https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

Danish: is it as hard as everyone says?

When I tell people that I am learning Danish, the most common response is that I picked a difficult language to learn.

I figured when learning my first language (besides English), I would choose German. I chose German because it was more supposed to be more difficult than Spanish. (Those were the only two languages offered at my High School.)

In college I began learning French. It seemed so easy and fun compared to German.

Now I endeavor to learn Danish. Not for a grade, or a man, or anyone except myself. I want to potentially go back to Denmark, and when I am there, I would like to be able to speak the native language.

Please follow me and help me learn. If I can, I will also help you!

Cheers! Raye

March 28, 2017

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arielkangaroo

No, especially if you know English and/or another Germanic language. The pronunciation is tricky but that's generally one of the harder parts of learning new language! Also, depending on how well you learned German/how much you retained from it, you might have an easier time pronouncing certain sounds.

There are also quite a few Danish words with French roots/origins, like niveau, etage, medicin, abonnement, møbel (meuble).

Someone once told me Danish is up there in terms of difficulty along with Mandarin Chinese, which completely weirded me out. There's just no comparison!

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

lol.. yes. everyone keeps telling me whoa! that's going to be so hard. why Danish it's so hard?! I too noticed the French and Germanic similarities, as well as English. And my retention is pretty good in German, although I don't want to do too much of either one on here, until I get a stronger hold on my Danish. Pronunciation is the HARDEST!! omg.. so I figure I need to find a site that has visual learning, or start skyping someone to watch their lips. lol

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadsNielse14

I'm a native speaker. Pronunciation is hard for most foreigners because it's so disconnected from written Danish. In addition to that, some of the sounds we make are quite different from what people are used to. However, I suppose that's usually the case when you're learning a new language.

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil507561

This is something I'm struggling with. When I took Spanish in school, the teacher would correct my pronunciation, and I had plenty of opportunity to listen to it spoken. Duolingo is a great tool for learning to read and write a new language, but I'm probably butchering my pronunciation.

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadsNielse14

Recently, there was a minor cultural exhange between Denmark and Holland. A couple of Danish news hosts used Google Translate on their piece on the Dutch elections, presented it in Dutch and published it on the internet. A couple of Dutch news hosts returned the favor.

The first was this guy, who did pretty well https://twitter.com/tomvanteinde/status/842423258234388480

The next was this woman, who ... well, at least she tried ... https://youtu.be/GTKF8Zwd7o0

You could try and compare your own pronunciations with those two and see how well you fare ;)

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

pretty sure I am butchering mine too! lol. ;)

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blakewalk

Record yourself repeating phrases from the lessons, then play them back.

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

thanks for responding! Where do you live? I would be interested to know more. :D

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadsNielse14

I live in a town not too far from København, to which I commute to work.

What would you like to know? Danish is just a language, and to follow the tradition, I should tell you that it's hardly a useful language since it's spoken by so few and that we're probably among the best foreign English speakers in the world.

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil507561

I chose Danish because I have some co-workers in Aalborg who I communicate with by email and phone (I'm American). I was looking at the list of languages Duolingo offers, and considering trying something unusual like Norwegian, Swahili, etc. I then realized that Danish would be useful to me at work. As you pointed out, my Aalborg co-workers already speak good English, so it's not really necessary for me to learn Danish, but at least I have people to practice it with.

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

oh I know.. not many folks need Danish, but if I am ever to immigrate or to go looking for long lost family members, it will be useful. ;)

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

I have been to Koebenhavn, about twenty years ago! lol. I was just a young thing then. I never bothered to learn the language until now. I think because internets! I can learn easier than if I tried to learn back then with a book and dictionary. I have a friend that lives in Denmark as it is her native land. She is encouraging me to come back of course! I will visit you too when I come!

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KlenovvySyrop

The only thing I find difficult about it is the silent letters and the pronunciation. And er and et. Those are confusing.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaf241

I can never keep er or et straight! I've tried to approach it by simply memorising which goes with which. It's a gender thing, all languages have it. Swedish has grammatical and real life gender, Danish only has grammatical, I think. For the pronunciation, look up Danish music on YouTube or something.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KlenovvySyrop

Same! They're so difficult. And don't for get en. There's er, et and en!

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanmarkLover

I'm German - until now it's easy 'cause the german language has a lot in common with danish ^^. Ummm... I had French i school but hated it, danish seems to be a lot easier compared to it.

March 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

hi! yes I took German and French. I love them both..although Danish has been my dream language for a while now. Silly that I waited so long to learn it.

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaf241

Danish is relatively similar to German to some extent. When I've done it on another site besides this, I could connect some words to Norwegian and German. With background in German, I'm guessing it may be easier for you. Held og lykke!

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

It does seem to be similar in many ways. Are you fluent in Danish? I found this site just a few weeks ago and have been feeling pretty good about my success rate. Duo seems to be set up to make it fun. I want to get my skills up to date on this site for all the languages I know. However I really want to make serious progress with Danish, so that is my main focus.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaf241

I'm not fluent, no. I know more Norweigan than Danish. I've been studying all the Nordic languages, I know the most Norwegian, next Danish, third Swedish, then Icelandic. I'd like to move to Iceland, so Icelandic is my priority. Though, no sites offer a good course! Only 320,000 people speak it. I started with German, then to Norwegian, but Icelandic is still somewhat distant from the two mother languages. Iceland is the little brother to Norway and Denmark in my eyes.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaf241

Oh my gosh, thank you so much!

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KlenovvySyrop

What site?

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaf241

It's called Memrise, they have plenty of other language courses that they don't offer on Duo, but I find Duo better.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

Jeg synes, det er ganske simpelt

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KlenovvySyrop

All I got was Jeg

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

lol. synes is think... and it's "i think, it is quite simple"

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knudvaneeden

Danish is (very) hard to understand (mapping from characters to sound). Swedish and Norwegian are much easier to understand.

April 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

i don't know the latter, but yes.. Danish is sooo hard to figure out when I cannot see the mouth moving.

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dejliglyn

I’m surprised, as an English native speaker, by how easy Danish is compared to even a related language like German. The word order is so much more straightforward - the closest to English I’ve encountered. I find much of the time if I order the words as I would in English and don’t overthink it, I’m right - and also if I don’t let my German get in the way. Also, Danish grammar is very easy to grasp. Vocab is mostly easy if you’ve already got German or another related language. There are some amusing (well, to me!) words which are unique but easily remembered because of their quirkiness. Pronunciation is the hardest part, and by the same token, aural comprehension is a challenge. In my experience, Danish is nowhere near as difficult as Irish, Mandarin Chinese or German.

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonathan_info

i from Denmark

lol

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

you are from Denmark?

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sorenson_us

I like your picture. How old are you?

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonLundR

i am from denmark and i it is hard to say some words but its not many so try to say gød grød med fløde that is propely the hardest thing to say in danish

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brooke465342

My mouth hurts trying to speak Danish. German was much easier with regards to phonetics, but I find Danish to be much easier in the gender/plural department, no Der Die Das.

May 3, 2019
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