Danish Practice

Dear Liza,

Learning Danish is a real challenge! I have been working at it on Duolingo every day since you moved to Denmark in August, and I am still at “baby talk” level. I know you and your folks are working hard at it, too.

I started using art to help me learn vocabulary a few months ago.

You know I’ve been studying French for a few years now, and there are words that have been adopted into Danish from French! Words like ‘restaurant’, and ‘menu’ and ‘toilet’ are Danish, as well as English and French. So there are a few gimme’s, as they say.

But those only go so far, and Danish has another difficulty.

Danish has TWENTY vowel sounds, at least three which do not happen in English. They all seem to be a variety of ‘o’, ranging from a puckered ‘oooo’ in the front of your mouth to a broader sound that sounds like you are choking on a potato. The consonants tend to get left off, leaving a pudding of vowel sounds that is hard for me to differentiate.

Also, Danish doesn’t pronounce the ‘d’ in the middle or end of a word, but it is still there (sometimes doubled) in the spelling. So ‘bondegård’, which means ‘farm’, is pronounced ‘bonnygo’. See what I mean?

I know you will work hard at Danish and get the hang of it well before I do, since it is all around you. Maybe you can help me when I come visit.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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