So, when I finished my Danish classes, something weird happened. In my final tests, I got great scores. I could now “officially” speak Danish, and I knew that my skills had improved dramatically over the few months that I’d taken courses. But being finished with Danish classes and just let loose in Denmark was more unnerving than I expected.
I suddenly felt that since I was done, and since I’d done well, I should just be able to do it all, and do it easily. I became three times more self conscious every time I was supposed to speak Danish. I hesitated over my “ø”s and panicked whenever someone couldn’t understand me the first time around.
The thing was, that before I took Danish classes, and I would make a mistake while speaking or writing, I’d think to myself “well, I’ve never even studied, I just learned on my own, so…that’s okay.” And now that I’m done, I feel like “Well geez, I’ve taken my Danish exams and passed, I should really know better.”
Now that I know all the rules, I can often hear small mistakes while I’m speaking, and while I often go back and correct myself, sometimes that’s just too distracting, and it bugs me to hear them pile up.
On the other hand, I’ve been watching a bit more Danish TV since we temporarily have Viaplay instead of Netflix. In the middle of watching the Danish version of “4 Weddings” I realized that I’m watching this show (while playing Candy Crush) for fun. Without subtitles. In Danish. And I’m getting it. I watch the news with Andreas, and understand probably just as much as I would if it was in English (there’s a lot of stuff about politics that I just can’t follow very well in general, regardless of the language). When I go to the doctor or midwife, we speak Danish. When I go to the store, and ask for help (this, also, is a new development for me), I speak in Danish. I realized suddenly that I could totally just “do” life in Danish. I completed a phone interview about Andreas and myself (for a study) in Danish. On the phone.
It’s sometimes easy to forget how long you’ve come when you’re in the middle of everything. Especially with our baby’s birth coming up pretty shortly, I haven’t done a whole lot of self-reflection (unless you count meticulously studying my stretch marks in the mirror to make sure I don’t have any new ones (which I always do)).
These last few weeks, I’m trying to be nice to myself. I realize that everything’s going to be changing in a few weeks, and that’s huge. I’m not the most “hardy” personality, and I get overwhelmed easily, so I know that now’s not the time to be pushing myself, or scolding myself for not being better, when I really have come a long, long way since we moved here in November.
In other exciting news: we bought a camera! One of the real deals! Well…an entry-level DSLR, which I’m sure will be “enough” for the two of us. It came in the mail today, but I’m practicing my self-restraint, and not opening it until Andreas comes home (in about an hour!). However, I’m really, really looking forward to learning how to use it, and being able to take lovely baby pictures right from the start! It also means (hopefully) that the blog will be a little more colorful soon, as baby pictures are a lot more likely to make it on the blog than pictures of me with my enormous ball of a belly.