My Danish language lessons won’t start for awhile, so in the meantime, I’ve been using an iPhone app called Duolingo to start learning some vocab and basic grammar. It’s a very good app, with a polished UI, smooth progression, and a variety of questions that requires you to recognize the printed and spoken word.
Spoken is definitely the hardest part, because as a friend told me before we moved over here, Danish is like “speaking Swedish with a cucumber in your mouth.” (He’s Swedish, so I guess he’s allowed to say that.) Lots of new sounds to decipher – and three new letters! – and very subtle differences between conjugations.
At least Duolingo keeps it all entertaining by giving me the craziest sentences to translate. It’s probably a good thing my verbal skills are going to be well behind my reading and writing for awhile, since all of these would make me sound like a deranged kindergartener.
No basic welcome-to-Denmark phrases like “Hello, how are you,” or “How much does this cost” or “Where is the nearest bathroom?” Instead, I am learning things like:
Those are at least somewhat believable. (Becca had a whole flock of ducks quacking ‘Good morning’ to her during a walk last week, so just go with it.)
Next, we get to stuff like this, neither of which are advisable:
And then this ominous message pops up:
It just gets weirder from there, with insights like:
Finally, we approach a level of genius that I honestly did not expect from this app:
Oh well. At least I got something useful out of these lessons: