Don’t give in to temptation

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be starting a new full-time job here in Aarhus. That means that I have to say goodbye to my lovely colleagues at the cosy communications agency where I’ve been working part-time, and say hello to a bigger, busier working environment at a local games company.

I’m sad to leave my current employers, and I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience from my short time with them, especially when it comes to developing my Danish language skills. I’ve contributed to meetings, given presentations and written complex texts, all in Danish and I’m proud of that. The fully Danish working environment pushed me to become better at expressing complicated ideas, and it gave me a raft of technical vocabulary that I can take with me.

My new workplace uses English as the official language, but there are plenty of Danes in the office that I can chat with. The worry is, that with so many people around me using English, I’ll get lazy and give in to the temptation to stick to my native language instead of using Danish whenever I can.

My plan is to carry on using Danish every day at work, even though I might only be able to have one or two conversations a day. I’m scared that if I don’t get make an effort and get into good language habits from day one, I’ll quickly lose all of the Danish skills I’ve worked so hard to develop over the last few years.

I’ll use this blog to hold myself to account and share some of the language failures and successes of my first few months in a new workplace.

I’d be interested to hear if you have any tips for how to keep your Danish skills fresh when working in an international environment. If I come up with any tips of my own, I’ll share them here.

Katie

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2 thoughts on “Don’t give in to temptation

  1. Hi Katie! Congrats on the new job! For Anglophones it’s always harder to be allowed to speak Danish because so many Danes want to improve their English by talking to you 🙂 So it’s not only a matter of not giving in to temptation, it’s also a matter of explaining to the Danes around you why you insist on speaking Danish…

    My tip would be to present yourself in Danish. It’s amazing how quickly, in hindsight, the language you speak first to a person is established as your common (= fælles) language. So the new people you’ll meet will accept Danish as a ‘default’ language – but it will work that way for yourself, too. You’ll associate these people with speaking Danish, and even when you speak English to them in another situation, your (and their) gut reaction will be to speak Danish again. You can use that to your advantage 🙂 God arbejdslyst!

    Like

  2. Du kan blive medlem i en eller anden klub, spille wordfeud med en dansker, skrive bloggen på dansk, læse masser af bøger….
    Jeg skriver min blog på Nederlands.. Om de taal bij te houden.

    Like

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