The Danish language has its roots in the Old East Norse spoken during the Middle Ages of the 9th to 11th centuries. It then developed into Middle Danish with a merge with Swedish between the 12th and 15th centuries and then moved into Modern Danish from 1800s onwards. There are many ‘borrowed’ words in the Danish language taken from the French, English and German languages.
Apart from Old Scandinavian, the Danish language has experienced the most significant changes. It lost the old case system and put the masculine and feminine genders together in one common gender. Also, a lot of Low German terms, prefixes and suffixes were applied to the language when having contact with the traders of the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages. The so-called glottal stop (stød), which derived from a tonal accent, is the most exceptional feature of the Danish sound system. In a spelling reform in 1948 they decided to remove the capitalisation of nouns and introduce the letter å for aa, which resulted in making the spelling more similar to that of Norwegian and Swedish.
Famous and notable Danish authors are, among others, existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and the fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen.