Over 98% of the population speaks Danish, one of the North Germanic languages, a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. It is spoken by around 6 million people, mainly in Denmark.
Under the terms of the home rule acts, Danish enjoys equality with Faeroese and Greenlandic in the Faeroe Islands and Greenland respectively, and Danish is a compulsory school subject. In Icelandic schools, too, Danish was the first foreign language to be learned until the late 1990’s and Danish still serves as a means of communication with the other Nordic countries.
While written Danish has strict rules, the spoken language may vary considerably in pronunciation, although few people actually speak dialect. The vast majority speak either standard Danish or more often a regional and/or social variation of it.
German is recognized as an official regional language in the Nord-Schleswig region that borders Germany, where it is spoken by 23,000 people, about 0.4% of the 5.2m Danish population. Greenlandic, an Inuit language, is spoken by 0.1% of the population.