Gasping for Yes

I am still working on my Danish lessons with the Duolingo app. This weekend I learned colors and questions, so I can now ask things like ‘Where are my pink socks?’ and ‘Why is the man eating black cheese?’. The official language at the office is English though, so I haven’t really needed to use my Danish yet.

I have, however, been hearing a particular sound from some of my Danish co-workers during normal conversation, and until today, I had no idea what it was. It sounds like a sharp gasp. A short, quick intake of breath, like the person I’m talking to has suddenly had ice water poured down their back, or else Kim Kardashian has just entered the room behind me.


Maybe it’s not this intense, but it’s pretty close. And it always catches me by surprise – I instantly wonder if I’ve said something wrong or shocking (and to those who know me best, yes I’m keeping my normal sense of humor under wraps for now at the office).

Turns out, after a quick Google search for +danish +gasp, that it’s just a non-verbal way of showing agreement, like an ‘Uh-huh’ or ‘Mmm-hmm’ back home. Or other times it can be used like a punctuation mark, to confirm what the gasper has just said.

Now that I know what it is, I can try to get used to it. At least I know that whatever I’m saying is agreeable! I wonder what the sound is for ‘Nope.’



  1. msiivola · December 11, 2014

    Does the app Duolingo app work?


    • Becca · December 12, 2014

      Jordan may be using something like that to practice. There are apps to translate if you have an android phone… We still have apple phones. I think with android you can take photos of text and have it translated! I need to register for Danish classes… time is ticking! So many speak English its easy to get lazy about it. ;D Though I’d like to know what people are saying in Danish. Could be helpful. ha!


  2. jordanitkowitz · December 12, 2014

    yes I like Duolingo a lot. the basic UI and functionality are strong – mix of written, reading, and verbal recognition. lesson progression is pretty good, for the most part. sometimes it introduces concepts too quickly or without sufficient instruction but you kind of absorb and figure it out as you go. And it’s a free app so definitely give it a try!


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