Danish language locale for Denmark, Narrative Cultural Specification

Users: general, applications: general
Source: Danish Standards Association, date: 1996-10-15, version: 4.3
Token identifier: da_DK,_4.3
POSIX-locale: da_DK,_4.3

Clause 1: Alphanumeric deterministic ordering

Ordering in Danish is defined in Danish Standard DS 377, 3rd edition (1980) and the Danish Orthography Dictionary ("Retskrivningsordbogen", 2. udgave, Aschehoug, København 1996. ISBN 87-11-10000-1).

Normal <a> to <z> ordering is used on the Latin script, except for the following letters: The letters <æ> <ø> <å> are ordered as 3 separate letters after <z>. <ü> is ordered as <y>, <ä> as <æ>, <ö> as <ø>, <ð> as <d>, <þ> as <t><h>, French <œ> as <o><e>. Two <a>s are ordered as <å>, except when denoting two sounds (which is normally the case only in combined words). Nonaccented letters come before accented letters, and capital letters come before small letters, when words otherwise compare equally. There is no explicit ordering of accents specified in "Retskrivningsordbogen", and whether case or accents are the most important is not specified.

Clause 2: Classification of characters

Danish uses normal classification of letters in uppercase and lowercase, this classification is also applicable to scripts like Greek and Cyrillic.

Clause 3: Numeric formatting

The decimal separator is COMMA <,>
The thousands separator is FULL STOP <.>
The grouping of large numbers is in groups of three digits.

Clause 4: Monetary formatting

International currency symbol: DKK 543,21
Domestic currency symbol: kr 543,21
Use of negative sign: kr -543,21
Thousands and decimal separators: kr 9.876.543,21

Clause 5: Date and time conventions

Both weekday and month names are written with an initial lower case letter in Danish (Normal capitalizing rules apply in the beginning of a sentence, etc.).

English name Weekday names Short weekday names
Sunday søndag søn
Monday mandag man
Tuesday tirsdag tir
Wednesday onsdag ons
Thursday torsdag tor
Friday fredag fre
Saturday lørdag lør

Short weekday names consisting of the two first letters are also commonly used.

English name Month name Short month name
January januar jan
February februar feb
March marts mar
April april apr
May maj maj
June juni jun
July juli jul
August august aug
September september sep
October oktober okt
November november nov
December december dec

Long date: 07 juni 1994
Abbreviated day and time: tir 07 jun 1994 23:22:33 CET DST
long date with weekday: onsdag den 21. december 1994
Abbreviated long date: 07 jun 1994
Numeric date: 1994-06-07
Time: 18:06:20

The 24 hour system is used in Denmark. There are no abbreviations commonly in use for before or after noon.

Clause 6: Affirmative and negative answers

Yes expressions 1JjYy (= 1, Ja, Yes)
No expressions 0Nn (= 0, Nej, No)

Clause 7: National or cultural Information Technology terminology

The official Information Technology terminology is "Edb-ordbog", DS 2049-1970, Gjellerup, København. A newer description can be found in Lars Frank: "edb-ordbogen", Kommunetryk, København 1984.

Clause 8: National or cultural profiles of standards

POSIX ISO/IEC 9945-1:1990 annex F and ISO/IEC 9945-2:1993 annex G contains example Danish POSIX profiles.

Clause 9: Character set considerations

The following is the Danish alphabet:

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz Ææ Øø Åå

The combination of two <a>s is regarded as one <å>, originating from older orthography but still used in many person and place names.

For indicating stress, different pronunciation and long vovels, an accent can be used on all vowels:

Áá Éé Íí Óó Ýý Ǽǽ Ǿǿ Ǻǻ

The following letters of foreign origin is commonly used in Danish newspapers and books, according to examples in "Retskrivningsordbogen":

Ââ Àà Çç Ðð Êê Ëë Èè Ôô Őő Œœ Þþ Üü Ää Öö

The recommended character set is DS/ISO 8859-1; for a bigger repertoire DS/ISO/IEC 10646-1 is recommended.

Other character standards in use include ISO/IEC 6937 and ISO/IEC 646 (a Danish version, DS 2089, of this has been withdrawn, but is still in use).

Vendor character sets in use include HP Roman 8, IBM CP 277, 278, 437, 850, 865, Machintosh, and MS CP 1252.

The character sets have been described in the Internet RFC 1345, made in a Danish Standards Association and INSTA project, and they are also available in POSIX Charmap format.

Danish Internet Email exchange recommends MIME format and ISO 8859-1 encoding, if necessary in RFC1345 mnemonic format.

The Danish EDI council recommends ISO 8859-1 as the exchange coded character set, with possible RFC1345 mnemonic extensions.

Clause 10: Sorting and searching rules

The character oriented ordering is described in => Clause 1. More sophisticated ordering as described in "Retskrivningsordbogen" requires that numbers are expanded to their spelling, and also special characters be expanded to their spelling before sorting. Also a number of common words are to be discarded before sorting, such as "den", "det", "en", "et".

Clause 11: Transformation of characters

Transliteration of Cyrillic and Arabic is very different from English conventions.

For a fallback notation of some letters, refer to the following table:

original letter 2-char 1-char

Clause 12: Character properties

For ordinary classification of characters, please refer to => Clause 2.

The Greenlandic letter KRA <ĸ> has no uppercase equivalent, and is converted to a "Q" as also prescribed by modern Greenlandic orthography.

Clause 13: Use of special characters

For quoting, the characters <"><">, <»><«> and <“><”> are used, with the shown order.

Various punctuation signs:

NUMBER SIGN <#> is seldomly used, and should be avoided

AT SIGN <@> is not used for commercial purposes. It is used in Internet mail.

Double space after a FULL STOP <.> is not used.

DIVISION SIGN <÷> should not be used for division, as it is also used for subtraction, the sign is known as "minus" in Denmark. Use SOLIDUS </> instead.

SECTION SIGN <§> is often used in legal documents to refer to paragraphs.

In a sentence the FULL STOP <.> is placed as the last character, as in: Skibet hed "Titanic".

Clause 14: Character rendition

The Danish letters <Ø> and <ø> are often misprinted. The stroke in the letters is the problem. If you consider a rectangle box surrounding the letter, then the stroke should cross from the upper right corner to the opposite corner.

Clause 15: Character inputting

A proposed general input method is included in DS/ISO/IEC 9945- 1 annex F.

Clause 16: Personal names rules

Children can get their father's or mother's last name, or any combination of these with or without a hyphen. Also in marriage the bride and the groom may take the other partner's name in any combination.

Personal names are commonly spelt with the full first name, while use of initials only is seen also. People are mostly addressed by voice by their first name. The common address form is the informal "du", and the more formal "De" is becoming more common. The family name is never spelt in capital letters only, contrary to continental European habits. Titles are used in some circumstances.

Clause 17: Inflection

The Danish grammar is defined in "Retskrivningsordbogen". Danish has more inflections than English, for example nouns will have 8 forms based on indefinite/definite, singularis/pluralis and nominative+others/genitive.

Danish tends to have longer words then English, as you can make combined words.

Clause 18: Hyphenation

Hyphenation rules are described in "Retskrivningsordbogen".

Clause 19: Spelling

Spelling of the Danish language is specified in "Retskrivningsordbogen". This spelling is approved by Danish Government, and used as authoritative in schools etc.

Clause 20: Numbering, ordinals and measuring systems

See => Clause 3 and => Clause 4 for a description of numeric and monetary formatting.

The measurement system is the SI system, DS/ISO 1000.

Temperatures are normally measured in degrees Celsius, the Kelvin scale is sometimes used in science.

Clause 21: Monetary amounts

See => Clause 4 for the POSIX specifications.

Clause 22: Date and time

The timezone is UTC+0100 in the winter, UTC+0200 in the summer. The daylight savings period currently (1996) changes by one hour the last Sunday in March at 02:00, and back again by one hour the last Sunday in October at 03:00. This may change in the future. There is no official names for the timezones.

Use of week numbers are very common, and the week numbering is according to DS/ISO 8601.

The first day of the week is Monday, in accordance with DS/ISO 8601.

Date formatting according to DS/ISO 8601, for example 1995-04-13 for 13th of April 1995, is very common in technical business and in legal business, and other areas.

For POSIX date and time formatting, please see => Clause 5.

Clause 23: Coding of national entities

Denmark is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, which also consists of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Denmark is situated about 54 - 58 degrees North, and 8 - 15 degrees East.
Denmark has an area of about 43.069 km2 and 5,2 mill inhabitants (1995).
The main language is Danish.

There are a number of standards giving a country code to Denmark:

ISO 3166 alpha-2 DK
ISO 3166 alpha-3 DNK
ISO 3166 numeric 208
UN Genève 1949:68 Vehicle code DK
CCITT E.163 international telephone prefix 45
CCITT X.121 X.25 numbering country code238
ISO 2108 ISBN book numbering 87

The Alpha-2 code "DK" of ISO 3166 is for general use, and is use generally by the public as the abbreviation for Denmark.

The name of the country in Danish is "Danmark".

The language code according to ISO 639 for the Danish language is "da".

The name of the Danish language in Danish is "dansk".

The currency is Danish Kroner, in Danish, "danske kroner". The ISO 4217 code is DKK. The native abbreviation is "kr". 1 "krone" is equal to 100 "øre". See => Clause 4 for a POSIX description.

Postal codes ("postnumre") are 4 digits. See => Clause 25 for their use.

For public adminstration Denmark has 14 counties ("amter") and 275 communes ("kommuner"). The counties and communes have numbers, which can be found in Statistic Yearbook from Denmark's Statistics.

Clause 24: Telephone numbers

The international telephone prefix for Denmark is +45. There are no area codes; all numbers have 8 digits. The recommended format for telephone numbers is in groups of 2, for example 39 17 99 44.

Clause 25: Mail addresses

See => Clause 16 for how to write personal names.

The street number is placed after the street name.

The postal code is placed before the city name. The CEPT country prefix should be places in front of the postal code for international mail, this is even commonly done for mail within Denmark. Postal codes are defined in "Post- og Telegrafhåndbogen - Postnummerdelen", obtainable at all postal offices, and may be found also in telephone directory books.

An example of a mail address is:

   Danish Standards Association
   Att: S142 u22 A8
   Kollegievej 6
   DK-2920 Charlottenlund

According to CEPT recommendations, one should either use the French name of the country ("Danemark"), or the name in the local language "Danmark".

Storey specification is placed after the street number. The following conventions apply:

English Danish Danish abbreviation
Ground floor stuen st
1st floor 1. etage 1
basement kælderen kld
right til højre th
left til venstre tv
middle midt for mf

An example of its use:

   Holger Danske
   Fremtidsvej 26, 2 tv
   DK-2000 Frederiksberg

Clause 26: Identification of persons and organizations

In Denmark, persons are identified by a unique personal identity number ("personnummer" or "CPR-nummer"). This number incorporates the date of birth and the sex. The structure of the Danish personal identity number is:


where DD=day, MM=month, YY=year, X=running number, including century indication, NN=running number, and B=running number with sex indication: odd=male; even=female.

Danish organisations are identified via the SE-number, which is also used as an identification for Value Added Tax (VAT) purposes. This is an 8-digit number, the VAT number may have a 2-digit area code attached in the end, after a hyphen.

There are a number of official registries for organizations, dependent of the organisation form: "Aktieselskabsregistret", "Anpartselskabsregistret", "Fondsregistret".

Clause 27: Electronic mail addresses

The Danish X.400 email country code is DK, that is the ISO 3166 alpha-2 code.

The Danish Internet top domain is .DK (ISO 3166 alpha-2 code). Internet domain addresses have an organization name as the second level name. There are no economic sector (government, commercial, academic) indication.

The Danish X.500 service uses the character set T.61 with RFC 1345 mnemonic extensions for representing names and addresses.

Clause 28: Payment account numbers

The format of Danish bank account numbers have a 4-digit branch identification code, and then the numeric bank account number.

The format of the Danish Postal Giro accounts is 7 digits, an example is 123-4567.

Clause 29: Keyboard layout

A Danish keyboard has the layout of the alphabetic keys (first is lowercase, second is uppercase, third is alternate graphic):

          ½§  1!  2"@ 3#£ 4¤$ 5%  6&  7/{ 8([ 9)] 0=} +?  ´`|
               Q   W   E   R   T   Y   U   I   O   P   Å   ¨^~
                A   S   D   F   G   H   J   K   L   Æ   Ø   '*
             <>\ Z   X   C   V   B   N   M   ,;  .:  -_

´`¨^~ are normally dead keys.

Clause 30: Man-machine dialogue

Naturally, most Danish users require programs where all menus, names of icons, commands, information messages, help texts, manuals etc. are translated and adjusted to their language and culture.

Programmers and screen layout designers must bear in mind that when English text is translated into Danish - and most other languages - it will normally be longer, i.e. require more space on the screen and occupy more computer memory.

Denmark has its own cultural symbols in some cases and use of non-Danish symbols as icons can create irritation and - if they are not easily recognized - confusion. Example: The typical suburban American mailbox with the raised flag is unusual in Denmark and hence not immediately associated with mail for most users.

Clause 31: Paper formats

ISO 216 paper sizes are used in Denmark. Two holes or 4 holes according to ISO 838 in A4 paper etc. is very common.

Clause 32: Typographical conventions

In Denmark the Didot point measure is used in typography, which is 7% larger than the point used in English and American typography.

When justifying text at both margins, extra space should be inserted between words, not between letters within a word.

Use of special characters are described in => Clause 13.

End of Narrative Cultural Specification.