Danish is the official and national language of the Kingdom of Denmark which is spoken by the majority of the country’s population. Historically, Denmark was a homogeneous country, but after the Second World War the country began receiving immigrants from a large number of countries from all over the world. This has resulted in a number of citizens from Western countries who have arrived to Denmark in pursuit of work or study opportunities. Nearly 88% of the country’s population are of Danish descents, with the others being immigrants or descendants of the recent immigrants to the country. This varied ethnic composition of the population has influenced the linguistic landscape inside the country.

As aforementioned, Danish is the official national language of Denmark, spoken by the majority of the people of the country. The Danish language is a North Germanic language spoken by abut 6 million people, mainly Danes. Danish is also spoken by the residents of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where Danish is regarded as a minority language, and by minor populations in other countries such as Canada, the USA, Spain, Argentina and Brazil, as well as Greenland, where 15% to 20% of the population speaks the language.

Aside from Danish, Faroese and Greenlandic are the official regional languages of Denmark. Faroese is an important minority language in Denmark, spoken by the residents of the Faroe Islands which is a self-governing Danish territory. The Faroese language is related to the Old Norse and Icelandic languages, and it is also spoken by the immigrants to mainland Denmark from the Faroe Islands. Greenland is another self-governing territory of Denmark, which hosts around 54,000 Inuits who speak the Greenlandic language. The Greenlandic language is also spoken by nearly 7,000 Greenland immigrants to mainland Denmark.

English, German and Swedish are the main foreign languages spoken in Denmark. With 86% of the population being able to speak it, English is the most popular foreign language which can be heard in Denmark. Next is German, which is the official minority language of a section of residents of the Region of Southern Denmark, at 47%. Around 15,000 to 20,000 ethnic Germans live in the Region of Southern Denmark, around 8,000 of which speak standard German or Low Saxon’s Schleswigsch variety in their daily communication. Swedish is the third most popular foreign language in Danish, with around 13% of residents being able to speak Swedish. The hard-of-hearing community in Denmark utilizes the Danish Sign Language for communication purposes.


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