The non-specific measurement system

The non-specific measurement system

In Denmark we use the metric system, because it’s easy to understand, easy to use – simple and logic.

Well, as long as it’s not your mother you ask for help with a certain family recipe. Or ask friends about how much food to bring to a party. Or ask a chef for his secret recipe on a signature dish.

In these situations we not only drop the metric system – we avoid putting any actual numbers into the measurements! Perhaps that’s because the danish number system is ridiculously difficult to learn, but I don’t know that for sure.

It’s like they don’t really want to be helpful, but tells you some unhelpful information just to be polite. Instead of just saying “No, I won’t help you”.

set of measuring cupsHere’s a list of measurements ordered by size/volume – and open for debate….

  • En skvis
  • Et skvæt
  • Et skvulp
  • En smule
  • Noget
  • En del
  • Nok
  • En hel del
  • En hel masse
  • En mængde
  • En stor mængde
  • En enorm mængde

Some of these are local, only used in a dialect in some part of the country. But most are in use all over Denmark.

If you want to learn more, take a look at the current courses in Danish – or take a look at our FAQ for answers to specific questions regarding the classes.

2 thoughts on “The non-specific measurement system”

    • Yes, it does! I guess we just didn’t wanted anybody to be able to pose as a Dane – and now we have to be able to speak the languages of everybody else, because nobody speaks Danish. 😉

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