As we were celebrating my birthday, my sister invited me to come with her to Denmark for a couple of days come spring. How could I say no?
Small problem. I don’t speak Danish. OK. I don’t really think that would be a problem in Denmark, as most Danes will likely speak English, but even so. I decided I needed to learn Danish.
Seeing that I’ve already been on Duolingo for a while because I wanted to brush up on my French and German and finally start learning Italian, I decided to add Danish to my Duolingo curriculum. Easy as that.
I think I started learning Danish about six days ago, and have made some fair progress. My goal is to at least have some very basic conversational skills in Danish by the time we’re in Copenhagen. That’s roughly two months. I’d better not slack.
Here’s what I learnt so far. Not much really, but I’m practising my Danish daily, and try to complete at least two lessons per day.
So far, learning Danish has been a fun and challenging experience. The language is so different from the other languages I learnt so far. Sometimes the etymology of a word is easy to figure out, but there’s plenty of words that I haven’t a clue of what their origin might have been.
Of course, Danish is one of many Indo-European languages, as are the other languages I ever learnt (or attempted to learn, like Farsi and Yiddish), so it’s hardly surprising that I should find a lot of similarities. And the sometimes baffling differences are explained by the fact that Danish is from a different branch of the tree than my other languages, namely the North Germanic Branch. English, German, Yiddish and Dutch belong to the West Germanic family, French and Italian to the Italic, and Farsi to the Western Iranian family of the Indo-Iranian branch of the tree.
So there you have it. A lot of unasked-for information about the origin of “my” languages. I guess that makes me a nerd. Which is fine by me.
And I now find myself wondering, does this make me a polyglot too, or would that be too much honour?