Indo-European > Germanic > North Germanic
Spoken by: 5.6 millions according to Ethnologue.com, 2007
Official in: Denmark, Faroe Islands
Spoken primarily in: Denmark, Germany (Schleswig), Faroe Islands, Greenland
Danish differs from its sister languages Norwegian and Swedish through its phonology whose most prominent feature is probably the stød (‘push’), a prosodic feature sometimes realized as a glottal stop, sometimes more like a creaky voice. Due to its immediate vicinity to the West Germanic language area, Danish is the one of the Scandinavian languages that was the most influenced by the Low German of the Hanseatic League during medieval times. Nowadays, Danish is a mandatory subject at schools on the Faroe Islands and Greenland (both parts of the Kingdom of Denmark), and on Iceland.