So the way things worked out with credits for my degree, I ended up enrolling in Danish classes for the entire year. Which I was a bit nervous about since I had never actually heard the Danish language before coming here, and when I tried to learn a bit before I left I was just completely lost. I thought maybe it would be a bit like French? Um, not really.
Danish is a mix of English, German and Swedish - but what’s tricky about it is that it’s pronounced almost nothing like how it is spelled. We have this one exercise in our books where we literally just cross out the letters that we don’t actually end up pronouncing. So it’s quite futile to even try to guess what it’s actually supposed to sound like, because it will most likely be wrong - as I have painfully learned.
At the beginning, I was having a really hard time trying to keep up, feeling stupid, inadequate and behind compared to the rest of my classmates who seemed to be picking it up with ease. But then I realized, I actually wasn’t putting in that much work into it to start with, just an hour or so of homework and that’s it. If I wanted to commit to learning, I had practice…a lot.
Learning Danish has been a really humbling experience for me, because it is completely out of my comfort zone and wasn’t something that came totally naturally to me. I had to work for it and be stretched. There was a steep learning curve, but after hours of listening to records, repeating very elementary sentences to my very entertained Danish roommate and trying to practice my Danish every chance I get; I can say that I am slowly improving.
I am used to just being good at the things I’m good at. I guess when you are a certain age you figure out what you do well in and then just ignore all the things you are not. Which is great because you can develop your strengths, but you also get cocky. You forget the value that hard work gets you, and if you really want to do well in something you need to work hard at it. So even though Danish is virtually a useless language outside of Denmark, I’m thankful for these lessons I’ve learned. Furthmore, here is my first essay completely in Danish! Probably filled with mistakes but I’m proud of it nonetheless.
Jeg hedder Janet. Jeg kommer fra Canada, en stor by hedder Toronto. Jeg kan tale selvfølgelig engelsk, og koreansk og lidt fransk. Jeg er født i Canada, men mine forœldre kommer fra Korea, en stor by hedder Seoul. Jeg elsker hygge og mørk chocolade. Jeg bor på et vœrelse på Nørrebro. Jeg deler en lejlighed med en dansk piger, hun hedder er Najaa. Min post nummer er 2200.