So what do they speak on The Bridge? Swedish or Danish?

Bron/Broen/The Bridge
Saga Norén (Sofia Helin), Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) in The Bridge © ZDF

I don’t know about you, but I can’t speak either Danish or Swedish. Along with many other fans of The Bridge (aka Bron if you’re Swedish, Broen if you’re Danish. Or maybe it’s the other way round), I’ve often wondered what language everyone speaks on the show: do the Danes speak Swedish in Sweden? Do the Swedes speak Danish in Denmark? Do they just speak their own languages wherever they are?

Happily, we have something of a definite answer from the writer of the show, who as well as discussing the creation of the show and the characters, gives us this little explanation for who speaks which language:

In real life Swedes and Danes can understand each other, but we don’t understand each other as well they do in the show.

The co-creators and I decided early in the process not to make anything of it. So every Dane speaks Danish and every Swede speaks Swedish.

And in addition, here’s a behind-the-scenes video where the actors from the two countries explain their own linguistic challenges and enjoyment, particularly Skumfidus:




  • Mark Carroll

    A friend who knows a little of such languages corroborated this for me recently: The Danes are speaking Danish and the Swedes are speaking Swedish and they seem to understand each other. I guess it's not only I who'd wondered. (-: Her way of telling them apart is that, to her, Danish sounds darker and more guttural.

  • Mark Carroll

    A friend who knows a little of such languages corroborated this for me recently: The Danes are speaking Danish and the Swedes are speaking Swedish and they seem to understand each other. I guess it’s not only I who’d wondered. (-: Her way of telling them apart is that, to her, Danish sounds darker and more guttural.