Scandinavia and the World
Just a Number

Just a Number

So, uh, yeah. We have the same number system as everybody else, but we say the numbers a bit funny here in Denmark. Swedes and especially Norwegians love to make fun of that.

In case you’re wondering what numbers Denmark is saying it’s:
10 cows, 34 pigs, 52 chickens, 193 eggs, 261 nuts, which he then changes to 371 nuts.

Not even Danes will recognize these numbers the way I wrote them in English, but I was being an extreme pronunciation nazi and writing them almost exactly like they’re said in Danish.

The thing that really confuse our Northern neighbors is that with a number like 52 we don’t say “fifty two” but “two and fifty” which sounds like “two fifty”. And our word for fifty sounds like “half sixty” and 90 sounds like “half fives” and it just goes on like that.

You are allowed to be confused. And Norway had to put up with that for 300 years. :XD:

Norway Sweden Denmark
17th June 2010
Follow Scandinavia and the World on:
Patreon Facebook Twitter Tumblr
Pins are in Store

Community made Fan Art:

sort by: direction:
8 years ago #9397253        

After trying to understand the danish numeral system, my three brain cells ended up with two hating each other and refuse to work, and the third got locked up in an insane asylum.

7 years ago #9613613        

Well. The Danish system makes sence once you get aquaintet with its original meaning: it's a 20-based system.
We usually say 'one and a half' meaning 1.5
Back in the day we used to say 'half two' meaning 1.5
(We still do that when we talk about what time it is).
100 = 5x20
50 = halvtresens tyve (half three twenty)
60 = tressens tyve (three twenty)
70 = halvfjersens tyve (half four twenty)
80 = firsens tyve (four twenty)
90 = halvfemsens tyve (half five twenty)

show replies

8 years ago #9458979        

Sister France would like to have a word with Denmark.


8 years ago #9438337        

In finnish it would go like: 99 is nine tens nine, 79 seven tens nine, 32 three tens two, same in Mandarin and Japanese

show replies

7 years ago #9517802        

The Danish system is only a little weird once you get to 50. Before 50 it's just like the German counting system. After 50, the numbers are said like an equation only abbreviated keeping in mind there is always a multiplication of 20. for example 56 is seksoghalvtreds which = 6+((3 - 0.5)x 20)=56. Halvtreds in this case is implying 3 minus 1/2 of one (or 0.5). Another example 87. Syvogfirs = 7+(4X20) =87. Notice there is no halvs because 80 is evenly divisible by 20. Nioghalvfems is 99. 9+((5 - 0.5) x 20) = 99 And so on and so on.

show replies


3 years ago #9842893        

Its almost like Dutch counting. Only I get confused with two hunderd one threes nuts becoming 371. Wouldn't it become 231 nuts?
Don't know where this way of counting comes from anyway. English is so much better... at least... the modern english counting. Lets not go to counting distances and the old ways about money... Its good England will eventually embrace Metric system!

4 years ago #9818415        

It's just like in French:

Four-twenties-nine, four-twenties-ten, four-twenties-eleven, four-twenties-twelve... four-twenties-nineteen, one hundred!

show replies

4 years ago #9814983        

What kind of Danish Devilry is this?

5 years ago #9803920        

my head hurts

show replies

5 years ago #9800469        

I love making fun of my Danish friend when she tries to explain Danish counting.

Add comment: Please Sign in or create an accout to comment.

View all 837 comments