Thanks to Danish Team--I Think...
I took a two week break from Duolingo Danish for a trip to Denmark. When I got back my nice gold tree was, well, a mess. So I am working away at getting it all gold again. And, I think I have noticed something. I think I have noticed a lot of new stuff. In addition to that drunk badger eating candy we now seem to have a lot of stuff I don't think I have seen before, like ants importing rye bread into Denmark. And some errors seem to have disappeared. I am not sure about this but it sure seems like someone has been working hard.
Thanks to all of you.
Will you ever pursue a 3rd language? I have started other trees but haven't found one as 'simple' as Danish: German grammar/lengthy words seem an insurmountable project to start in middle age, undecided if Norwegian would confuse or help my Danish, etc. Why are you staying exclusive to dansk?
But I would say, yes, I can talk with confidence. It is hard and after an hour or two of it in an intensive conversation I retreat to English but, yes, I can carry on a normal conversation. However, I have done a lot of study outside of Duolingo including a summer of intensive study of Danish in Copenhagen which I continue via Skype with weekly lessons. I don't think, for me anyway, finishing the tree alone would have been enough to begin conversing. Duolingo is excellent but, I, at least, needed shall we say a multi-prong approach! I hear tales of those who just did a Duolingo tree and then went to the country and were able to start talking with confidence. That was not me.
I tried many schools. I found that it was rather difficult to get into Danish classes in the summer. Teachers tend to like to take time off and lots of students want to continue during the summer so there are few extra places. I finally found a place with a private tutor at Studieskolen. This last summer went I went, I had three classes each weekday morning. I then stayed with some Danes (Air B and B) so I could also speak Danish where I lived. They shortcoming was that it was pricey. There might be ways to find less expensive tutors. I understand that there is some sort of matching service to help people who want to study connect. University of Aarhus has really excellent Danish language and I think they had space but I wanted to be in Copenhagen. The University of Copenhagen runs an intensive Danish class for people who will be students there and I understand that they allow in those who are not going be their students, if there is space.
They also have an innovative online learning set up, http://laerdansk.dk/en/aarhus. I participated for a number of months and found it good. I was in Denmark for three months in the summer of 2014 and for two weeks this past summer. There is no clear answer to what inspired me to learn Danish. I had studied other languages and somehow it appealed to me. We had had a Danish exchange student live with us for a year and that got me thinking about it. I visited the school in Aarhus. It is a healthy bus ride from the center in a residential area. And the whole of the city felt small town-ish. I might chosen that school but my wife was going to be with me. She wanted a more varied experience, not so exclusively focused on learning Danish. And she wanted to be closer to our friends, who mostly life around Copenhagen. But if you seriously want to learn Danish and don't want to be distracted by other things, consider it. It likely is a cheaper option. Living is likely cheaper. And the individual tutoring we got was excellent but very pricey. Besides, I think being in a class with other students could be fun and motivating.
Thank you so much for the link to Aarhus university and your thoughts on learning. That is going to be so helpful. Fortunately for me, (as far as learning Danish goes), I am of Danish descent so already understand quite a bit of the language. My problem is that I am very rusty in speaking it and my spelling is atrocious. By the time I get to Denmark again I'd like to be completely fluent. How was your experience with AirBnB? I hope to eventually find a 3 month rental through that site.