There is a common word in Danish for which I have encountered two pronunciations in my learning. Both of them sound fairly reasonable.

How do I figure out which of the pronunciations is correct and learn it, or figure out if both are and the variation is dialectical?

  • I would try to find an authoritative reference. Are there Danish dictionaries that provide IPA transcription? Unfortunately, Dansk section of wiktionary doesn't provide those yet. – Vitaly Jan 12 '18 at 16:34
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    Related question Linguistics stack: Are there any sources that provide accurate IPA transcriptions for Danish? – Vitaly Jan 19 '18 at 22:40
  • Can you reveal what the word is? – Peter Mortensen Jan 20 at 20:05
  • @PeterMortensen I cannot, because it has been a while I do not remember it anymore. Also, questions about details of specific languages (like "how to pronounce a particular word) are not on topic on this SE website. – Tommi Brander Jan 20 at 20:09

This online Danish dictionary http://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog provides transcription and pronunciation. It's not IPA, it's their own variation of IPA. Transcription is described in detail here.


I am native speaker of Danish, and I can tell you, that we pronounce differently depending on region. If you want anything concrete, go for what we call "rigsdansk" (Standard Danish), and ask someone from Sjaelland / Zeeland, since that dialect is closest to risdansk. To find the right pronunciation, would be difficult without knowing the word too.


I´m living in Denmark, I don´t know if you also are. The best thing you can do is go to a Danish library and get a dictionary, they contain phonetic pronunciations as well.


I asked two Danish colleagues, who came to agreement about which pronunciation is correct, and found some instances of combined words where the other might also be used. The other pronunciation was not used independently. Since the colleagues are of different age and from different regions, I trust their judgement.


The best way is to ask a native speaker. This is usually better than the dictionary method as in English for example the word "tomato" has two very distinct pronunciations.

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