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DANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Danish word of the day: Ajourføre

Here’s your latest update.

What is ajourføre? 

The verb ajourføre (pronunciation below) means to “supply with new information to thereby ensure actuality and accordance with the latest development”, according to the dictionary.

The first part of the word is loaned from the French à jour, meaning “up to date”.

This is followed by føre, a suffix seen on various Danish verbs to denote a form of action. Examples of this include at gennemføre (“to complete”) and at udføre (“to conduct [a task]”).

Putting these together, at ajourføre is to complete the process of making something up-to-date.

Why do I need to know ajourføre?

It’s meaning is not exactly the same as “to update”, for which you can use a different Danish verb, at opdatere, as in jeg har opdateret indstillingerne på min computer (“I’ve updated the settings on my computer”).

Ajourføre refers more to the process of making sure something is in-line with its most recent version and can refer to something like record keeping as well as technology.

You could opdatere something without making it the newest version. This is not the case with ajourføre, where the most recent development is implicit in the word.

Pronunciation

Easier if you speak French and know how to pronounce jour (day), ajourføre is approximately pronounced “a-joour-fur”, with the “j” given the French-style “zh” sound and “fur” pronounced similarly to how you would say “fur coat” (but don’t pronounce the “r”).

Example

Virksomheder er forpligtet til at ajourføre sikkerhedsdokumenter hver femte år.

Companies are obliged to ensure security documents are up-to-date every five years.

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For members

DANISH WORD OF THE DAY

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.

Pronunciation

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.

Example

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

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

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