Watching films in the language you’re studying is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to learn. So if you are learning Danish, or just curious about the culture of Denmark — check out these 12 impressive movies to learn Danish.
Danish, also known as Dansk, is Denmark’s official tongue, and it is a part of the larger Indo-European language family. It isn’t a complex language, and the speaking pattern is soft and swift, thus needing the learner to pay attention to the tone while in the learning phase.
Danish is mutually intelligible with other Scandinavian languages like Norwegian and Swedish. Thus, if you already know these nordic tongues, Danish would be a simple language to learn. The visuals, i.e., Danish movies, make it easier to gain it by establishing a relation between words and emotions.
Ask a Danish cinephilia, and he/she can tell you the story of ‘The Hunt’ or ‘Adam’s Apples’ better than his native blockbusters. Danish films have earned a lot of love, if not awards. And this has become enough of a reason for a growing Danish speaker.
- Where to Watch Danish Cinema?
- 12 Best Movies to Learn Danish
- 1. A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære) — 2012 (R)
- 2. The Hunt (Jagten) — 2012 (R)
- 3. Pusher (1996)
- 4. Land of Mine (Under Sandet) — 2015 (R)
- 5. After the Wedding (Efter Brylluppet) — 2006 (R)
- 6. Adam’s Apples (Adams Æbler) — 2005 (R)
- 7. Flickering Lights (Blinkende Lygter) — 2000
- 8. Nightwatch (Nattevagten) — 1994 (R)
- 9. The Celebration (Festen) — 1998 (R)
- 10. In a Better World (Hævnen) — 2010 (R)
- 11. The Day Will Come (Der Kommer en Dag) — 2016
- 12. A Hijacking (Kapringen) — 2012 (R)
- Final Words on Learning Danish with Films
Where to Watch Danish Cinema?
Despite the small size of the Danish film industry and its relatively limited movies produced every year, Denmark has produced some of the best independent films the world has ever seen.
Today, online streaming media like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube are rapidly replacing static content forms such as CDs, DVDs, and TVs, and old video formats. You can view your favorite dramas, comedies, actions, animations, thrillers, adventure movies, or whatever you like at your own pleasure.
You can use Netflix’s secret genre codes to view a variety of Danish movies and television series. Replace the last few digits XXXX (Netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX) with the below-mentioned codes, to discover treasures.
Movies & TV-Shows — 107573, Women’s Movie — 80058477, Movies — 58700, Danish Language Movie and TV-Series — 107547 / 1400043, TV-Series — 77951, TV Dramas — 89602, Dramas — 59064, and many more.
You can also watch Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Vimeo, and Denmark’s streaming channels, to enjoy several Danish movies and television series at your leisure. There’s truly something for everybody.
12 Best Movies to Learn Danish
Learning a language through movies and television shows is one of the smartest ways to boost your language abilities. Since it is closer to how people in real life express themselves, therefore, it is a practical language learning method.
And who doesn’t want to lap up the chance of seeing great cinema? So here are the 12 cinematic excellence that will not only hone your Danish-speaking skills but also gives an insight into Danish culture and their film-making prowess.
1. A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære) — 2012 (R)
Nominated for an Oscar, A Royal Affair is a story of the betrayal of a British Princess who chooses her illegitimate love over her husband and her nation.
A conspiracy of two lovers to influence the king by putting the nation at stake, all for realizing their love story, is a must-watch for any Danish movie enthusiast. The vocabulary and words are abundant and will help an intermediate learner to advance further.
2. The Hunt (Jagten) — 2012 (R)
With The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg, the famed Danish-filmmaker, made a beautiful attempt of making a pure and realistic cinema, yet again. A lonely life, struggling for son’s custody, and fighting the society against alleged child abuse has been portrayed well by Mads Mikkelsen.
The raw emotions compel the viewer to feel them a little more by paying attention to the actual language spoken by the characters and the correlating. Jagten is the highest-rated Danish movie, and my favorite too.
3. Pusher (1996)
Pusher is the first of the biggest crime-thriller series made ever in the history of Danish Cinema. A heroin deal has gone awry leaves Frank, a drug pusher, indebted to the kingpin.
The talkie is a race to come out of that dirty labyrinth, where each turn brings Frank a little closer to his probable end. With a 110 minute long thrill on screen, this movie is a good start for a beginner to learn Danish by staying put throughout his lesson.
4. Land of Mine (Under Sandet) — 2015 (R)
Land of Mine displays a hard-hitting story from the post-Second World War era. They force a group of young German prisoners to dig up thousands of land mines along the coast of Denmark.
Premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, the film beautifully reveals the timeless observations from the historical period and the importance of forgiveness. The film makes a good learning experience for intermediate and advanced-level learners of the Danish language.
5. After the Wedding (Efter Brylluppet) — 2006 (R)
This Oscar-nominated film portrays the story of a man dedicating his life to a noble cause. To raise money for his purpose, he takes up a mysterious offer from a wealthy Danish multi-millionaire business.
The story takes an interesting twist when the nobleman’s past comes in, throwing him into a dilemma. The simple dialogues mixed with a bit of advanced vocabulary and grammar make this film suitable for intermediate-level students.
6. Adam’s Apples (Adams Æbler) — 2005 (R)
Revolving around the rehabilitation period of a neo-nazi, Adam, this drama will glue you to your screen. Mads Mikkelsen, as a priest, is assigned the task to help Adam finish his term by baking an apple pie.
The near impossibility to bake it compels the viewer to watch it in a go. The intriguing language and humorous communication make it enough of a module to learn Danish in a rather entertaining way.
7. Flickering Lights (Blinkende Lygter) — 2000
A black comedy revolving around four gangsters, Flickering Lights, involves wit and humor throughout. The gang steals a fortune and hides at a small farmhouse, planning to settle there for life and using the stolen money to buy a restaurant.
With their boss coming for his money, it keeps you on your toes throughout the film. Using vernacular language and easy vocab makes it apt for intermediate-level Danish language learners.
You may also like — (i) Movies to Learn Norwegian (ii) Best Movies to Learn Swedish (iii) Films for German Learners (iv) Good Movies to Learn French (v) Best Portuguese Flicks (vi) Movies for Italian Learners (vii) Movies to Learn Korean
8. Nightwatch (Nattevagten) — 1994 (R)
A psychological thriller, Nightwatch, is a story of a law student who gets a night watchman’s job at a mortuary to fund his studies. With the morgue harboring strange events, the student becomes a suspect in a serial murder case.
He embarks upon finding the truth before getting implicated. This mysteriously dark film uses simple dialogues and straightforward vocabulary. It is an excellent choice for those who are at a beginner’s level.
9. The Celebration (Festen) — 1998 (R)
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, The Celebration is a 1998 Danish black comedy-drama film. The movie tells a tale of a family and friends gathering to celebrate the 60th birthday of a wealthy and respected patriarch Helge Klingenfeldt (Henning Moritzen). The devastatingly powerful story reveals family secrets and unpleasant truths.
Festen won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1998. For those who want to learn an intricate aspect of the Danish language, this is the motion picture you cannot afford to miss. You can see the cinema using Danish or English subtitles, depending on your level of competence.
10. In a Better World (Hævnen) — 2010 (R)
Directed by Susanne Bier, In a Better World, is a 2010 Danish melodrama thriller. There are two strong stories in one flick — a small town in Denmark and a refugee camp in Africa.
In these two very distinct worlds, Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) and his family faces many struggles in their life. Notwithstanding Anton’s plea for tolerance, his bullied son (Elias) and his friend (Christian) choose revenge over forgiveness in this gripping tale.
In a Better World won Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and also the Golden Globe in 2011. The vocabulary and syntax are simple to understand and suits the comprehensive skills of intermediate Danish language students.
11. The Day Will Come (Der Kommer en Dag) — 2016
Inspired by real events, The Day Will Come is a movie about boys living in Copenhagen orphanage where violence and humiliation is a part of everyday life. It takes us a painfully honest depiction of the boys’ living in miserable conditions.
The film centers on two inseparable brothers, Elmer and Erik, who were removed from their ill mother and wind up in the Gudbjerg Home for Boys. After realizing that they are on their own, they try to escape the wrath of their headmaster’s cruel oppression. Are they going to find freedom and mercy? Watch it and find out.
The Day Will Come won six prizes at the 2017 Robert Awards. It is a serious film that will give you an emotional cinematic experience you are unlikely to forget easily. The slow-paced conversations are ideal for elementary and intermediate level Danish language learners.
12. A Hijacking (Kapringen) — 2012 (R)
This 2012 thriller movie, directed and written by Tobias Lindholm, based on a ship hijacking, was screened at the 69th Venice International Film Festival. The intense drama and gripping lot will keep you at an edge throughout the film.
Kapringen is a compelling story about a group of Somali pirates hijacking a Danish cargo ship when it was returning to Denmark. It then followed by a tense negotiation with the company’s CEO. The hijacking takes its toll on all of them, in different ways.
A Hijacking is another fabulous option for beginners. Plus, viewing the film again with or without subtitles will help you comprehend how phrases and accents you can use and eventually will sink into your brain.
Final Words on Learning Danish with Films
Whether you’re learning or planning to start, these twelve films can train your ears and help you enhance the knowledge of the Danish language and indulge yourself with some high-quality flicks.
And if you have recommendations on other easy-to-understand movies to learn Danish or any question, add in the comment below. Have fun! Hav Det Sjovt!