Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Charlotte's Danish accent

Ice cream
Originally uploaded by PhylB

One of the errors Danes often make when speaking English is to say warm when they mean hot (this is caused by Danish having only one word, varm, that covers both meanings).

My stepdaughter, Charlotte, who is 11 years old and has lived with me since she was 6, claims she doesn’t speak a word of Danish, but it’s often apparent that she definitely has an excellent understanding of spoken Danish, even if she tries to hide it. For instance, if I offer some sweets to the three wee ones (who I only ever speak Danish to), Charlotte will instantly ask for some, too.

However, Charlotte has now twice within a few weeks used warm instead of hot. For instance, today she told Phyllis that it had been “very warm in SaarbrĂĽcken”.

I can’t think of any good reason why she should be using warm instead of hot apart from influence from Danish, so I can only conclude that Charlotte is now speaking English with a Danish accent!

I’m sure she’ll be horrified and do her best to undo the damage, so I don’t think I’ll tell her just yet… 🙂

0 thoughts on “Charlotte's Danish accent

  • You make it sound like she has an issue with you and Danish rather than having an issue with ever admitting to being good at any language – given she pretends to be equally clueless in French when she speaks it perfectly!

  • PS what an odd photo of her btw – her hair isn’t nearly that dark, it’s blonde – was she wet or sth that day? I can’t remember.

  • Just surfed on in.

    Wouldn’t “Very warm in SaarbrĂĽcken” would be fine if she’s talking about the weather.

    I’m not sure if I’d know the difference between “very warm” and “hot” in that case, short of the Australian outback in summer.

    If she used it of a boiling kettle, though, then I’d see the distinction.


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