Danish Courses: Take Two!

This Wednesday, I started in my new course at Studieskolen.  The last course I took wasn’t really what I was hoping for, as you might remember from my whiney posts about it.  It was a mix of everything and had us practicing vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, reading, listening, and speaking in general.  It’s a well-rounded course, and I’m sure if you build up from knowing absolutely no Danish and go through the courses from the beginning, it makes a lot of sense, but for me, it didn’t.

Because I learned to speak by listening, speaking, reading, and writing a bit, I can get by in daily life really well.  I can have conversations, and my accent, while definitely there, is decidedly not American, and I think I can blend in pretty well.  What I can’t do very well, is write.  It’s not just the spelling, but I’m completely missing any knowledge of Danish grammar.

So I talked with my teacher from my last class, and she switched me to a class for written Danish in particular.  The first day, he did what was a review of basic sentence structures to most of the class, but for me, it was all new.  I was hurriedly scribbling notes, filing away the new vocabulary (like the Danish word for “substantive clause”) and trying to soak up as much as possible.  I felt like everything we learned was completely new to me, and I was so happy about it.

This is what I wanted.  So even though I spent hours on the homework today (and am pretty sure that I got about half of it wrong), and I’m still not finished, I’m really glad.  When I was in my last course, I would think to myself “this is what school was like?  This is awful.  Maybe I don’t like this after all.”  But today, I really felt like I was back in school, struggling a bit, challenging myself, and feeling like I was learning a ton!

Although I hope that not every class will be quite as overwhelming as Wednesday’s was, I’m so glad to be learning new things, and to feel like I’m on a track to quickly improve my Danish skills (a track I need to be on since I decided to take the big Danish test in May).

To end, here’s a picture of me sitting curled up with my homework today (I’ve missed this so much!!).  If you look closely, there’s evidence of the baby (in the form of my protruding belly) at the bottom.  I’ve got a homework buddy!



A Warm Chair

First of all…one of the days I’ve been waiting for has arrived!  I am proud to announce that I’ve noticed in the past few days that I’m effortlessly understanding Danish (whether it be spoken to me, or if I overhear a conversation) without even trying!  For the longest time, I’d always translate in my head, slowly at first, then a lot more quickly.  Now, it’s finally as if Danish is burrowing in and making its own little home in my brain.  I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m really excited about how naturally it’s coming to me recently!  I hope that by the time I’m settled here and have a real home and a life, I’ll be able to entertain myself on the bus by eavesdropping again.  Haha, just kidding.  I don’t do that……

Also, I was watching a bit of the news with Andreas the other day and they were talking about…well, they were talking about something and the title of the piece was “Varm stolen” which really translates to “hot seat.”  Hot seat means the same thing here as it does in the states, and as Andreas just hypothesized, maybe it’s named for how hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable you feel when you “sit” in it.  Anyway, while “varm” means “hot” in Danish, it will never stop meaning “warm” to me, and this particular headline reminded me more of the uncomfortableness of coming to class and sitting in a seat that has been pre-warmed by someone else’s butt (thank you.).  Just another wee difference that keeps me appreciating that I am, indeed, an American in Denmark.