Yesterday was the first day of an optional advanced Danish conversation class that our teacher has created for those of us who want to practice more. (If you’re wondering, “hold nu kæft” means “shut up (now),” )
With all that in mind, I absolutely cannot say enough good things about Mette, my Danish teacher who has been so accommodating with bringing me into Danish class even though I was unable to officially enroll. She also does things like bring piles of postcards to class with lots of colloquial, everyday phrases for us to translate.
Luckily, the obscene amount of TV that I watch and my former life at the folkehøjskole made these pretty easy.
I’d also like to use this post to debunk a popular myth about DIS. Before I came to Denmark, I was told by multiple DIS alumni that I would learn a minimal amount of Danish, which has not proved to be the case. To anyone who might be hesitant about Denmark because they want to work on a foreign language, this could still be the place for you!
I studied Spanish for ten years throughout middle school, high school, and some of college, as well as taking a little bit of French in high school. Struggling with Danish is unlike anything I’ve done before, but it’s also extremely rewarding. When I first came to Denmark, I couldn’t even tell where words were starting and ending, and now I understand about 70% of the conversations I hear around me.
The truth is, learning Danish is not practical, not necessary, and not easy. But it IS possible, and if you’re actually interested, there are options that will allow you to learn more than would be covered in the standard Danish Language and Culture class, whether it’s an immersive living situation, getting help from Danish friends, or simply getting really into Danish TV.