I’m not a fan of the English arrogance and ignorance that prances pompously around the globe demanding that others speak in our lingo. Especially as an expat. So now that I’ve made Vejle my home, I won’t be forever demanding that my Vejlerian neighbours speak to me in my modersmål (mother tongue) just because I’m too lazy to learn the lingo.
With French, German and at least an understanding of some Italian and Spanish under my belt, I’d like to think I’ve got some sort of a head start on linguistic adaptation. That was, of course, until I had my first Danish lesson…
I’m now four lessons deep and I still sound like I’m speaking German, hammered drunk and underwater. Sometimes, it feels as though I’ve had my tongue chopped off. I’m trying to speak from the back of my throat, the roof of my mouth and the back of my teeth, all the while making sounds like I’m gargling TCP.
In Danish the double d’s sound like l’s, the e’s sound like a’s, the is sound like e’s, the y’s sound like u’s and sometimes the d’s, t’s and g’s are silent – but not always. The tone is monotonous, there’s barely any pronounciation of any given word and yet the facial expressions I have to pull might make people suggest I take a trip to A&E.
It’s hard. In fact, I did read somewhere it’s ranked the ninth most difficult language in the world to learn, and maybe that’s one of the reasons I want to conquer it.