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Title: Perkerdansk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Languages of Denmark, Westphalian language, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch German, Barossa German, East Brabantian
Collection: Danish Dialects, Danish Language, Languages of Denmark
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Perkerdansk or Immigrant Danish is a multi-ethnolect[1][2] spoken in Denmark, a variety of Danish associated primarily with youths of middle eastern ethnic background. It is a contact variety that includes features of Danish as well as Arabic, Turkish, English and other immigrant languages. Particularly common in urban areas with high densities of immigrant populations, its features have also spread to general youth language in Denmark.

The following is an example of Danish spoken by two youths in south Copenhagen. Speaker A speaks Berber as a first language and speaker B's first language is Kurdish. Nonetheless their Danish includes elements of Arabic (wallah "I swear") and Turkish (kɪz "girl", para "money", and English (I got "I have", -s plural ending on the Turkish word para). Other non-standard features are grammatical (simplification of grammatical gender system) and syntactical (lack of word order inversion in subordinate clauses).

A: wallah jeg siger min storebror han skylder mig 700 kroner jeg skal have 350 i dag og 350 om to uger. I got paras. Skal du til den der fest på fredag?
"Wallah I say my older brother he owes me 700 crowns I am getting 350 today and 350 in two weeks. I got paras. Are you going to that party on friday?"
B: mmm...
A: wallah mand jeg siger dig efter den der tur jeg tænker bare på fest og kɪz.
"Wallah man I tell you after that trip I think only about party and kɪz"[1]

Danish poet Yahya Hassan makes creative use of elements of immigrant Danish in his work.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Multietnolekt". University of Copenhagen. 
  2. ^ Cheshire, Nortier, Adger 2015
  3. ^ Barding et al. 2015


  • Quist, P. (2012). Skandinavisk i kontakt med indvandrersprog. Sprog i Norden, 43(1).
  • Nortier, J., & Dorleijn, M. (2013). Multi-ethnolects: Kebabnorsk, Perkerdansk, Verlan, Kanakensprache, Straattaal, etc. in Bakker, P., & Matras, Y. (Eds.). (2013). Contact languages: a comprehensive guide (Vol. 6). Walter de Gruyter.
  • Jørgensen, J. N. (2000). Perkerdansk-lovende perspektiver for det danske sprog. Dansk pædagogisk tidsskrift, (3), 8-15.
  • Quist, P. (2006). Perkerdansk og Rinkebysvensk. Kronik i Information 3. marts 2006.
  • Cheshire, J., Nortier, J., & Adger, D. (2015). Emerging multiethnolects in Europe.[1]
  • Quist, Pia 2008 Sociolinguistic approaches to multiethnolect: Language variety and stylistic practice. International Journal of Bilingualism 12, 1-2: 43-62.
  • Quist, Pia and Janus Møller 2003 Research on youth language in Denmark. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 159: 45-55.
  • Quist, Pia 2000: Ny københavnsk 'multietnolekt'. Om sprogbrug blandt unge i sprogligt og kulturelt heterogene miljøer. Danske Talesprog. Bind 1. Institut for Dansk Dialektforskning. København: C.A. Reitzels Forlag. 143-212
  • Christensen, Mette Vedsgaard 2004: Arabiske ord i dansk hos unge i multietniske områder i Århus. I Dabelsteen & Arnfast (red.): Taler de dansk? Aktuel forskning i dansk som andetsprog. Københavnerstudier i tosprogethed, bind 37. Københavns Universitet.
  • Barding, Antonia, Kristina Maria Danielsen Eliasen, Marlene Kjærgaard Bjørn, Anja Falkner Matthiassen, Signe Elvstrøm, and Nathalia Barat. 2015, "Yahya Hassan-ironi og multietnolekt." BA thesis, Roskilde University Center [2].
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