I have officially lived in Denmark 3 years and one day. Today I have my final Danish exam. I'm lucky I have two passports, Australian and Italian, so the strict rules for immigration don't apply to me because technically I am an EU citizen. I am grateful for this little bureaucratic blunder, but I also think it's unfair, that other women in my class, just like me, might get kicked out of the country if they don't pass this test.
It's a lovely language, but I underestimated how hard a new language for a 40 year old brain would be, especially because Danish generally has no real hard and fast grammar rules, and at least 40 different vowel sounds that are simply impossible to hear if you are not a native... it's that slight difference between the vowel sound in words like soup and soon... I can barely hear it English and I admit that it is hard, but every Danish person thinks they sound completely different in similar Danish words.
Then there is inversion, perfect sentences written words with wrong places doesn't that make not sense! It's the difference between 'She wanted to leave the party, so I did' or She wanted to leave the party, so did I. One tiny word in the wrong spot changes the outcome... and there is no sign language in a written exam.
Denmark is a tiny land, less than 6 million people speak Danish, it almost seems like a waste of time to learn how to speak it, especially because everyone speaks English, but there really is no better way to understand a culture than to understand the way they speak and thus how their thoughts are formed and strung together...
I can hold a conversation, I can read and write enough to pass a test, but I realise now that it will be something I never stop learning, just like English I guess...
Just to give you a tiny taste of what I am up against, the amount of Danish words is relatively small compared to English but compounding words is very common, according to wiki ''Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode, which is 51 letters, is the longest Danish word that has been used in an official context. It means "Period of plan stabilising for a specialist doctor's practice,"
Try and get your tongue around that.
Wish me luck, this blog post bought to you by completely avoiding further study, because any and every danish word sounds like french to me right now...
- Ida Chiavaro
- A child of Italian immigrants, I was born and bred in my homeland, Australia. I bought a small apartment in the city of Melbourne when I was 24 then I scored a dream job and sailed around the world, on a record breaking, fast ship. I was the (unqualified and only) cook. Little did I know at the time, I met my true love. He didn't even get a kiss, before I let him go. In-between wandering aimlessly, I worked and educated myself to become a Nurse, Reflexologist, Reiki Master, Colon hydrotherapist and a First Aid and Occupational Health and Safety Trainer. Just as I was finding my feet and starting a life that suited my varying needs, he (my true love) was now a Captain and found me on facebook, 11 years after we had last seen each other. In May 2010 I moved to Denmark so we could be together, and also gained two more bonus kids. It's the best decision I've ever made. I have always followed my heart, even the times it was beating out of tune, but magic lies in mistakes too. Amongst other things, this is a love story.