Jeg lærer dansk

(I am learning Danish.)

In the spirit of striving to do more productive things with my time, I’ve decided it’s long overdue that I try to start learning Danish.

I’m using the Duolingo system, in part because it was the system recommended to me by my daughter’s past French immersion teacher to brush up on my French–I took it in grade school but never had any particular use for it and never practiced it, so it’s long gone, or at least deeply buried under decades of more relevant/recent life experience–plus it’s a super intuitive interface that makes learning pretty fun.

Oh, and it’s free, which is a bonus. I was a little confused when I was in the site discussion forum for the first time and saw a posted question along the lines of “Is this site a scam?” Um… I’ve had hours of learning a new language for free and there’s no indication that will change anytime soon, so I’m going to go ahead an say that No, it’s not a scam.(?)

It’s early days yet, but I seem to be getting the hang of at least the basics I’ve learned so far.

Amid the usually pretty practical items to practice, there have been a couple of odd phrases that they asked me to translate to or from Danish, including “An elephant does not speak Danish”, “A mouse is eating a sandwich”, and “A duck says good morning”, but hey… I guess at least I’ve got those down in case it comes up in conversation whenever we finally get to Denmark…

The family of three steps into the sparsely decorated, impeccable lobby of the hotel in Copenhagen. The father walks to the front desk where yet another strikingly handsome man–are there any other kind here?–smiles warmly.
“God aften,” he greets the guest. “Har du en reservation?” Good evening, do you have a reservation?
“God aften. Ja tak, det er til Reay Jespersen.” Good evening. Yes, thank you, it’s for Reay Jespersen.
The handsome clerk types on his keyboard and waits for the computer to respond.
Reay gives his wife and daughter a nod of encouragement and turns back to the clerk. The silence is getting drawn out and awkward, so he opts to make small talk. “Du har en smuk by,” he says. You have a beautiful city.
“Ja tak,” the clerk glances up and smiles before looking back to the screen.
Reay waits patiently until he realizes it’s the perfect time to pull out the big guns. “An elefant snakker ikke dansk.”
The clerk looks up at Reay, a slight twitch of his eyebrows expressing polite confusion.
Reay smiles and doubles down, happy to demonstrate his knowledge of the clerk’s native tongue. “En mus spiser en sandwich.”
He turns back to his wife and daughter with a smile and a wink.
Nailed it.

I’ve been doing the lessons for less than two weeks, but I certainly have no intention of easing up yet.

More updates/bizarre personification of animals as they come up.