With Season 6 just started, anyone with a passing knowledge of Game of Thrones will be able to tell you that in Westeros, vinteren kommer; in real life here in Europe, however, sommeren is on the horizon. And with it should hopefully come longer, sunnier days and a general uplift in mood.
Like the little birds who I could hear still singing away last night at 9pm, this change of seasons helps me feel motivated to avoid too much lazing around until the sun has set at least. Gone is the general lethargy and the yearning to stay indoors, snuggling on the sofa and eating cake. Gone is the temptation to think “Right then. Danish studying…*long exhale of breath*…Tell you what, maybe I’ll just check what’s on the telly…”
And with that, my thoughts have turned to wondering where I’m planning to fit my language learning into these lighter, longer days. Since I have a busy work schedule coming up, I’ve decided to keep it simple, and try to stick to that good advice of do what you love to do in your mother tongue…just in your foreign language. With that in mind, then, here is my basic sommeren kommer plan:
As much as I love reading novels, I think magazines are the perfect reading material for me at the moment. Just before I left Denmark a couple of weeks ago, I managed to drag my family into the newsagent’s in København Lufthavn at the last minute and grabbed a couple of magazines off the shelf to add some variety to my reading practice. This turned out to be A Very Good Idea!
In the magazines I picked up, there’s a great mix of shorter and longer articles; the content ranges from recipes to film reviews to first-person accounts of dramatic experiences; and the pictures and subheadings can all help me in working out that content. So, a bit of light reading during these light evenings suits me just fine.
Someone I know completely flummoxed me recently by claiming to be “not that into music”. Whaaaat?! How is that even possible?! Despite not having the spare time to listen to as much music as I used to when I was younger, it definitely remains one of my very favourite ways of relaxing.
So, I’m going to make a fresh Danish playlist on my phone and use it to sing along badly to some danskemusik (although that won’t include the 2016 Danish Eurovision entry which, disappointingly, is sung in English – boo!). The added advantage of having this on my phone means I can then listen to it anywhere, anytime – in the car, in the house, or as I walk around town (might keep the bad singing inside my head for that last one, mind…).
Sitting in the sun
Finally, I’m also going to take my study books outside. Now that the dreary winter is over, it’s time to embrace the fresh air and get out in the garden, into the park, or wherever else you can catch some vitamin D and hear the lazy bumble bees buzzing around you.
As addicted as I am to my learning apps, however, it’s just a struggle to see a smartphone screen properly in the sun. So I’m going to go old-skool and revert to paper-based studying, which you can do with ease however sunny the day turns out. This plan has one further bonus – if you start to feel snoozy on a warm day, you can use your book to cover your face from the sun and take a well-deserved nap! Talk about doing what you love…
What about you?
So that’s my plan for the next few months. How about yours? I’d love to hear your thoughts for the summer in the comments below – especially as this is actually my final post for the SpeakDanish blog!
Yes, venner, after 8 months of fortnightly blogging, during which time I have written around 12,000 words on the topic of learning Danish from abroad (that’s over half of a Masters thesis, haha!), the time has come for me to pass this blogging baton on to someone else.
I’d like to say a big tak skal I have to the team at TalDansk who invited me back in early August to take part in their shiny new blogging project, as well as to my fellow bloggers, Marina, Nicole and Stefan, who have provided support and sparked ideas for me along this journey.
I’d also like to offer a hearty thank you to you, the readers, for the motivation and for the comments during my time on the blog. Learning a language on your own can be a lonesome experience sometimes, but you have definitely provided me with a sense of community that has helped to keep me going with my Danish studies these past months.
And so, with that, I bid you all farvel and wish you held og lykke with your Danish learning. And, as the sign on the wall in my local Tiger shop says…