Learn Danish - Julian from France

Hello Dear Danish learners,

First of all, I wish you a very successful 2020 and plenty of Danish speaking! It has been a very long time since my last publications and expat interviews.

For the first Expat Feedback of 2020, I am glad to feature Julian, who is originally from France. He completed Prøve i Dansk 3 exam with Studieskolen Copenhagen, in June 2019.

Julian shares in this interview many insights about his personal experience of learning Danish in Denmark, but also the school process and some tips.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading it!

Thank you Julian !

Learning Danish in Denmark

About you
My name is Julian and I am from France. It is my 3rd time in Denmark. I arrived in November 2017. So it has been 25 months now. My 2nd time was during summer 2016 when I did a laboratory internship at DTU. Unfortunately, all Danish classes were off so I was frustrated not to learn Danish. My first time was during my childhood. I came to Denmark for almost ten years every summer and I developed an attraction to the country.

I used to introduce myself as a Parisian whose origins are mixed. My blood is 3/4 viet and the fourth is Dane. My grandmother was born in Nakskov and she taught me a lot about the Danish culture when I was a child. Thank to her, I celebrated the Danish Christmas and other traditions. But I was really stupid when I was a kid and I did not learn Danish with my grandmother. So when I was around 20, I felt I needed to retrieve my origins. So I decided first to get an Erasmus exchange. But I was refused because my marks were not good enough. So I did an internship in 2016 but that was too short to learn. So I came back in November 2017 as a VIE (special French contract). And I could start Danish in January 2018 at Studieskolen. I now live in Copenhagen near the little Mermaid !

Danish classes

Which school(s) did you attend?

I’ve followed lessons at Studieskolen in CopenhagenStudieskolen

How did you find the registering process at the school when you enrolled?

Easy but slow because first you need a CPR.

Did you take breaks?

No. I think when you take a break, you won’t feel motivated to start again. I have a lot of friends who did that and because of that they don’t speak Danish. But of course, I feel sometimes unmotivated. So I was like, if I failed an exam, I would stop paying Danish classes. And I was lucky not to fail it.

Day classes vs evening classes?

I did not have any choice because I had a job.

How did you find the various modules at school?

It was really interesting during the 3 first modules. But then since module 4, you start to prepare PD3 so it is less fun.

PD3 - Exam Denmark

Prøve i Dansk 3 Exam

How was the Prøve i Dansk 3 examination?

It was hard.

Any suggestions in terms of the preparation to PD3?

It is better to study Danish for 2 years instead of 1,5 year as I did. Why I did not study 2 years instead of 1,5? It is just because at one time I was without a job and I was running out of money so I could not know if I could stay 6 more months in Copenhagen.

Also, it is nice to be explained all the rules before doing the exam.
For example, I did not know we could bring a dictionary for the written exam.

Any comments regarding written exam and oral exam?

Written exam, check your time. I thought I was okay with the time but in fact I did not finish my conclusion.
Oral exam, take your time before answering. I was afraid to stay silent so I preferred to answer even if it made no sense. That’s not a good move.

Which study books have you used at school for the various modules?

Danish to Go

What do you think about the books? Would you recommend them?

Yes, it was okay but it is better to have a teacher and classmates with you.
It is almost impossible to learn by yourself. You won’t feel motivated.

Danish Practice

Do you think it is easy to apply your Danish (that you learned at school) in the everyday life?

It is not easy because in Copenhagen, Danes notice that you are a foreigner and switch to English. But it is possible.

What do you do outside of school to practice your Danish?

I go to the library and I borrow some comics as Garfield and children books. I organize French Danish Language cafe and English is forbidden. I go to other language cafe as SMK on Wednesday.

SMK Learn Danish

I watch Danish series as The Rain which is awful by the way. I went once to the cinema and once to the theater to see Lars Mikkelsen, an actor I really admire. I did not understand everything but it is still a little step.

Have you read Danish books that you think are worth reading for other students?

Yes, comics. It is the child method. There are pictures, it is easy. You learn new words and you get fun!

Have you watched Danish tv/movies that you think are worth seeing for other students?

En kongelig affære

Do you have any tips about how to improve your Danish while studying and being in Denmark?

Making Danish friends is the most difficult challenge. But once you get one, you will discover more the country. I was so pleased when my Danish friend introduced me to his other friends at his birthday or when he introduced me to the Culture Night in October 2018.

Make sure to follow Julian on Instagram.

He is also organizing French-Danish Language Cafe in Copenhagen. He doesn’t know yet if the French Danish Language cafe will hold in 2020 as he got a new job and needs to travel quite often out of Copenhagen so if you know other French/Danish people motivated, feel free to contact him!