Supporting People's real-life stories about intercultural issues.
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It's so hyggeligt!

Recently Supporting People met two American women; both married to a Dane and have lived in Denmark for a number of years. Both meetings ended with the Americans' spontaneous final remark "It's so hyggeligt".

The word 'hyggelig' is frequently used in Denmark, and is highlighted by foreigners and Danes alike as being typically Danish. It can best be translated as 'cozy', however it is used to describe everything from candles on a table, good food, an ambience, an event, and a person. The two American women coupled their native English language with their foreigner's Danish as it was the most natural thing for them to do, which reflects their ability to pick from both languages as they are able to pick from the cultures from which they now belong. When cultures merge, a third culture and a third language is often developed, composed of elements from both worlds. Outwardly it may seem a messy and unsightly mixture, however in practice it is a very clear indication that communication evolves with the people involved.

This mixture can be seen with Danes at work and outside of work as they speak their native Danish with English words casually thrown in, such as "Hvor er han cool" ('He's cool'), or "Skal vi brainstorme sammen?" ('Should we brainstorm together?'), or "Jeg tror du skal spørge Compliance." ('I think you should ask Compliance'). This 3rd language has a name, 'Danglish', and even though it maybe not the prettiest version of our mother tongue, it is certainly effective in a globalized world.

“Companies who employ highly educated foreign employees experience an extraordinary 7% increase in effectivity over a 5-year period (1995-2005) compared to companies without foreign experts”

The Rockwool Foundation’s Research unit, April 2009