Danish is the spoken language of more than 5 million people.
It belongs to the Nordic or Scandinavian group of the Germanic language family.
Danish is the official language not only of Denmark, but also of Greenland and the Faroe Islands (together with Faroese, the local tongue). It is also spoken in Norway, where it arrived in the Fourteenth Century and gave birth to a local variant which is slightly different from Danish usage and which coexists with another type of Norwegian closer to national traditions. There are also linguistic minorities in Iceland, Germany, Canada, Sweden and the USA.
Furthermore, as a colonial language, it is still in use in Iceland and is spoken by a minority of 300,000 people in the Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it is protected by the regional constitution.
Danish is written almost exclusively in Roman characters nowadays, but Gothic script was used more frequently until a few decades ago.
In 1955 the Danish Ministry of Culture established the Dansk Sprognævn, the Danish Language Council, at the University of Copenhagen, with the objective of dealing with linguistic issues, updating and publishing the official Danish dictionary, and monitoring the development of the language. It is the most authoritative Danish language institute and collaborates with other Scandinavian language institutes.