We’re into the final stretch ahead of our trip to Denmark. We’ve printed our e-tickets, checked our passports, and ordered our kroner. Clothes are washed and ironed, toys are packed and my mum’s fully instructed in how to look after our guinea pigs. We’re almost ready to go!
Last time I wrote, I had been studying the bare minimum of Danish due to a rather hectic work schedule. I’ve upped my game a bit since then – I’ve had my ‘Complete Danish’ listening exercises on a loop in the car during my long work drives, sat down one evening to watch Flammen og Citronen with my husband (thanks to Tiffany, @speakdanish’s film reviewer on Instagram, for that tip) and been humming along to some danskesange in my kitchen.
However, with just a couple of days to go, I’ve been thinking a bit about what language will actually be useful for my visit. How am I likely going to be using my Danish as a tourist for a week? I started looking at vocab for asking the way, but then I realised that no-one asks the way anymore – we all use the map apps on our smartphones for that these days! So, after a bit of thinking, here’s where I’ve decided to focus my efforts…
Numbers are useful for so many things – from prices to addresses, quantities of things to telling the time, numbers help you keep track of the details in the conversations that you have. This is definitely one area I’m going to polish up on before landing in Denmark.
Food and drink
We’ll need to eat regularly so this is a bit of a no-brainer! However, add to that the fact that my eldest daughter is quite unbelievably fussy about her food and you will understand that being able to work out exactly what is in any meal at a café is pretty high on the priority list! Shopping in the supermarket may be a little easier since you can see what things are before you put them in your basket, but it’s still handy to know which label means skimmed milk and which one means whole milk, for example.
Although I’m Welsh, my passport says ‘British’ and British influences have definitely played their part in shaping my personality. This tends to manifest itself in things like thinking that a good cup of tea will help solve almost any problem, and breaking out in a cold sweat at the thought of not being quite polite enough. I’m finding it very disconcerting that I don’t seem to have found a handy one-word equivalent for “please” in Danish (although I know that I can often just add tak to the end of the sentence), so I’ve been trying to gather together some expressions that I can use to help keep me polite when I talk to people. So far, I’ve got jeg vil gerne…, vil du være så venlig at…?, and undskyld, kan du…? I’m hoping that these three will be able to see me through most situations!
So, what do you think about my choices? Do you agree with me or do you think I’ve missed out something vital? If so, please do let me know by leaving a comment below…or rather, vil du være så venlig at forlade et kommentar herunder! 😉