Danish. A north Germanic language spoken by around 6 million people, principally in Denmark. It is also ranked in the top 15 most difficult languages to learn. Perfect, just perfect. Like living in Denmark wasn’t hard enough for a foreigner, the language just kicks you when you’re down. Luckily for me the majority of Danes can spit a few Danglish words my way and it makes relatively little sense, but enough to get by. The Danish government try to tackle this problem for us foreigners by offering FREE Danish classes. Not just a handful either, but a WHOLE YEAR…and continued free education if you pass the end of year exam. Impressive stuff Danish Government, impressive stuff. So where do I sign up?
Here actually 😉
Back to school
I remember the first day of classes as if it was yesterday. A new backpack packed to the brim with binders, booklets, dictionaries and more. A kiss on the forehead from the wife and I was off into the unknown. The classes were to take place in the International House, an enormous building that not only has offices (used for job searching for ‘new Danes’) and classrooms, it also houses a few dozen overseas students. After walking up 12 flights of stairs and breaking a sweat I was greeted by an equally exhausted eager student, Leri. We clicked almost instantly, maybe due to our athletic backgrounds (although originally from Georgia, Leri competed at the World Championships in figure skating) or for our humour in realising how difficult this Dansk was going to be to learn.
Higgledy piggledy, potato throat
The class was stacked with over 20 keen fresh faced outsiders but throughout the course of the year, more and more empty seats were available. Whether it was down to personal issues or the struggles of at lære Dansk, people were dropping like flies. At first it was hard to find a seat, now there were enough to put our bags/feet on, but through it all Leri and I stuck together. We completed our first end of year module exam and PASSED! WHOOP WHOOP! Sadly, for me, Leri moved away to coach figure skating in the Netherlands where his new found education in Danish means squat-diddly-piss. As for me, I have enrolled in continuing learning this higgledy piggledy, potato throat, yodelling bollocks of a language for at least another year, or for as long as it takes me to comfortably order a beer without my voice breaking.