So how DO you pronounce Dagmar?

I tried to find a clip of someone else saying it, so I wouldn’t have to record myself. Here’s a video of some people about to play a famous traditional folk song called “Dronning Dagmar” (dronning = queen), and you can hear him say that title at about 0:34.

If you are familiar with German, it’s basically the way you’d say Daumar in German. If you don’t speak German, the first syllable kinda sounds like “dow” (like in dowsing rod). The second syllable is with that almost-not-there R sound that most Europeans seem to do. Pretend you’re English or something. The emphasis is on the first syllable. So… DOW-maaaah(r).
Lee is the way you’d expect it, just like Bruce Lee.
Fach rhymes with “sock.”
The D in Pedersen is “a soft d,” which apparently is a meaningful expression to Danes, but it isn’t helpful to Americans. It’s said to sound like a soft “th” (as in the, that, those), but many foreigners disagree and say it sounds like an L. Additionally, there’s a glottal stop, and of course the Euro R sound. The sen is definitely sen and not son. Vowel sounds are important in Danish (and they have about 47 of them). It took me several months of practice to get to where I’d even attempt to say my own last name in public, so don’t feel bad if you’re really confused by now. The very, very first thing the guy in this video says is “Ivan Pedersen,” so listen after the “eee-vahn” and you’ll hear it.
Or you can just call her D.L., sweetie pie, honey munchkin, or sugar bean. That’s what I do.

4 thoughts on “So how DO you pronounce Dagmar?

  1. I will try my hardest to retrain my brain to hear "dowmah" instead of dagmar when I see her name 🙂

  2. *listening to the 2nd video*
    So basically, Pedersen is pronounced "pblbld…."? I now understand much better why Norwegians claim they cannot understand spoken Danish! 🙂

  3. Interesting – that ‘soft d’ sounds to me like its a flap … which is basically just a little tap of the tongue on the hard palate …

    it could possible be a reotroflex flap, which also explains the almost ‘r’ sound just before it as the tongue moves through the ‘r’ articulation area. I’d have to hear it said a couple more times to be sure:) I don’t here a glottal stop until after the ‘n’ – am I missing something?

    As for Dagmar – it almost sounds like Darma but instead Dowma. Very interesting.

  4. It’s the ∂ sound which is a fricative, and I don’t hear an almost ‘r’ sound just before it. I guess the sound quality is not so great, especially if you aren’t hearing the glottal stop either!

Comments are closed.