April Fool’s – Danish style!

I had a great April fool’s day this year. And to rephrase that: I had a great time playing a joke on some of my students!

Here’s how it went:

Imagine that you are sitting comfortably in a red chair, your book turned to page no. 78, titled ’Strange Eating Habits’, and you watch your teacher – aka me – handing out new reading material.

You switch to the freshly printed paper, and listen to your teacher instructing you – even more eagerly than usual – to start reading the paper and underline any unknown words.

At first you don’t really realize what’s going on, these strange words look familiar yet somehow they feel different. You think that perhaps your teacher has decided to teach you more advanced vocabulary, except that… that something doesn’t feel right. What’s that strange letter, you think. Ø? It looks like a smudge, you think. You look at your teacher with a startled expression, and she looks back at you, totally calm with a faint smile, of reassurance: “Is everything ok?”

You get back to your paper, scratching your head, but then you see Æ, just chilling there between a very familiar word, like nothing happened. Maybe there was a problem with the printing, you think. But then you see å and you go berserk, why on earth is there a circle over this a?!

You give up, look at your teacher, who still remains utterly calm, and you go: “Miiiiiiiss, there’s something wrong with this English!”

“How’s that now?” you hear your teacher respond, shocked!

“There are strange letters, and I can’t understand the words!” you reply, feeling the wave of justification overflowing.

“Nonsense, Georgie, I can make sense out of it. Do you want me to start reading it for you? It could help.”

“Yes, please!”

So you fix your eyes on the first words of the paper, “Solen skinner” –what on earth is that, you think – while your teacher starts reading “The sun is shining and the birds are happily chirping away…”

“But miiiiss, this is not what it says here!” Where are these words?! What is happening, you wonder.

But your teacher pays no attention to you – rude –  and keeps on reading “…and the three students were in the classroom, trying to read a text. What they didn’t realize, was that they were being pranked for April fool’s day!”

Silence.

Your teacher starts laughing, and you realize that you were right all along! This was no English, but a strange language that was used to play a joke on you! You start laughing along with your teacher, and then you ask her, what language is that. She says it’s Danish, and your curiosity increases. A lot. So you start ask your teacher questions about this language, and when you hear that she can speak it, you ask- nay, demand that she reads the whole text!

I guess I had it coming. 🙂

Marina

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