08 November 2010

Danes on telling time…

"...One of the greatest sources of confusion in the area of timekeeping stems from some Danes’ habit of translating directly from Danish to English while speaking. The source of this confusion is the Danish way of saying the time. If a Dane arranges to meet you at “half twelve” in the afternoon, and you arrive to find a rather irritated Scandinavian waiting for you (if he or she bothered to wait at all, that is), the explanation is quite simple.

When Danes say “half twelve,” they mean half an hour to twelve, and not half past, as has become the norm in the English-speaking world. They will also give the time as being, for example, “five minutes to half twelve” or “five minutes past half twelve.”..."

Excerpt from “A quick guide to customs and etiquette: Denmark.

I always make sure to confirm times when meeting with or scheduling an arrangement with a Dane. It can be extremely confusing.

Today was spent at lecture. And then I headed to the United States Embassy in Copenhagen to inform them of my stolen pocketbook, as well as the police station to fill out a police report regarding the incident. All my cards are canceled - and I thank my mom for the worrisome and trouble back home of canceling all my other cards and identities.

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