Danish Literature and Language

Danish language and literature studies can typically be found through Scandinavian studies departments at colleges and universities. Continue reading to learn more about degree and career options, as well as related salaries, for Danish language and literature enthusiasts.

Is Danish Literature and Language for Me?

Career Overview

Programs in Danish language and literature focus on how Denmark's unique history and cultural heritage has shaped its literature and linguistic patterns. To provide you with some background information, Danish is the official language of roughly 5.5 million people living in Denmark, its territories - Greenland and the Faroe Islands - and some surrounding regions. This language uses the same 26 letters as many European languages, but with three additional vowels. This information was reported by the Language Materials Project of the University of California - Los Angeles (www.lmp.ucla.edu).

Career Options and Salary Information

A Danish language and literature program can help you obtain various skills in written and verbal communication, foreign language fluency, critical thinking and research, which are valuable in many career fields. Earning a degree in this field can prepare you for employment in international commerce, translation services or teaching.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers earned a mean annual wage of $66,730. Interpreters and translators earned a mean annual wage of $53,410 that same year (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Danish Literature and Language?

Educational Options and Curriculum

Danish language and literature is usually offered as a concentration within a Scandinavian studies program. Most universities with Danish language and literature programs offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Topics can range from Old Norse linguistics to children's literature and women authors. You could also concentrate on how immigration is depicted in writing or contemporary film. A dual degree in business or political science can be beneficial if you're interested in obtaining an international job.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A major in Danish can lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree and the opportunity to study the Danish language, literature and culture. Literary studies may include short stories, fairy tales, folk narratives and ballads. Once you are semi-fluent, you might be ready to tackle literary works in their original language. To supplement your studies, you may also take classes in art, mythology, history, politics and culture.

Master's Degree Programs

A Master of Arts in Scandinavian Studies with a focus on Danish literature and language will allow you to concentrate on an area of special interest and conduct independent research. For example, you might choose to focus on Danish novels, poetry, folklore or cinema, examining how different periods in history or important Danish figures shaped their forms. Program requirements may include the study of an additional foreign language.

Doctoral Degree Programs

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Scandinavian Studies program with a concentration in Danish typically requires competency in two foreign languages, such as German and French, as well as fluency in Danish. Program features include the opportunity to conduct research and write a dissertation on your area of interest. You'll also be tested on your knowledge of the area through a series of comprehensive written exams.

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