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DANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Danish expression of the day: Fit for fight

You'll need to be fighting fit to get your head around this one.

What is ‘fit for fight’?

If ‘fit for fight’ doesn’t sound very Danish to you, that’s because there are no Danish words in it — the expression is composed entirely of English words.

So how can it be a Danish expression? Well, it’s only used in the Danish language and if you said it to an English speaker, it might sound a bit jarring or could be misunderstood.

If you say you are ‘fit for fight’ to a Dane, however, they will know exactly what you mean: ready for action, up for the challenge, or even fighting fit.

Why do I need to know ‘fit for fight’?

English-language expressions and words commonly make their way into the Danish language. This can be in their original form, for example “fifty-fifty” or the more recent “download”; or they can be translated, like with rolig nu (“easy now”) or elefanten i rummet (“the elephant in the room”).

‘Fit for fight’ is neither of these, but an expression using English words that probably has its roots in a corruption of a real English expression, namely “fighting fit”.

The concept of ‘Danglish’ — spoken English that is heavily influenced by the speaker’s native Danish — is therefore probably also responsible in part for ‘fit for fight’. Danglish is usually thought of as heavily accented English or sentences with Danish grammatical structure, but here we have a Danish expression that appears to be a manifestation of Danglish.

Examples

Jeg var virkelig sløj i morges, men nu er jeg fit for fight og kommer med til festen.

I felt really unwell this morning, but I’m now fighting fit and coming to the party.

Han virkede ikke særlig fit for fight, men leverede en god præstation i andet sæt.

He didn’t seem fully fit, but put in a good performance in the second set.

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DANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Danish word of the day: Folk

This Danish word is a word for the people.

Danish word of the day: Folk

What is folk?

Folk simply means ‘people’, but it is used in a great number of ways, and in a great number of words. 

Folk or volk is the Germanic equivalent of the Latin populus, which is the origin of the English word people, the French peuple, the Spanish pueblo, and many more.

Folk is cognate with the English, Norwegian and Swedish folk, and the Icelandic fólk, the Dutch and German volk, as in Volkswagen, which means ‘the people’s car’ — usually called folkevogn (“people’s wagon”) in Danish.

Why do I need to know folk?

Being such an important word, you can find it used in many other words. 

Folkeregistrering is the process by which Danish residents are entered onto the Centrale Personregister (CPR). The purpose of the CPR is to be a register of basic information including name, date of birth and address, and the number under which you are registered is used as a form of identification in many public and private services. In short, life in Denmark doesn’t really work without one.

Folkekære, which means something like “dear to the people” is a term often used to describe veteran actors or celebrities who are popular with pretty much everyone — singer Kim Larsen or actor Ghita Nørby, for example.

Then there’s the use of the word in folkeparti, “people’s party”, used by three different political parties which traverse the ideological spectrum: Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party), Det Konservative Folkeparti (The Conservative Party) and Det Socialistiske Folkeparti (The Socialist People’s Party)-

Sometimes it just means a group of people, as in der er masser af folk på gaden – “There are a bunch of people out on the street.”

Sometimes it means ‘the people’: folket or det danske folk can be used to refer to the public in general.

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