Welcome back to my short series on ‘Digital Danish’, a roundup of some of the best online and app resources available to help learn, practice or connect with others in Danish. In my first post, I talked a little about how Duolingo had helped set me on my way with learning Danish. Today, I have chosen two resources to help mainly with comprehension, both quite different from each other but both equally useful in their own ways.
DR is the Danish equivalent of the BBC, providing radio and television services as well as written news on the internet. Their DR Ligetil service is designed to provide news articles written in clear and simple language with difficult words and concepts explained – perfect for den danske studerende in that case! And, since many of their articles cover news stories about Denmark (as you would expect!), it’s great for cultural context too. You can even click on the speaker icon to hear each article read out loud – albeit by that computerised voice once more!
This resource is probably best for the intermediate student, but don’t let that stop you if you’re a keen newbie, as even reading just the headline and the photo caption can be good practice for your comprehension skills. Try searching for them and following them on Facebook, as they share links to the new stories they publish on there. In the meantime, you can find their latest headlines here.
Wait…isn’t Instagram just a bunch of duck-faced selfies and filtered photos of food?! How does this help you learn Danish?!
Well, they say that a picture speaks a thousand words and this may be true, but the beauty of language learning on Instagram is usually in the combination of picture and text. For example, the @tigerdanmark account became my daily ‘real reading’ exercise very soon after I started studying Danish, and using the picture to help me puzzle out the meaning of the short captions gave me a nice, manageable challenge each day.
Using the search function, you can also find Danish accounts by people that have the same interests as you – @vibemai is an avid crocheter, @cinemateket is the Danish Film Institute’s account, football fans could follow @FC_Kobenhavn (other football teams are available!) and so on. Last but definitely not least, @speakdanish has a range of contributors who share their feelings and experiences of learning Danish on there every day – certainly an account worth following!
Finally, to practice your communication skills, why not take part in the Instagram Language Challenge, devised by @lindsaydoeslanguages who took part in Taldansk’s ‘Danish for 5 Takeover’ on Instagram this summer. Each month, a list of daily prompts is published – click here to take a look at the list for September. Here’s how it works – bearing that day’s prompt in mind, take a picture and (this is the important bit!) write a caption to go with it that applies your knowledge of Danish in any way that fits with the prompt. You can write just the word, practice writing a sentence including that word or write a whole paragraph if you like, it all depends on your current level of language. If you’re feeling especially brave, you could even turn it into a speaking exercise by taking a short video clip of yourself talking in Danish! Just search the hashtag #IGLC if you fancy seeing a few examples – who knows, you may even be tempted to join in!
What about you? Have you tried using Instagram or DR Ligetil to help you learn Danish? How did you get on? Why not let me know in the comments below?
Missed last week’s article about Duolingo? Check it out here!
Indtil i næste uge! Until next week!