In Expat Feedback

Expat feedback – Dan from England

Learn Danish Feedback Dan England


In this month’s feedback, I am very happy to feature Dan, who is originally from England. He completed Prøve i Dansk 3 exam in June 2018 in Århus, with Lærdansk.

Dan shares in this interview many insights about his personal experience of learning Danish in Denmark.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading it!

Thank you Dan 🙂

About you

Hi everyone, I’m Dan. I have been living in Denmark (Aarhus) for around four and a half years. I moved here, with my wife, after completing my postgraduate studies in Philosophy of Mind, more specifically Consciousness and Phenomenology.  In between working at Tir Na Nóg in Aarhus and trying to learn as much Danish as possible, I like to go to the gym, read/listen to books/audiobooks and spend time with my wife, family and friends.

Lær Dansk Århus


Danish classes

Which school(s) did you attend?

I attended classes at Lærdansk in Aarhus.

How did you find the registering process at the school when you enrolled?
Once I had my CPR number, I found it is was straightforward.

Did you take breaks?

Day classes vs evening classes?
I started with classes in the evenings but moved to afternoon classes, as I found they suited my schedule better and I could go three times a week, instead of only twice.

How did you find the various modules at school?
I felt like modules 1-3 went by very quickly and I got a lot of enjoyment out of going to the classes, as I could see a lot of progress. Modules 4 and 5 were more of a struggle, but no less rewarding. As you get to the higher modules, progress is more about using the correct tense for verbs and structuring sentences, rather than learning lots of new words.

PD3 - Exam Denmark

Prøve i Dansk 3 Exam

How was the Prøve i Dansk 3 examination?
Nothing to fear. Nobody likes sitting doing exams for hours, unless they are weird. However, the PD3 exam is straightforward and classes will prepare you for all the questions that can come up.

Any suggestions in terms of the preparation to PD3?
Do as much homework and other things outside of classes as you can. Practice with exams from previous years. I found it very helpful to time myself with previous exams, so you know how much time you will have on the day.

Would you recommend any resources to help others?
Watching the news and reading articles really helped me. You may not understand everything that is going on, but over time you will pick up keywords and get used to words and phrases that are used when it comes to topics like immigration or the environment.

Did you think the exam was difficult?
Not really. Practicing previous exams helps to accustom yourself with working out how the questions are phrased and how to answer them.

Any comments regarding written exam and oral exam?
Written: Read the question and then read it again before starting to answer.

Oral: The examiners are not out to trick you. Focus on all the words and phrases that you know and use them when you can and when it is appropriate.

Any comments, recommendations you would like to share with others
Stressing on the day will not help. Take it easy and use what you have been learning for the past couple of years. Don’t focus on the things you don’t know. It seems like obvious advice but amazing how many people focus on that.

Books at school
Books provided by the school:

Module 1-3: Puls1, Puls2 and Puls3.

Module 4: At Skrive, PæredanskParat Start 1-2-3 and Grammatikken.

At Skrive
© Dan Woolbarn

Module 5: Danske StemmerAt Skrive, Grammatikken and 3.5’eren.

Additions I bought:
Danish: An Essential Grammar by Tom Lundskær-Nielsen and Philip Holmes

Lær Dansk Århus Essentials
© Dan Woolbarn

Den Lille by Mika Sun Black

Danish Practice

Do you think it is easy to apply your Danish (that you learned at school) in the everyday life?
I think that a mixture of pushing yourself in the classes and getting out into the world speaking to real Danes is the best way to apply what you learn in class. I found that in the classes we would learn The Queen’s Danish. However, that’s not how most Danes will speak, as they will use slang or phrase their sentences slightly different.

What do you do outside of school to practice your Danish?
Anything that involves reading, listening, writing or speaking Danish. You need to be smart about what you spent your time doing and be interested in the subject matter and not just be reading / watching something because it is in Danish. There is no point in reading everything there is to know about Jørgen Gammelgaard, if you really don’t care about Danish furniture designs.

Have you read Danish books that you think are worth reading for other students?
Books are a hard thing to recommend when they are in the language that you are trying to learn. I started by reading children’s books and built up my reading level from there. Children’s books are generally light-hearted, funny and deal with a massive range of stories, where you will pick up new words that you wouldn’t from newspapers

Children's-Book Learn Danish
© Dan Woolbarn

Have you watched Danish movies / TV series that you think are worth seeing for other students?
I really liked ‘Borgen’ and ‘Broen’. Both are very well-known shows and it is highly likely that you have already watched them. If not, there you go. I have just started watching ‘The Rain’ on Netflix, so we shall see how that goes.

Have you listened to Danish music that you think is worth listening to for other students?
In no particular order or genre:
Nordpå, Benal, Per Vers, Den Fjerde Væg, Blak, Ulige Numre, Tårn, Panamah, Wafande and of course Kim Larsen!

Do you have any tips about how to improve your Danish while studying and being in Denmark?
Try to do a little bit of something Danish every day. Whether it is watching a TV show, reading a bit, playing a board game in Danish, complete a few lessons on Duolingo or just going to the shop and speaking in Danish. Just that little bit every day will help your progress and the confidence that you have in your ability.

Trivial-Pursuit Learn Danish
© Dan Woolbarn

Set yourself a big long term goal but also small ones along the way, like you are climbing up a language ladder. For me, when I started learning the language, I set myself the goal that I would one day read Kierkegaard’s Either/Or (Enten/Eller) in Danish.

Enten-Eller Book Danish
© Dan Woolbarn

This is the goal when I eventually reach the top, but starting with children’s books to young adult books and on to novels are all rungs on the ladder.

Follow Dan and share some love!

You can follow Dan and on Instagram: @Danwoolbarn


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