The corona crisis and lockdown has hit us all. For some it is a little frustrating, for others its the end of their business. For people learning a new language, the lockdown can make it difficult to remember everything you learned so far, and even more difficult to practice.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this; if you continue to work on your language skills, make sure you keep it somewhat fresh in your memory, you will have no problem picking it up once the lockdown is over.
Here are some suggestions as to how you keep up your new language skills:
- DR Ligetil
Your days are probably full of work (from home), taking care of children (or eager dogs), drinking that glass of wine, and managing all the crisis’ (in plural) that inevitably will occur when the former are combined. But one thing you have in common with the rest of the world is your newfound need for constant news updates. Why not make this the strategy for keeping up your Danish? Check out www.dr.dk/ligetil to read fairly simple news articles, have news read out loud, and watch short news videos. This is also the perfect way for internationals to keep up with Danish news.
- Children’s books
If you get fed up with the news (which you will), go for some lighter reading. If you are still new, or fairly new to Danish, I recommend you start reading some Danish children’s books. My favorite, and the one I always tell my students to buy, is ‘Godnathistorier for rebelske piger’ (bedtime stories for rebellious girls). This is an absolutely wonderful book, where each page introduces a new woman/girl, who has played an important role in history. Not only do you get to practice your Danish through fairly simple and short texts, you also learn something new about some of the most important female figures of our time. There are two editions, and I recommend you buy the first one, as I personally find that one the best. However, the second one includes Beyoncé, so… Buy it online and get it shipped to your house (the book is also very beautiful with some very colorful illustrations, so you want your own copy). Happy reading!
Buy it here: www.saxo.com
- Children’s TV
Let’s face it, after four weeks trapped inside your house with Baby Shark playing non stop and toddlers crushing their arms together again and again and again and.. you need a change. You still can’t go to the library. You still can’t go to the svømmehal. You still can’t go to Legoland. BUT, you can change the channel! If you are gonna be sitting on the couch drinking a glass of wine, why not turn on DR Ramasjang and enjoy some Danish children’s TV at the same time? Your kids will enjoy it, your ears will enjoy it, and in the end (of the wine glass…) YOU will enjoy it too! Do some yoga with Motor Mille, bake a cake with Rosa fra Rouladegade or visit the pink universe that is Gurli Gris (Peppa pig). Have fun! But seriously, from one parent to another; bring that glass of wine..
If you are a little bit more advanced in your Danish and feel like you are able to listen to some Danish people speaking fairly fast, start listening to the most popular podcast in Denmark: Mads og Monopolet. It’s a radio show where the host Mads Steffensen invites three ‘famous’ Danes into the studio to solve various dilemmas that the Danish public send in, ranging from ‘Should I invite my drunk uncle to my wedding?’ to ‘I saw this cool bike on the street and I want it – can I take it?’ and so on. It’s definitely worth a listen, and once you’ve gotten used to the speaking pace, you’ll grow to love it, as almost all Danes do.
If you don’t really have the time or the energy to read a lot in Danish or to listen to some famous Danes talk about this and that, I recommend you start listening to some Danish music. You might not understand everything they’re singing, but just listening to something in Danish will help you a lot – and you might actually also grow to love the music, and after this whole lockdown thing is over, you can go enjoy the music in concert. My personal recommendation is Folkeklubben. Their music is a mix between pop and rock, and very easy on the ears – and on a more personal note, they are the nicest people!
- Online Danish
If you have the time for it, my biggest recommendation is of course to do some online Danish lessons. Even though we’re on a lockdown many Danish teachers are still working from home, and are more than capable of teaching you via Zoom or Skype. My personal recommendation is to contact Berlitz and get a price for some online teaching. The Berlitz method is without a doubt the best way to learn Danish – it is not the cheapest, but in this case price and quality goes hand in hand.
- Language app
If you want to keep up your Danish by doing a little bit here and there, download a language app and start ‘playing’. I recommend Duolingo as a supplement to the other recommendations, but doing only Duolingo will only get you so far, I believe. However, it might be a good way to keep up the Danish, if you also want to have some fun doing it. I once did a Duolingo course, and learned how to flirt in Spanish. Ojalá fuera bizco para verte dos veces. Very useful.