18 Best Books to Learn Danish for Beginners and Beyond

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If becoming fluent in Danish is your goal, but you have no idea where to start and which resources you should use to study, don’t worry. We’ll be dedicating this entire post to the best books to learn Danish available online.

Granted, in case you’re serious about your studies, you’ll have to buy at least a handful of books to learn Danish. That probably won’t be enough, though.

So stay with us through the end of the post for precious tips on the most efficient methods for studying Danish. Oh, and by the way, we’ve grouped the books according to their type/purpose.

Let’s do this!

Best Danish books for beginners

Basic Danish isn’t as complicated as it might seem, but a solid beginning is crucial to be able to gain fluency in the long run.

1. Beginner’s Danish with 2 Audio CDs

No matter if you’re teaching yourself Danish or learning with a tutor, you’ll love studying with “Beginner’s Danish”. There’s hardly a more thorough textbook meant for beginners on the web.

Whereas the CDs discuss the tricky Danish pronunciation at length, the book includes lessons on grammar, a bilingual glossary, and cool facts about the history and culture of Denmark. There’s plenty of exercises throughout too.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • beginners who favor a conventional approach to language learning
  • both self-teaching students and tutors alike
  • learners who are not familiar with any other Scandinavian language

2. Book2 English – Danish For Beginners

This bilingual textbook will have you speak basic sentences and mastering the essential Danish vocabulary in 100 short lessons.

Chapters focus on vocabulary rather than grammar rules, which means you’ll want to combine this volume with a more substantial course. 

One of the assets of “Book2 English” is that all accompanying audio files are available for free on the course’s website.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • learners who rely on additional material for grammar
  • people who take interest in the everyday language above all else
  • teaching yourself Danish

3. Learn Danish: For Beginners

“Learn Danish” is actually a booklet covering essential sentence structures and grammar rules for those of you approaching Danish for the first time.

It’s structured mainly around parts of speech and a few extra aspects like counting and comparisons. This book can work as either an introduction to Danish or a go-to grammar reference.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners who are not yet sure whether they want to study Danish
  • Danish students who learn vocabulary from other sources
  • having a schematic grammar guide

Best textbooks for Danish students

Turn a Danish language textbook into your best friend from day one and you won’t regret it.

4. Complete Danish Beginner to Intermediate Course

“Complete Danish” was written by Danish language professor Bente Elsworth for Teach Yourself Language, which specializes in language learning content.

Besides 2,000 essential words, it’ll teach you a lot about Danish culture. In case you and this title get along well, you’ll also enjoy “Danish Tutor”, the workbook from the same series.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • delving into Danish for the first time
  • self-teaching learners (duh!) and teachers looking for dynamic material for their classes
  • discovering the Danish culture as they learn the language

5. Conversational Danish Quick and Easy

This is a bold approach to say the least. Author Yatir Nitzany promises to make you conversational in Danish after going through the fewer than 60 pages in this volume.

“Conversational Danish” ditches traditional grammar rules to concentrate instead on a set of core words and phrases.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • traveling to Denmark soon
  • beginners who are in a hurry to speak Danish just ’cause
  • those relying on more consistent material to learn grammar

6. Learn to Speak Danish without Even Trying

Forget the smug title: this book is part of a series of 12 books that teach language students how to study instead of what to study.

Though it does have tons of language-specific content, it’s meant to introduce you to major tools and strategies.

“Learn to Speak Danish without even trying” makes a unique preparatory stage for diving head-first into your Danish studies.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners struggling to take the leap toward intermediate Danish
  • figuring out the best way to study Danish
  • folks who learn from a lot of different sources and would like to study more efficiently

Best books to learn Danish vocabulary

These books will prove to you how increasing your vocabulary can be engaging and fun.

7. Danish Frequency Dictionary – Essential Vocabulary

After mastering the 2,500 words covered by this book, you’ll basically know 92% of all spoken Danish.

And the best thing about it is that it lists these words in three different ways: alphabetically, by frequency, and within each part of speech (e.g. verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.).

When you’re finished learning them, do move on to the “Intermediate Vocabulary”.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners to intermediate learners
  • brushing up your Danish vocab
  • those focusing on spoken Danish

8. Danish Vocabulary for English Speakers – 9000 Words

This is more or less a classic bilingual dictionary, except words are arranged in topics. Of course you’re not supposed to read through a book like this, but it should help you master the vocabulary required for speaking advanced Danish. 

Every word is presented with the respective phonetic transcription, which is really convenient once you get familiar with it.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • students looking for that one physical dictionary they should buy
  • those who already study vocabulary and grammar through less dry material
  • beginners to intermediate-level Danish learners

9. Learn Danish with Word Search Puzzles

As a word game geek, I must say this is my sort of learning resource. “Learn Danish with Word Search Puzzles” features an amazing 130 bilingual puzzles divided into categories like “Numbers”, “Colors”, “The Body”, “Weather”, and much more.

With simple vocab exercises and review puzzles to top it all off, this is hands down one of the finest Danish language learning books.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • an unorthodox approach to learning new words
  • Danish learners desperate for a break from the hard stuff
  • beginners overall, but also intermediate learners who want to review basic vocab

Best books to learn Danish grammar

These are not so much meant to be read through as they’re supposed to serve as reference guides.

10. Danish: A Comprehensive Grammar

This book should serve as that one reference guide you’ll turn to whenever you have a pressing Danish question. All grammatical structures are explained in detail and often from a historical perspective.

Parallels with English and examples from the daily life are provided extensively too. Routledge’s Danish grammar makes an awesome addition to the library of any learner willing to go beyond the basics. 

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Danish students of all levels, really
  • learners struggling with grammar notions
  • people looking for the ultimate reference guide

11. Danish: An Elementary Grammar and Reader

Elias Bredsdorff was a Danish professor who taught his mother language in England for many years. He wrote this all-encompassing grammar as the main source material for his classes.

That means it’s so much more than a regular grammar: it’s even equipped with texts in Danish for translation into English and texts in English to be rendered in Danish.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • mostly beginners (yet advanced learners will enjoy it as well)
  • students who’d rather buy one thorough book than several volumes
  • turbocharging your grammar game

12. Guide to Learn Danish: Basic Grammar Rules and Sentence Structure of Danish

This visual grammar guide will introduce you to notions of Danish grammar that you just can’t miss. Concepts are presented in colorful and dynamic layouts to make learning all the easier.

Like most other grammars, though, it’s meant as a supporting tool, not a standalone learning material.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • people searching a concise yet comprehensive grammar booklet
  • visual learners
  • Danish students who already own more robust grammar material

Best audiobooks to improve your Danish

An audiobook will have you develop listening and speaking in a way that regular books won’t.

13. Pimsleur Danish

Pimsleur courses are based on the decades-old and scientifically proven Pimsleur Method that gets you speaking, understanding, and reading new languages quickly.

The content-packed core audio lessons last 30 minutes each, and you can complement that with digital flashcards and bonus learning materials.

Click to: Try Pimsleur Danish for free

This audio course is best for:

  • students who can’t afford the time to read through a textbook
  • approaching Danish for the first time
  • working on your speaking and listening skills

14. Colloquial Danish

Since virtually everyone in Denmark speaks English, learning spoken Danish in loco might end up being more challenging than you expect.

That’s why this audiobook comes in handy: it’s made up by two 60-minute CDs recorded by native speakers and includes exercises you won’t find in the paperback edition.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • strengthening your knowledge of oral Danish
  • folks struggling to step out of the English-speaking bubble in Denmark
  • beginner students who want to expand their daily use vocabulary

15. Everyday Danish for Beginners – 400 Actions & Activities

“Everyday Danish for Beginners” was developed by Innovative Language Learning, which offers countless other Danish audiobooks. This one is divided into 10 chapters covering the most common daily life activities, as selected by language teachers. 

While this audiobook is a mere 54 minutes long, it can serve as a sort of trial for other Innovative Language Learning Danish courses, such as “Learn Danish — Level 1”.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • a first contact with Danish
  • those of you considering experimenting with a longer audio course
  • people with no time to waste on regular textbooks

Best storybooks in Danish

Learning + fun = winning strategy. These are the best storybooks to dip your feet into Danish literature.

16. Learn Danish – Parallel Text – Easy Stories

The stories here might be advertised as “easy”, but this book is likely not aimed at first-timers.

Parallel Text’s “Learn Danish” features bilingual stories in the first half and Danish-only ones in the second half; they’re mostly about travel, though not particularly related to the culture of Denmark.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners (not absolute newcomers, however)
  • a more natural method for taking in new words
  • those of you who learn about Danish culture from other sources

17. Learn Danish with Starter Stories

The most interesting thing about “Learn Danish with Starter Stories” — apart from the Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tales themselves — is the interlinear translation of every word, meaning you’ll find the English equivalent right below each Danish word. 

In some instances, a more idiomatic rendering is also provided. Other titles in the series include “Learn Danish with The Little Mermaid”.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • readers in love with classic stories (who isn’t?)
  • those who’ve just learned their first notions of Danish
  • expanding your vocabulary

18. Short Stories in Danish for Beginners

While this book is meant for beginners, absolute first-timers could have a hard time with it (despite it being bilingual). Olly Richards, a language freak who speaks 8 languages, developed it. 

The stories in this book are pretty compelling, but you might want to skip them if you’ve bought another book on the series before — they’re available in 10 languages.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • beginners to low-intermediate-level Danish learners 
  • people who aren’t familiar with the “Short Stories … for Beginners” series
  • reading travel-themed stories

Beyond books: How to learn Danish

Sure, books are essential to learn Danish. That said, there’s a lot more to actually getting to speak it.

Practice Danish every day

Learning a little bit of Danish every day or so should be your top priority. That will help you take in new words and grammar concepts/structures in a virtually automated way.

Forget about those 2 to 3 90-minute sessions a week: you’ll hardly remember a thing the next day (and will feel mentally exhausted afterward).

Study with other tools

Developing your reading and writing skills is important for learning any language successfully, especially in the beginning. Yet, after a while, going from beginner to intermediate or from intermediate to advanced might seem all but impossible.

That’s why you should never neglect other aspects of language learning, e.g. listening and speaking. Using apps to learn Danish normally work wonders when it comes to a holistic learning path.

You can, for example, practice with a tutor on italki or Preply, listen to Pimsleur’s awesome audio lessons, or have fun as you study with Babbel’s exciting quizzes.

Make it about the culture

Considering the majority of Danes speak perfect English, chances are you’re learning Danish just for kicks. Why not insert your studies into a larger cultural journey that you’re more likely to enjoy?

That applies even if you have to learn it for work. From Danish cuisine to award-winning movies and literature, Danish culture will definitely fascinate you.

Pro tip: Scandinavians are known for their fantastic crime dramas. “The Bridge” is just one of several Danish titles that will get you hooked!

Hopefully our list of books to learn Danish helps you make many breakthroughs as you explore such an odd and beautiful language.

Tell us in the comment section which ones you’re about to order and which other books you’d recommend to your fellow Danish learners!

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