Language Woes

So, I never thought that I would even think this, but it ran through my head during Danish class the other day.  “Maybe it would’ve been better if I just hadn’t learned a word of Danish yet.”

Now, I know I’ve been posting about my language class a lot, but bear with me a little longer!  There’ll be some variety on the horizon, I promise.  But for now, you’ll hear a bit more about my Danish courses.

Because I’ve learned so much Danish already, I got to start at a higher level in my Danish classes.  The problem is that I’ve learned Danish pretty much like a child would learn it.  So, while I can speak fairly well and with little accent, I’ve never bothered to learn what the imperative verb form is or what the specific plural form of various nouns look like.

I was really looking forward to being “back in school” and learning things in a classroom setting.  I’ve always been good at and liked school.  But not only is the class a bit too easy and slow for me, it’s just really frustrating.  I’m behind on all this technical grammar stuff, and way ahead on vocabulary, listening and speaking skills, and reading.  Now that I’ve experienced learning a language the “natural” way, I can’t fathom how people can actually learn it in a classroom.  I speak Danish inexplicably better than I ever spoke Spanish, which I studied for seven years. I don’t know how I had so much patience for it when I was in school.

Now, the classes I’m in are leading up to the Danish Test 3 which is the “big test” for Danish.  Passing it basically means you officially speak Danish, and I’m definitely looking forward to the day I pass so that I have some sort of official papers stating that I can, indeed, speak Danish.  The test is only offered twice a year, in May and in November.  I talked with my teacher after class the other day and she said I might be on track to take it in May (although it’s a bit early according to how many weeks of classes I’m supposed to have left before I’m “ready”).  The problem is that I’m going to the US in May.  We would go earlier, but Andreas doesn’t get any vacation time until May, and we can’t go later for various reasons.  And the test is on my birthday.  Great.

I was really looking forward to Danish classes also just as a way to connect with other people, and have some sort of social contact.  It is that for me, and I’ve really enjoyed talking with the people in my class during the break, before and after class, and even during our little Danish “conversation” times, but I don’t even know if that’s worth it.  The class is two nights a week, and since Andreas and I have been so busy, and are hosting an unusual amount of visitors, those two evenings a week that I lose with him are actually a lot of our time together.

It’s only my fourth class this evening, and I’m already not looking forward to going.

At least I’m not nervous…

5 thoughts on “Language Woes

  1. Will you be back from the US in time to take the test or will you have to wait until Nov. In the long scheme of things it probably won’t matter much if you have to wait, right? Is your stream of visitors going to slow down soon so that the 2 nights a week won’t feel like so much?

  2. I think learning a language in a classroom is one of the most pointless endeavours ever. I’ve studied German in classroom settings for going on seven years now and I can still barely communicate. The only reason I keep doing it is so I don’t forget what I’ve already learned. By contrast, I learned a lot more Norwegian in three months studying on my own (not that I remember much of it anymore) and even my Polish is more functional than my German, which I have never studied at all, but only picked up in bits and pieces. I think if you still feel like the class is not benefiting you within the next weeks, there’s not much point in continuing to go. You will still learn to speak Danish through absorption, the way you have been doing.

  3. Good luck deciding what to do, I know it is hard to figure out. I have not yet started SFI and will be in Sweden two years this June so like you feel I am starting to think it may be past the point.

    • Definitely tough! How come it has taken so long to be able to start SFI? I think if you do, you’d probably have the same problems as me, especially if Mr. H and his family has been teaching you to speak Swedish like a Swede!
      ps-I miss November because I liked when you posted every day 😉

      • O thanks that is really what I needed to hear because I have been feeling a bit blah on blogging!

        It has taken awhile since we were not sure when we would move from south to north and then it took us awhile to get settled!

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