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  1. #1
    Dreadlord Craakar's Avatar
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    Learning Danish, but have some questions about second languages in general.

    I've lived in Denmark for 4 months now, and it has only been in the last 1-2 months that i've taken a serious approach to learning the language, I have learned a few pretty fast, and I can say "Roed groed med floede" :P (I can't do Ø because I have a British Keyboard). But my problem comes when actually trying to listen;

    I can say what I want to say (not perfectly, but well enough for the recipient to understand)
    I can write it, again, very well but not perfectly.

    This morning I had to buy a 'tre zoner klippetkort' and 'to haandvaerker', i can easily go up to and ask for it, and all was fine up until she gave me my things, then she started to speak, I had no idea what she was saying, so I said "hvad?" - she said it again. Now at this point, there's a couple behind me in the queue and it's quite embarassing, so I just gave up and said "Do you speak English?", thankfully she was sweet enough and just smiled and said "Would you like anything else?", I said "ah okay, nej tak. Sorry i'm still learning", and she replied "Nono it's fine" and smiled, so I left.

    Now unfortunately, this happens ALL THE TIME, as I said earlier I can say what I want to say, write what i want to write, well enough to get the point across - but when someone speaks to me, despite them speaking really fast, sometimes I do say "er do soed at tale langsommer", ((Can you speak slower please)In a polite way), and sometimes that helps and we reach an understanding.

    I'm having a really hard time in these situations and it's quite demoralizing/frustrating, i'm not blaming the Danish public, naturally, I appreciate the way the young girl was with me. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to pay for a Danish Language Course, they cost around 6000DKK, (or £800 in British Money). Ideally I can't think of a solution to this myself but I thought i'd ask on here perhaps any ways to at least gain a bit more understanding, as everything said to me, unless spoken slowly, is just one big word of gibberish

    Thanks for reading and in advance, thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
    Being Danish myself attracted me to this topic, as it's very interesting to see others go out of their way to learn danish, when it's usually the other way around, I don't really know of any that has tried to learn it.

    I'm sure Danish is more difficult to learn than English, but if I were you I'd watch Olsen Banden and some Dirk Passer to familiarize with the language!

  3. #3
    The Patient Soneia's Avatar
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    Now i am not an expert in languages by far, but i am danish of course the way we learn and approach things varies from person to person i found a good way to learn and further understand a new language is to find a movie and put the language of what you want to learn and then put the subtitles on the language you already know. That way you might learn the way the language is spoken a little easier and cheaper

  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Baracuda's Avatar
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    Unless you're from Sweden/Norway Danish is a very hard language to understand, it's very straining for me from Sweden
    I think you should just practice, practice and practice. Hopefully you have some Danish friends you can speak general conversations with, take a class perhaps
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  5. #5
    I think renting movies and have subtiles on, can work. Plenty of decent danish movies really.

    Very nice of you to try learn the langue, trough I will mention that speaking english is fine aswell. I would have tough no less of anyone, if they rather want to speak english, I much rather preffer that aswell, if the guy is struggling (Herp derp our kronprinsesse Mary).

    Trough I guess if you wanne get into the job-market danish is needet?
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  6. #6
    When I moved to france,everything sounded like gibberish and to make things better... The french are well known for speaking their language and refusing to learn any others.

    I just jumped right into the deep end, I was completely surrounded by a new language, with no choice but to learn french. I also refused to ask if they spoke english because that would be cheating!

    I never did any courses or schools (very expensive as well) and yes there were plenty of moments when you get some dirty looks/huge WTF faces. But for the most part everyone was happy to see me making the effort to learn the language.

    Thus my advice is

    - try to put yourself in as many situations that require you to talk to people. Practice makes perfect.
    - Watch danish tv/listen to the radio
    - use hand gestures to bridge the gap, hehe

    Hope I helped with my random just got out of bed words

  7. #7
    Pandaren Monk
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    I suggest watch a LOT of Danish TV, movies or what have you. You'll pick up the tones and rhythms of normal speech quite fast and you'll be able to pick out the words in the long gibberish.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Old God
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    Danish most be hell to learn, you have my sympathy lol... anyways, be honest to anyone you talk to/meet, tell them to talk slowely/clear right away and that you are learning still, don't gey embarrased about that, you have no reason, if a dane get upset about it then fuck them :P.
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Craakar View Post
    I've lived in Denmark for 4 months now, and it has only been in the last 1-2 months that i've taken a serious approach to learning the language, I have learned a few pretty fast, and I can say "Roed groed med floede" :P (I can't do Ø because I have a British Keyboard). But my problem comes when actually trying to listen;

    I can say what I want to say (not perfectly, but well enough for the recipient to understand)
    I can write it, again, very well but not perfectly.

    This morning I had to buy a 'tre zoner klippetkort' and 'to haandvaerker', i can easily go up to and ask for it, and all was fine up until she gave me my things, then she started to speak, I had no idea what she was saying, so I said "hvad?" - she said it again. Now at this point, there's a couple behind me in the queue and it's quite embarassing, so I just gave up and said "Do you speak English?", thankfully she was sweet enough and just smiled and said "Would you like anything else?", I said "ah okay, nej tak. Sorry i'm still learning", and she replied "Nono it's fine" and smiled, so I left.

    Now unfortunately, this happens ALL THE TIME, as I said earlier I can say what I want to say, write what i want to write, well enough to get the point across - but when someone speaks to me, despite them speaking really fast, sometimes I do say "er do soed at tale langsommer", ((Can you speak slower please)In a polite way), and sometimes that helps and we reach an understanding.

    I'm having a really hard time in these situations and it's quite demoralizing/frustrating, i'm not blaming the Danish public, naturally, I appreciate the way the young girl was with me. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to pay for a Danish Language Course, they cost around 6000DKK, (or £800 in British Money). Ideally I can't think of a solution to this myself but I thought i'd ask on here perhaps any ways to at least gain a bit more understanding, as everything said to me, unless spoken slowly, is just one big word of gibberish

    Thanks for reading and in advance, thanks for any feedback.
    Hello Craakar!

    I am a foreigner who has been living in Denmark for 5 years now, and I can totally relate to what you wrote.

    I can still remember having the exact same issue the very first time I was asked if I wanted anything else "ellers andet?" or when paying with my card and being asked "på beløbet?". For us foreigners, it comes down to "mentally parsing" the danish soft-d, and remembering that in some regions, the "-et" definite form for substantives is pronounced in a similar way and thus, for our unaccustomed ears, sounds the same (or, should I add, sounds as nothing at all ). For the first few months or even up to a couple of years, depending on how fast you learn, you will have to deal with these issues on a daily basis, and it gets worse if you move a lot within Denmark, as danes have radically different accents (based from a foreigner's p.o.v) across the country. Just keep practicing, and you will eventually be fine. As you said, the difficult part about learning danish is being able to recognize the sounds to which we can not relate to in our native language. Once you are able to recognize them, you'll be able to reproduce them properly.

    Regarding danish classes, every foreign national with a residence permit in Denmark is entitled to free danish tuition (language school). You should ask at your local Rådhus about this matter. You will be charged a one time fee of around 500 dkk for the final exam. Just mention that you would like to enroll in danish classes, and the school closest to you will send you a letter when an opening is available (which can take somewhere around 1 to 4 weeks). The full danish courses can take from 12 to 36 months (maximum), depending only on how fast your own pace is and when you decide to take the exams, and the final exam gives you the right to enroll on any of the higher education degrees which are taught exclusively in danish throughout the country.

    Feel free to message me if you need any more info, as I went through all the stuff myself in the past

  10. #10
    In general, most Danish people are polite to a 'newcomer', when they are trying to learn the language (like what happened in the bakery). If you have some questions you just can get out in danish, don't be afraid to speak in english. The fact that you are actually trying to learn danish, is enough for most danes to think that you are a really awesome newcomer!

  11. #11
    Sounds like you need someone to practise with ón a regular basis.
    Since I'm Danish, I am volounteering for that
    PM me.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Craakar View Post
    I've lived in Denmark for 4 months now, and it has only been in the last 1-2 months that i've taken a serious approach to learning the language, I have learned a few pretty fast, and I can say "Roed groed med floede" :P (I can't do Ø because I have a British Keyboard). But my problem comes when actually trying to listen;

    I can say what I want to say (not perfectly, but well enough for the recipient to understand)
    I can write it, again, very well but not perfectly.

    This morning I had to buy a 'tre zoner klippetkort' and 'to haandvaerker', i can easily go up to and ask for it, and all was fine up until she gave me my things, then she started to speak, I had no idea what she was saying, so I said "hvad?" - she said it again. Now at this point, there's a couple behind me in the queue and it's quite embarassing, so I just gave up and said "Do you speak English?", thankfully she was sweet enough and just smiled and said "Would you like anything else?", I said "ah okay, nej tak. Sorry i'm still learning", and she replied "Nono it's fine" and smiled, so I left.

    Now unfortunately, this happens ALL THE TIME, as I said earlier I can say what I want to say, write what i want to write, well enough to get the point across - but when someone speaks to me, despite them speaking really fast, sometimes I do say "er do soed at tale langsommer", ((Can you speak slower please)In a polite way), and sometimes that helps and we reach an understanding.

    I'm having a really hard time in these situations and it's quite demoralizing/frustrating, i'm not blaming the Danish public, naturally, I appreciate the way the young girl was with me. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to pay for a Danish Language Course, they cost around 6000DKK, (or £800 in British Money). Ideally I can't think of a solution to this myself but I thought i'd ask on here perhaps any ways to at least gain a bit more understanding, as everything said to me, unless spoken slowly, is just one big word of gibberish

    Thanks for reading and in advance, thanks for any feedback.
    You prob would need to save up for the course, even tho it might take you a while. While that being said, it might be because the danish people is talking to fast.
    You might have to tell them to "talk alittle slower" / kan du snakke lidt langsommere, and that should eass the understanding.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Faylo View Post
    You prob would need to save up for the course, even tho it might take you a while. While that being said, it might be because the danish people is talking to fast.
    You might have to tell them to "talk alittle slower" / kan du snakke lidt langsommere, and that should eass the understanding.
    Yeah. Biggest problem with danish is that danes speak way too quickly for somebody who isn't very good at the language to understand it, and like 25% of the letters are officially silent, 25% just aren't pronounced because it would take too long, and the rest is mostly mumbled.

  14. #14
    Brewmaster
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    Appropriate here I think :P

  15. #15
    I'm also an english person who has being living in Denmark for almost 3 years, my danish is still pretty bad mostly because I am quite unmotivated to learn more myself (although I am trying harder now) so I usullay resort to either asking others to speak english, or using my bits of danish and gestures to get what I need :P

    I'm confused about your language course issue though. When I moved to Denmark (I live in randers, part of the "mainland") I was told by the local Kommune that I could get an almost free language course for 3 years - which i did for about 6 months then had to stop going due to working. It was about 12 - 15 hours or so a week, split over different days. I think it cost a small amount every month or 3 months - but it really was a very token amount, we were not very well-off ourselves before I started working!

    Anyway, maybe I got lucky in the area I live in, and different areas have different policies and funding for danish courses, but this was like a proper funded school with at least a couple of hundred "students" all learning danish. http://sprogcenter.randers.dk/FrontEnd.aspx?id=24487

    I have to go out now, if you need any help or have questions from someone who has been through most of the danish systems as an english person, feel free to PM me!

  16. #16
    Danish is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world.
    many words means diffrent things, and many letters isnt even prenaunced.
    Not to forget, there are like a million diffrent dialects in tiny denmark.
    However, we all know Jysk is the only real danish
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  17. #17
    Pandaren Monk Vomlix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pesko View Post
    Danish is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world.
    many words means diffrent things, and many letters isnt even prenaunced.
    Not to forget, there are like a million diffrent dialects in tiny denmark.
    However, we all know Jysk is the only real danish
    The dialect thing I agree with, I can't understand what they say in Jutland without concentrating. Funen is a bit easier since I have some family there, but I'm still not accustomed to hearing it.

    Also, to the OP, feel free to PM me with any questions about the Danish language.

  18. #18
    well being a Dane my self, and have worked with ya Englishmen, i would say that generally if we are asked to speak slower, and well goes for all languages using no slang/short terms of words, it should be fairly easy for you to follow what we say - but sadly not all Danes can slow their speed on the pronouncing of our language down. lucky for you, using a bit of a phrase from Police Academy's Captain - "many, many, many" Danes speak pretty good english While i'm at it, welcome to Denmark, may your stay be enjoyable most of the time and hope you meet some friendly Danes - on a last note - was in Britain about 8 years ago, driving a Lorry, must say Brits are a very warm and welcoming people to newcomers.

  19. #19
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    Watch a lot of danish movies where you are able to rewind if you dont understand something. It helps a lot.

    ---------- Post added 2012-10-12 at 02:51 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pesko View Post
    Danish is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world.
    many words means diffrent things, and many letters isnt even prenaunced.
    Not to forget, there are like a million diffrent dialects in tiny denmark.
    However, we all know Jysk is the only real danish
    Funny because Rigsdansk is the real danish and it is closest to the one spoken in the Capital...

  20. #20
    High Overlord Nelfette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightelfsb View Post
    I think renting movies and have subtiles on, can work. Plenty of decent danish movies really.
    This + listening to music with Danish lyrics would be a great help. Radio and TV as well. Eventually you'll get familiar with how we pronounce things and how we connect words in the spoken language. There is a system, you just have to find it

    Oh, and by the way, I was under the impression that Danish courses offered by VUC (as an example) weren't that expensive, but I honestly don't know - I never asked them about it. Treclol seems to know more about it than I do

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