How do you say “lame” in Danish?

The thing about DIS is that since you get THREE WHOLE WEEKS of time off from classes to travel, the on class weeks tend to be pretty hectic with regards to classwork, often making it hard to find time to blog. The last two weeks have been no exception. I’m off to Prague for my long study tour early tomorrow morning, and of course I would decide that now is an ideal time to blog, even though I haven’t finished packing.

My last week has been a whirl of midterms and short papers, but luckily my friday was left essentially free for me to relax and prepare for my upcoming travel. Last night a friend of mine from the folkehøjskole was performing at a nightclub in København, so I invited two other American friends from DIS to go watch see the performance.

Of course, nearly everyone from the højskole was there, so after the performance we headed all went to a bodega to catch up. When I got there, one of the Danes asked where my two American friends had gone, and when I explained they were tired and had headed home he responded “lame!” I took that as an opportunity to try to learn a new word, asking “how do you call someone lame in Danish?” His response: “Fucking Svenska.” I burst out laughing because, for those unaware, the word “Svenska” actually means “Swedish” in Danish. When I asked if it was really appropriate to condemn an entire ethnic group, especially with our half Swedish friend sitting right next to him, he looked shocked that I had actually understood the word. To me, one of the most rewarding parts of learning Danish is that, as an American, people usually underestimate how much you understand, and are often shocked if you achieve even elementary proficiency.

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