tak for alt ... [Thanks for everything]. Avoid saying 'thank you for everything' on its own, as this is usually only used for the final goodbye. You can however say 'thank you for all ... your hard work' or something similar.
Phrases to say thank you in Danish

Did we miss some ways to say tak?

As you can see, there are a lot of 'thank you' going on in Danish. Did we get them all? Or did we forget some ways to use the Danish thank you?

Leave a comment and let us know.

Comments

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  • Ortwin

    Very interesting article

  • Samuel

    Det er godt ide

  • Salve

    Surely, “selv tak” is more “yourself thanks” instead of “myself thanks”? The meaning of “selv tak” is to, when being thanked, thank the other person as well. “Thanks, you too”/”thanks yourself” makes sense, but “myself thanks” does not.

    “Thanks in a straight way” doesn’t make any sense either. We aren’t using “lige” in the sense of “straight” in this context, but “similar” or “alike”. What we’re essentially saying is “likewise”, not describing how straight or curvy our thanks are.

    1. Camilla Svane

      Thank you for your comment. We try to translate the individual words directly in order to help our students learn Danish. Another important goal is to make them smile 🙂

      It’s hard to learn the Danish language. The sentence structure can be confusing and the numerous meanings of the same word makes it even harder. In our translations we try to use the most common meaning of a given word. It might not make any sense, but for our students, it shows them how a word can have several meanings.

      We do realise that our direct translations can confuse the advanced Danish language speakers and we appreciate you taking your time to write a more in depth explanation.

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Nikola Urosevic

    I wish to learn Danish

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