Danish comedian explains Norwegian swimming rules

In this video, a Danish comedian does a convulsively funny routine about the swimming rules posted by Norwegian beaches. The subtitles were done by someone whose English is a little imperfect, but combined with the translator's footnotes and the comedian's affect, it's still pretty goddamned hilarious.

(via Making Light)


    1. Anders Lund Madsen the Danish Ron Paul? Srsly, what you been smoking? :-)

      He is a comedian and used to be (?) a TV host and also writes the odd newspaper column, but that hardly makes him a poitician, dude!

  1. I believe the Scandinavian languages are similar enough for vague mutual comprehension — more so than, say, Spanish and Italian — so he’s probably getting some cheap laughs from the “uncanny valley” effect of cognate forms that aren’t quite right.  It’s probably the equivalent of an English commedian mocking notices written in Scots dialect.

    1. Problem is that the languages are similar enough for us to speak with each other without resorting to English, but some words have widely different meanings. A word that means “poop” in Norwegian can mean “beer” in a Swedish dialect (bæsj). A word meaning “pretty (girl)” in Swedish almost  sounds like the Norwegian for “ugly” (snygg/stygg). There might be some in Danish as well, but like others have said, no one understand the Danes. We love them, but we have no idea what they’re talking about.

  2. Anders Lund Madsen is a clever bloke and very funny. It’s the great achievement of my life that after ten years in this country I actually understand the language well enough to able to follow most of what he says. What makes this video different is that Danes usually spend their time making fun of Swedes, who they find slightly threatening, whilst being both patronising of and patronised by Norwegians. A good satirical look at the Norwedgies is quite rare.

  3. The Danes are just bitter because they gave up Norway in 1814, and since then we’ve done great. And for a Dane to make fun of the Norwegian language is pretty ironic, seeing as Danish now has grown to the level of incomprensibility that not even Danes themselves can speak it anymore.
    (@Kevin_Carson: yes, we mostly understand each other just fine, both swedes and norwegians. When I’m drunk I believe I can speak fluent swedish. Not danes, though. No one understand what they’re on about.)

    1. >>>  When I’m drunk I believe I can speak fluent swedish.

      In fact, danes, when drunk, believe they can speak fluent Danish.

      The following letters can, under certain circumstances, be wowels in Danish:

      a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, o, p, q, r, s, t. u. v, w, x, y, z, æ, ø, å.

      1. Actually, linguistic research shows that Danish infants start speaking later because it’s difficult for them to reproduce the vowels (difficulty rises as a function of the number of vowels). Depending on definitions, Danish has up to 40 different vowels, though only 8 different letters to distinguish them. Danish is really an easy language for English-speakers to learn, re: grammar and vocabulary (not having much of either, lol), but watch out for the sound system. Failure to reproduce the vowels correctly will cause incomprehension and misunderstandings.

    2. Wow Øyvind you really love us Danes… Well it doesn’t matter I love you Norwegians just the same :-) Nothing but love my Scandinavian brother.

      1. Of course we love you. :-) We just like to make fun of you. We do the same to the swedes too. (The fact that the slogan “Det er dejligt at være norsk – i Danmark” is a huge success would tell you that much). ;-)

      1. Scandinavia and the World is great. Highly recommended for an extremely funny and detailed look at a (relatively) small part of the world.

    3. That’s funny. I was drunk last night and I think I could understand most of what he said! Also, I laughed my ass off. Something about the consonants, and the Germans having no friends (?) thing.

      1. I find that Danish, unlike Swedish or Norwegian, has a very English cadence to it.  Anyway, as an Englishman, it feels more natural for me to speak Danish than French.  But that could just be the fault of the French. ;)

  4. Anders Lund Madsen is truly the greatest thing to have happened in Danish entertainment in years. His weekly talkshow, which has just begun its new season, is the one entertainment program that I will actually turn on the telly to watch.

    Ron Paul? I completely fail to see the connection. You might as well have claimed that he is the Danish Pamela Anderson, which would have made just as much sense (ot maybe even slightly more .. )

  5. Everybody knows that Danish is completely incomprehensible – even to the Danes themselves, as this Norwegian sketch clearly demonstrates:

  6. Norwegians do speak some Danish: if a Norwegian falls over while skiing, they swear in Danish, in order to protect national pride. 

  7. I think the fansub and some of the comments here may give the impression that the comedian rages against the Norwegian words as incomprehensible, when it is rather the mentality behind the words that he rages against. He does seem to understand all or nearly all of the text (written Danish and written Norwegian is quite similar, it usually is the pronounciation that surprise speakers of the other language) . What he makes fun of is how the people who made the board posted at the beach spell out absolutely everything. While I can understand and appreciate this view, I must admit that as a civil servant working with public information, it is often amazing how little you can leave unsaid or unexplained…

    1. And increasingly the US mentality of suing about anything is making its way into the Norwegian psyche, thanks to massive movie and tv series imports.

        1. No specific example on hand, just a observation (tho potentially media distorted) that the number of lawsuits over things like public statements have been on the rise.

  8. Danish and Norwegian are more closely related languges, but you wouldn’t think so from listening – phonetically Norwegian and Swedish sound closer due to their “singing” rhythm which Danish lacks.

    A lot of words are the same in all three languages, but as someone else pointed out there are exceptions. Like the Swedish word for snot is Danish for string (snor.)

    I speak Danish and Swedish and understand Norwegian due to that (depending on the dialect), but if you want a real effed up language I recommend trying to learn Finnish.

  9. I lived in Copenhagen for eight years.  Yes, I learnt Danish – but unfortunately with a teensy bit of a Copenhagen accent (I even lived on Amager, for those Danes who know about these things) …

    The thing I found about Danish comedy was how close it was to the English.  Monty Python is hugely popular in Denmark – and one of the first TV shows I watched was “Madrill Aftalen”, which owed more than a nod to the Pythons (indeed, one episode had John Cleese himself in it, although I’m not sure he really knew what was going on).  Danish stand-up comedy (of which Anders Lund Madsen is a master – as you can tell) is extremely good (Omar Marzouk, Anders Mathiesen and the amazing Niels Hausgaard are also worth checking out).And if you ever get a chance (I know not where), watch “The Olsen Gang” films with English subtitles.  They are masterworks of Danish cinematography from the 60s and 70s.  Copenhagen itself is filmed with great care and attention, and you’ll feel a nostalgia for a city you have never even visited!Finally, for the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians (and everyone else) … As Peter Brülls alluded to earlier, this webcomic explains *everything* …http://satwcomic.com/the-world

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