It’s winter time, so this means lots of hygge, warm drinks, fireplaces, blankets, and spending more time with your family. It also means doing everything in our power to make our lives as comfortable as possible in these harsh conditions, whether we are outside tackling the snow, wind and cold, in the car trying to carefully reach home, or on foot being extra-careful not to trip and fall. Winter makes our survival instincts more alert; this will be my basis for today’s post, as I will give you some tips to survive when you have to tackle both winter and Danish language!
Tip no. 1: Make it work for you! If you don’t feel like doing the traditional Danish language learning, but you prefer to stick around at home eating cookies and drinking tea, fret not! You can still enjoy your cookies, but now is the time for some light reading. Find Danish Christmas books –it’s totally ok if they are children’s- and start reading them. Not only will you practice your Danish skills, but you also get a lovely insight into Danish Christmas and holiday spirit.
Tip no.2: Topic-related vocabulary. Is it snowing? Start looking for all the Danish words that have to do with snow, like snowman, snowstorm, snowflake etc. Is your friend preparing gløgg? Write down all the ingredients, and then see if you can do the same with other Christmas recipes! You get the drift. See something Christmas-y, grab your dictionary, pen and paper and go find words!
Tip no. 3: No better way to learn about a language and its culture, than experiencing! If you have been invited to a Christmas dinner with Danes, then grab on to this opportunity and copy from the masters! If not, then it’s quite simple: you can make your own. Whether you are having dinner with your family or your friends, or both, then surprise them with something completely different, by going full-Danish. Ask your fellow Danes or experienced expats about all the traditions this day includes, and start preparing for it. Not only will you learn new words and phrases, songs and wishes, but you will also taste delicious new foods!
Tip no. 4:Most importantly, don’t fret over your failures! Winter is all about accepting the situation and trying to make the best out of it. It’s also a time, when you feel more grateful about everything that you are able to do, and everything that you have managed to do so far. So feel good! You made progress and that’s all that matters.
Winter is all about doing the best you can, with whatever you have- just like this snowman who lacked a carrot.