For members


Danish Word of the Day: Udbetaling

It’s the Danish word of the (pay)day.

What is udbetaling?

Udbetaling is a combination of the preposition “out” (ud) and the noun for “payment” (betaling), signifying a payment that goes in a specific direction. Usually towards you.

An udbetaling is therefore a payment that the subject of a sentence receives (and the opposite of an indbetaling) – most commonly heard in references to wages, tax rebates or other types of money transfer.

You can use udbetaling when talking about sending and receiving money.

It can also be used to explain practical issues such as when paydays are, whether you will be paid in arrears on starting a new job, and when deposits are returned: Der går maksimalt 30 dage fra udflytningsdato til evt. udbetaling af depositum
(“Any deposit due return will be paid out no more than 30 days from the date you move out”).

Why do I need to know udbetaling?

It’s an important term in banking and tax, and in any situation where you might be in a position to receive money: including at the end of the month, when payday is imminent.

A slightly less technical or more informal version of udbetaling or its verb at udbetale is overførsel or at overføre, literally “transfer” or “to transfer”.

Overføre and overførsel are more likely to refer to smaller or less critical sums of money, possible being sent between friends and family: Vil du lægge ud, når vi kommer til kassen? Jeg skal nok overføre halvdelen (“Will you pay when we get to the checkout? I’ll transfer half the money to you”).


Vil du med ud at spise i morgen? Jeg får udbetalt løn.
Do you want to go out for dinner tomorrow? My wages are going to be paid in.

Hold da op! Jeg fik udbetalt 7.000kr fra Skat efter årsopgørelsen.
Wow! I got a 7,000 kroner tax rebate at the end of the financial year.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Danish word of the day: Jævndøgn

The light and the dark side are now in balance.

Danish word of the day: Jævndøgn

What is jævndøgn?

Jævndøgn the term used to describe the spring (forårsjævndøgn) and autumn (efterårsjævndøgn) equinoxes.

On the day of an equinox, daytime and nighttime are of approximately equal duration (this is true at the same time all over the planet, not just in Denmark).

The word used in English, equinox, comes from Latin: aequus (equal) and nox (night). The Danish term is directly related to Old English and Norse. Jævn is an adjective similar to “even” and can be used to describe a physical quality (en jævn overflade is “an even surface”), as well as to mean “equal”.

While jævn is “equal” when talking about the equinox and in various other formulations related to measurement, a different word, lighed or ligestilling, is used to mean “equality”.

Døgn is a useful Danish word that doesn’t have an exact English translation but can both mean “a day” or “a 24-hour period”. It’s usually used in preference to the more common dag (“day”) when talking about the amount of time within a day, and not to the day in general.

For example, a store that is open 24 hours a day is described as døgnåbent, “24-hour-open”. If you arbejder døgnet rundt you work all hours of the day.

Putting jævn and døgn together gives you the Danish word for equinox, jævndøgn, literally “equal 24-hours”.

Why do I need to know jævndøgn?

September 23rd (sometimes 22nd) is the autumn equinox. From that date onwards, days include more dark minutes than light ones.

The longest night of the year will fall on December 21st, the winter solstice, when Denmark can expect 17 hours of darkness. The Danish word for solstice is solhverv, from sol (sun) and hverv, an archaic word for “turning”.

On March 20th the spring equinox or forårsjævndøgn, things switch back as spring approaches and there is once again more light than dark.


The “j” in jævn is pronounced like the “y” in “yellow and the “v” as a “w”, giving you “yæwn”.

To say døgn, imagine you are saying “boy” but replacing the b with a d. Then add an “n” at the end.


I dag er det jævndøgn, hvor dag og nat er lige lange.

Today is the equinox, when day and night are the same length.