What Did They Do? In Danish, by John E. Herl  is perhaps more like an extensive glossary than anything else. In the words of the author, “this book is a compendium of English translations and explanations of ancient & modern Danish names of occupations, officials and descriptions for family historians.” But, the book is fun. The book simply gives the Danish word for many occupations and anywhere from a one word translations to a paragraph describing the person or position.

In browsing through this book, I found some of the translations both unique and entertaining. Møller, for example, means miller. A nice simple English translation. But then the list goes on. Mølledreng is a boy who works in a mill. I cannot think of a specific name in old or modern English for a boy who works in a mill. Perhaps, that is why the author required a sentence instead of a one word translation. A Møllebygger is a mill buider, a Mølleejer is a mill owner, especially one who owned more than one mill, and a Møllesvend is a journeyman miller. Clearly, mills were of some importance in Denmark to have so many specific job titles for those associated with mills. All English got was the miller.

Reading through the list provided not only some entertainment, but also the recognition that our ancestors led very different lives, at least in some aspects. When it comes to careers and occupations, and you need a Danish/English translations for your research, look no further than What Did They Do? In Danish. You might even have a little fun with your work.

Table of Contents

Source Materials

Preface

Vocabulary

  • Danish & Norwegian Languages
  • Foreign Letters
  • Unique Danish Letters

Additional Guidelines

What Did They Do

  • Occupations Starting with A
  • Occupations Starting with B
  • Occupations Starting with C
  • Occupations Starting with D
  • Occupations Starting with E
  • Occupations Starting with F
  • Occupations Starting with G
  • Occupations Starting with H
  • Occupations Starting with I
  • Occupations Starting with J
  • Occupations Starting with K
  • Occupations Starting with L
  • Occupations Starting with M
  • Occupations Starting with N
  • Occupations Starting with O
  • Occupations Starting with P
  • Occupations Starting with R
  • Occupations Starting with S
  • Occupations Starting with T
  • Occupations Starting with U
  • Occupations Starting with V
  • Occupations Starting with W-X-Z
  • Occupations Starting with Æ-Ø

Get your own copy of What Did They Do? In Danish… from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HV05