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Danish is spoken by the 5 million inhabitants of Denmark, where it is the official language, and in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are administrative subdivisions of Denmark. It is one of the Scandinavian languages, which constitute a branch of the Germanic languages, in turn a part of the Indo-European family.
Danish is most closely related to Norwegian and Swedish. During the centuries that Norway was part of Denmark (1397–1814), a dialect closer to Danish than Norwegian developed in the Norwegian cities. This is still in use today and is sometimes referred to as Dano-Norwegian.
The Danish alphabet is the same as the Norwegian, consisting of the 26 letters of the English alphabet plus œ, ø, and å at the end. Before 1948 the å was written aa. The spelling reform of that year also abolished the German practice of beginning all nouns with a capital letter.
Authorized from the original edition of The Languages of the World 3rd edition by Keneth Katzner published by Routledge, a member of the Taylor & Francis Group.
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