Learning Danish - how to do it daily?
I came to Denmark some years ago, already knowing how important it is to learn the language of a country you are in. Therefore, being a part of an international class, living in a city where most of the people speak in English without any problem, you get used to it… and you feel like you do not have enough time to learn the language. That was me up until now.
Is Danish really that important?
Throughout this time, I have met many internationals here in Aarhus. Some were already speaking some Danish after a year of living here, others could not even introduce themselves in Danish after 10 years. But it's okay – everyone moves at their own pace.
Sometimes, reality hits. I've worked in an office for over a year now, and whenever there is a conversation that involves me, I make everyone switch to English. Whenever we have common activities in my dorm – everyone changes to English for me. This is not an issue for most Danes, but after years of friendship or work, you can see that people would actually like you to start speaking Danish, slowly hinting at you, to not be too annoying.
The motivation to learn Danish started coming for me in the summer when I applied for the Top-Up Bachelor’s programme. Realising, that in just over a year, I'll have to start building my career for real and that most of the jobs require Danish – good reality check. Just go to LinkedIn. I've started in baby steps and I have finally joined Danish classes (not a planned NY resolution, but I started on the first weekend of January 🤣)
How can you put a little bit of Danish into your everyday life, until you are motivated enough to join the classes?
No surprise, but this app is a really good start to your Danish journey. To keep the motivation for not abandoning your Duolingo Owl, invite your friends and cheer on each other while learning the language.
Find your native Dane
Dorm, school, work, whatever it is, if you are in a contact with a Danish person, make a deal for them to teach you a word a day or ask them to keep putting random Danish sentences while talking to you. You can start by doing regular phrases for greetings, or you can start this yourself with a friend, asking "Vil i gerne har vin?" - Would you like to have wine?
Practise makes perfect
Even if I am struggling with this myself, try your Danish. I feel shy in front of my friends or roomies, but that’s the only way to get going when learning a new language! Be persistent and keep repeating what you are being taught, you will feel the immediate results. I know that Danes switch to English when they hear you are not a native, but it is okay, keep it going!
Danish subs on movies or series
If you're procrastinating and going to watch a movie, might as well turn on the Danish subtitles to follow a few words. Or you can also find some Danish TV shows to follow. I am currently watching Rita on Netflix, but there are plenty of other great Danish series to watch.
Make the fridge talk to you
This is a new thing I have discovered at my friend’s place. Magnets with different Danish words. Make a different sentence each day or learn a few words while going for your snacks. You can buy a pack of "Køleskabspoesi" with over 500 different magnets. If you buy it, it will be a huge attraction to both your international and Danish friends, I can promise you that (Spent 30 mins analyzing my friend’s fridge, getting inspired, making silly sentences. Imagine that inspiration every day!)
Fancy a pickup line in Danish?
While learning, enjoy the process and learn some weird pickup lines from this article that I recently found. It’s fun to impress your Danes with some interesting sentences. Also, Google Translate is really not that bad to hear how some words should be pronounced (if you don’t have a Dane nearby)
The big step – join the classes
When you feel ready enough to dedicate ~4h. each week to attend your Danish classes, do it! It took me 2.5 years, but I really needed to gather the motivation to be able to make this decision, because I know myself. If I start, I will go till the end 😁
If you want to start learning Danish, check this page of our academy, it will give you more information on this topic.
Make sure you have made up your mind - the classes are free, but you need to pay a deposit and will get it only after you are done with your module!
So see you in 5 years, when I am fluent in Danish, but until then, if you have any questions about learning Danish or student life in general, you are always welcome to reach out to me!
Austeja A, AP Multimedia Design & Bachelor top-up Digital Concept Development.
About Austeja: Loves to be creative in writing and painting. Sometimes known to take a jog while travelling.