Welcome Students! [Please Read]
- The Danish Forum
- Tips and Notes Legend
- Voice Disclaimer
- The Taught Language
- Constructive Criticism
Dear student, thank you for taking your time reading this. This will be a very brief introduction to the Danish for English speakers course. In this thread we will talk about the forum structure, how to read our Tips & Notes, the current voice that is used for the course, the language, and how you can be a part of all of this!
But first let us just take a moment. Stop, take a step back, and realize that the Danish course has finally been released. I say that as if we have been working for half a year, but that is not entirely true. We started the work on this course June 4, 2014 at around 19 PM CEST. I still remember how Rune within the first 5 minutes had broken a skill, while our mentor, Ker, was trying to keep up with all of his questions. I had been napping, and got on after maybe 20 minutes. The speed that Rune was asking questions at is to this day unmatched. But hey, I think we figured it out rather well.
Rune and I did the first 20% on our own, and then we received two invites that we could use to get people to join us. We first added Sofia, since she seemed like the best fit, seeing as we were two rather similar guys we needed a third very different person with different perspectives. We also added Mikkel, since he seemed like a very motivated guy, who we later had to part ways since Mikkel had other things he needed to attend to and thus could not give the course the attention it needs. We appreciate both Sofia's and Mikkel's contributions, and without them, this course would have taken a lot longer to finish.
Now, remember this course is still in beta, and thus there is a lot of work to do still. Therefore we kindly ask you to be patient with us as we iron out the issues.
<h1>2. The Danish Forum</h1>
The Danish forum works just like the other language forums, there is no real magic to it. We have the general forum where you can talk to all the other people learning Danish and then we have the Sentences forum, in which you can discuss sentences.
Please remember that if you decide to post anything that you should make sure to follow Duolingo's Guidelines, these are not just written down as a joke and should be taken serious. If you still think you are better than these guidelines, then you will be removed. Therefore let us stick to those, so we can all have a good time and enjoy learning Danish together!
The team that will frequent the Danish forum as moderators are: bjarkehs, runem, and Sofiadcs.
<h1>3. Tips and Notes Legend</h1>
Before you throw yourself at the skills mindlessly and get stuck, please remember that for most skills that require help we have created notes that will help you understand the grammar more easily (hopefully). These notes are written in a certain format to make it easier for you to read. We do not have many fancy ways of handling different text, but here is what we figured would be the best look for each category:
- Danish words = æblet
- Danish sentences = Han er en mand
- English words and sentences = The boy eats an apple
- suffix and prefix of words =
Here is a quick example: The word æblet can be used for the sentence Manden spiser æblet, which means the man eats the apple. Here the definite article is indicated by the suffix
-t added to the indefinite form æble (apple) giving æblet (the apple).
<h1>4. Voice Disclaimer</h1>
We are aware that the voice is not too amazing, and it sometimes sound like a sailor and it sometimes sound like my drunk aunt who lives far out on the countryside. But please note that the text-to-speech (TTS) software that we have is pretty much the best available. The voice is however still in beta, but so far it is doing better than anything we have heard elsewhere, and we hope that you will be able to understand most of it. There are some problematic sentences, and we apologize in advance for sentence that you simply cannot hear and ask that you do your best :)
<h1>5. The Taught Language</h1>
Right, we all know that you are here to learn Danish, but you might be thinking: "So is it the Danish spoken in Copenhagen or the Danish spoken in Northen Jutland?" My answer to this is pretty simple. We are trying our best to teach the Danish spoken on the news. To understand what I mean, then we have very different dialects in all of Denmark, but we obviously share a large vocabulary base, and mostly differ in pronunciation and word frequency. This means that there are some words only used in some regions, but we will not be teaching these, except for a few special cases, but you will meet those late in the course. Therefore the TTS would be the deciding factor, and since it is a computer, then it tries it best to be neutral, however some of the words that it attempts to pronounce die, but you will experience that soon enough.
Obviously we are always thrilled to hear about your suggestions, and please do not hold back with your ideas. The only thing we ask you is to do a brief search before submitting your suggestion. Please note that at the beginning of the beta phase we cannot make changes other than on the sentence level, but it will be something that we will keep in mind for when we can actually change things. You are obviously also welcome to post on the team members' streams (our profiles). Our suggestion is that you add your suggestions to this suggestion thread, since this will give a nice overview and give the team members a central place to check for most recent suggestions.
<h1>7. Constructive Criticism</h1>
We appreciate any constructive criticism, but please keep it constructive. If we find that your criticism of the team or the course is unconstructive or downright hurtful, then we reserve the right to lock and/or delete your thread, but obviously we would prefer not having to do that. Also, if you find a part that you really like, then we would love to hear about that to. Remember, we are humans, and we love to hear about people appreciating the course.
Good luck with the learning,
Team Danish Dynamite runem, Sofiadcs, and bjarkehs.
This is the best news I have heard all day! Already looking forward to testing out the course and see if I can help with any sentence suggestions, or if I can just lean back and revel in the glory of our tiny language actually being a part of this amazing project. You guys rock! - best wishes from a fellow Denmarkian :D
Lots of people have already stated this, but I'm sure it can't hurt being told how awesome you guys are ... thanks again Team Danish! The course looks great, the notes are fantastic, and when you think about that fact that 3 Danes just opened up their language to over 1,000k (and counting!) other people ... mind-boggling. Mange tak! :)
I just completed the first lesson of the first skill and I was right - the website I tried before was truly horrible. It's no wonder they scared me away from Danish after the basics. I knew a Duolingo course would have to be better, but I had no idea how much better. After reading through the Tips & Notes for Basics 1 and completing the first lesson, I feel like this is a language I will actually be able to learn (even if I can't get the pronunciation exactly perfect!), and this time I won't give up so easily. Big thanks to all of Team Danish for creating this awesome course, I can't wait to explore the rest of the tree. :-D
Once I got my account on Duolingo, I was really excited about learning new languages. I must admit the site is extremely useful - I learned a lot of German without cramming and got acquainted with general basics of some other European languages without difficulties. The only disadvantage for me was the absence of Scandinavian languages. I adore the sound of these languages, which remind me of an unforgettable journey to Sweden and Denmark. And one day I noticed Danish was about to come out here! I'm so enthusiastic about it now, and I'd like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the course, runem, Sofiadcs, bjarkehs! Thanks for all the work you did for us =)
Two nights ago I was thinking about taking on another language because I was getting bored of Spanish. I was thinking French, but I decided to scroll down to see what else there was. When I saw that I could take this (even though it is a beta version) I was so happy! I've been thinking about going to Denmark since I was younger. I was fascinated by the culture and I really wanted to learn at least the basics of the language. And now I can! Thank you for making this!
I can't believe it is finally here! I had no idea Danish was even in the works until last night. I lived in Denmark for a few years in the early 90's. I was able to learn the language, but then I came back to the US and lost most of it. :( I have been hoping Duolingo would eventually have it, but I had no idea it was already here. Thank you so much for your dedication in bringing this amazing language to us! I am having a blast learning it again!! ;) Thank you again Team Denmark!!
I have never learnt any Danish, so I feel privilaged to do this course and I am enjoying it so much. If it had not been for Duolingo, I would never have really thought of learning Danish, but I am so glad I have this opportunity, and although only a few lessons in, I can't wait to get more expert at a basic level, which I hope will lead me on to more intermediate learning in the future. Thanks!
I love, love, love this course!
I had begun on DuoLingo with French, German, and Spanish (all of which I'd previously taken in school), but I wanted to add a brand-new (for me) language, so I selected Danish. What a great course!
I love your notes and especially your humor, both in the notes section and in the sentences (I can't tell you how many times I've laughed out loud at the sentences you've put together: bears drinking beer, elephants eating people). Comments from the other students also make it so much fun - maybe only awesome people want to learn Danish?
You guys are fantastic - I'm looking forward to continuing my learning!
I posted this on reddit, but:
Can I just say WOW to the sheer amount of tips and notes that you have written? I didn't get any of that on the French course (or didn't see them).
Bjarkehs, Runem and Sofiadcs: Tonight you have made me very happy. I am ill in bed right now and I am going to spend the next few days having a really happy time learning Danish. Thank you!
I'm so glad that you appreciate the notes - as Bjarke said they weren't really that glamorours to write, but we wanted to give you the best opportunities to learn Danish as possible. :) We hope they will make everything much easier for you. :) And wow I am so glad, that all our hard work pays off and makes you happy - that was exacly our goal! Good luck with the course - you can do it! ;D
I have just completed the course. Thanks again to the team for all your hard work. Tusind tak!!
I am a native English speaker and already knew a lot of Danish before. The course has been fun and helpful in expanding my vocabulary and knowledge of expressions. It was interesting to have such an emphasis on translation which helped tighten up my knowledge of precise meanings for things where I had only a more general idea before. In terms of grammar, the units on Future Perfect and Passive past were especially useful. I didn't know before that certain only verbs could be used with blive or that using that changed the meaning. Do you know where one can look up verbs to check this?
How did you come up with the list of words to include in the course?
I know the course is still in Beta and you guys are adding translations and fixing things all the time. A few general things I've noticed are as follows:
1) Some sentences have a vague meaning to me in both Danish and English although they are grammatically correct; I can translate them literally but without context I don't know what they're supposed to mean. Perhaps the meaning is clearer in the Danish in some cases. Ideally these could be revised as they are not very useful in my opinion.
2) Some sentences are awkward or unnatural or even downright incorrect in English and appear to be too literally translated from the Danish. These may help the English speaker learning Danish to a certain extent but not vice versa.
3) The issue of whether a noun has an definite article or not and whether the singular or plural form is used can be problematic. Sometimes both ways are possible and sometimes one language does or does not use the definite article or the plural versus singular form. It seems there can be a conflict between making the most literal translation versus teaching the most natural phrasing in each language. I hope this can be refined as the course development progresses.
4) This is a general suggestion but it would be cool to have the option to see a dropdown menu of all the accepted translation after you answer a question. Sometimes you are uncertain what something really means and seeing the range of correct answers would be useful.
I hope eventually to see some bonus skills or other material added to the tree. In the mean time I will keep strengthening my skills and reporting any errors I find. It would also be nice to get feedback on translations I submit as "my translation should be accepted" which you do NOT accept as sometimes I think I'm putting in the same ones multiple times. Let me know if there's anything else I can do to assist with Beta testing.
Hello km1! I am delighted to hear, that you like the course. Congratulations on completing it, way to go!! Thank you very much for your feedback, it's noted. ;-) We will do our best to make it even better, and your help is definitely making it easier for us! So thank you. :) I've seen your questions, we will return to you ASAP, but we're all very busy at the moment, so please be patient. :)
Like all the others who have spoken up, I thank you mightily for this wonderful program. I actually heard about it from one of my Danish Students! It really is a great resource. And while I am not complaining in any way, as you write new sentences, try to be a bit less old fashioned. My lady students are growing up to be engineers and architects too, and I even have some amazing young lads hoping for the chance to become models and actresses.
Jeg synes du sviger os ikke.
Okay, that's probably a completely incorrect Danish sentence. I'll go back to studying now. But not before saying one more big THANK YOU!
Hej! I am so excited to see the Danish course is up and running. I'm already on Level 3 and enjoying it so much. Tak for all the hard work you all have done! The notes and tips are amazing and a huge help! (And I have to say bless Danish verbs! They seem to be much easier than Spanish, lol). I loved the description given for the TTS. >.< LOL! I will say that it's going to take a LOT of practice for me to get the pronunciation down. I've been watching Danish tv/movies (thanks to Mads Mikkelsen) for a while now, and I knew it would be difficult, but I am going to keep working on it. Again, tak!!!
Haha!! I watch Hannibal on my laptop and listen with my headphones, so I never have trouble hearing him. I think that maybe it's more an issue with the sound guy than with Mads.
I was wondering what Danes think of Mads in Hannibal. :) I think he is amazing as Hannibal. I was skeptical about the show before I saw it because I had never heard of him before.
There's no more options to reply directly to your post, so replying here.
Yes, the show has an amazing cast!! I was very disappointed when they didn't get any Emmy nominations because they all really deserve it...especially Mads and Hugh Dancy. And, I love Mads's face...lol. His expressions in the show are perfect.
Words cannot express all the gratitude I have for the work you've done. It is a substantial benefit to be able to learn without spending my money (well, my parent's) and saving a lot of time by not having to run around town all the time. And I find the language itself just thrilling, quite reminiscent of english, but enough northen, (exotic, to say) to bring a special spark. Thank you.
I was filled with delight by reading this comment. Thank YOU! This it what gives us the motivation to keep improving the course. Also, it's very surprising for me to hear that people actually like Danish. All my life I've been told by foreigners as well as Danes that Danish is such an ugly language, haha!
Thank you so much for the course, especially the tips, I think I couldn't be learning so well without them !! I'm learning Danish because I'm going to Odense this september as an exchange student (ERASMUS+) and don't want to be that kind of people who only speaks English and thinks it's enought .. So thank you again, bjarkehs, Sofiadcs and runem for all your hard work and commitment to this course !! Mange tak =D
My family spoke Danish when I was a child...but then stopped speaking it to my brother and me. So, for my early life, I could understand when my parents conversed in Danish. However, now I'm an old lady, and trying to reignite my Danish. I have many Danish relatives (in Denmark). I am finding that I can understand, kind of know what to say, but can't spell correctly for the life of me!!! I'd love to see some spelling rules! :-) I also have a friend who is Danish who is willing to help me with conversation. Lucky me. Anyway, I'm enjoying the course, and the fact that this is coming, screaming back to me! What I'm looking for is the ability to do this on my iPod Touch, which I guess is not available yet. I'll try to be patient!
God morgen team Danish!
Don't be so modest about your course and the TTS-software. You are great! My main difficulties so far were: 1. finding a Danish course at all in my home town and 2. hearing enough Danish to adjust my ear to that language. In your course I use the technique of listening first (I do not look at the screen) and interpreting, what I heard. Then - in order to verify what I think I have heard - I look at the written text, then at the solution. By that method I improved my ability to understand spoken Danish a lot. And finally a remark about your examples. I like sentences like "the polar bear serves the fish a beer", for I have to listen carefully, whether it is "a polar bear" or "the polar bear", and I don't care for the relevance. So this summer (like the last 30 years) I will sing again "Byger, som går og kommer - det er den danske sommer. ".