Learning Danish Helped Silvia Integrate Into The Danish Community

Learning Danish helped Silvia integrate into the Danish community

Moldovan Silvia Merla came to Denmark in 2020 and started Danish lessons six months later. Silvia is learning Danish with A2B with her fellow students from Business Academy Aarhus. She is now on her final module and preparing for the PD3 (Prøve i Dansk 3). This means that she has reached a B1 level of Danish and is almost at B2 level.

Silvia would like to pursue a career as a financial consultant in Denmark after completing her degree in Financial Management and Services at Business Academy Aarhus.

A2B has asked her a few questions about her Danish journey, and she has some advice for other Business Academy Aarhus students who might be considering learning Danish.

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Why learn Danish (when everyone speaks English anyway)?

Learning Danish is important because it helps you integrate into society. Silvia notes, “Yes, people speak English, but it will be easier to get to them, and their culture if you speak Danish.”

In Silvia's opinion, the biggest advantage of knowing Danish is that it helps you get closer to the Danish people. “Even though 99% of people here know English, trying to speak Danish impresses them and gets you "closer to their heart" if I can say that.”

Not only does learning Danish get you closer to the Danish people. It also helps you get closer ties to the Danish job market. In Silvia’s experience, “the job market is already competitive, but without Danish it is insanely hard to get a job (that is not classified as unskilled labour).”

“The employers look at your CV and check if you speak Danish, not only for the job requirements. Even if the job can be done in English, they will assess how well you can fit into the social part of your workplace. That usually includes speaking the language that most employees do.”

Be open about your Danish skills

One of the things that Silvia learned in Danish classes was basic but effective sentences. She has noticed the importance of leading with Danish, even when you don’t feel that you are ready to do so.

"Mit dansk er ikke så godt, men vi kan godt prøve at snakke". In English this means "My Danish is not so good, but we can try to speak."

She has found that it shows people that you might need some help when you try to make conversation in Danish, but more importantly, it shows that you are trying.

Speak, speak, speak!

Silvia’s advice to students who are considering learning Danish is very clear; “Speak, speak, speak as much of it as you can. At the shops, in school, in public places, etc. Nothing is going to help you as much as this.”

While preparing for speaking Danish with Danes, Silvia also suggests listening to Danish podcasts and watching Danish series or movies. Turn on the TV or radio or find Danish content on apps like DRTV or DR Lyd.

Silvia does not say that speaking Danish is easy, however, but she continues; “I know it is "scary", but it is a barrier we have to overcome. (…) don't be scared or embarrassed - just do it.”

If you would like to follow Silvia’s advice, you can join Danish lessons with A2B on-site at Business Academy Aarhus.

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