Jeg bestod min Dansk test!

I’ve been taking the module 1 Danish language class for English speakers all semester. The course is not affiliated with RSLIS. I was able to take module 1 for free since the municipality pays for non-EU citizens to study the local language. On Tuesday I took the test and surprisingly I passed! The requirements were very low, however. The test consisted of 2 parts. Part 1 involves either giving a summary (in Danish) of one of 3 second-grade level Danish books OR describing yourself (in Danish). You would draw from a hat which one you’d do, so you had to prepare for all 4 possibilities.

The second part involved asking and answering questions (in Danish) about a photograph we brought in. Altogether the test was very informal and was supposed to last less than 10 minutes. I was nervous all the same, lol. Since I was in Turkey on the official test date, I arranged to be tested as soon as I came back, this past Tuesday. It was just me and the instructor. I ended up having to talk about one of the 3 books, and then of course my photo.

The instructor (whose name is Jacob) said that I had given one of the best presentations of that particular book he’d ever heard. That was surprising, because I was definitely not the best student in the class. He also said my command of the grammar was very good, but that I shouldn’t be nervous when speaking Danish. And of course my pronunciation and accent were terrible, but they don’t expect module 1 students to be able to pronounce words properly. All they care about is whether you can express yourself in simple, continuous Danish.

So Jacob said he’d mail my module 1 certificate to the States. I will continue with Module 2 when I return to Denmark in the future (I’m hoping to).

I can say that reading those second-grade level books has dramatically increased my vocabulary and understanding of the language. I can recognize infinitives, plurals, adjectives, conjunctions, 3 basic tenses and definite articles. When I see something written in Danish I can figure it out, the simpler the better, with the help of my English-Danish dictionary. But I cannot carry on a conversation in Danish. It’s still very hard to understand spoken Danish. I can pick up words and phrases but native speakers talk so quickly and slur their words together, it’s very difficult to follow. Whenever I try to order food in Danish, the cashiers immediately switch to English because they can tell I’m not a native speaker. Or, if they don’t switch to English, they ask me questions in Danish which I can’t understand, meaning we have to switch to English anyway.

While I’m at home in the States I will definitely continue to study Danish and increase my vocabulary. I’m serious about learning the language, but it will take lots of time and patience. I may even start a blog about it to stay motivated, we’ll see! I’m tired of English, really. I need a new language to express myself in. 🙂

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