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AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German/Norwegian)

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:53 am
by AlOlaf
HTLAL isn't much fun anymore, so I thought I'd start a new log over here. Lately I've been spending most of my time trying to speak and understand Danish in preparation for a trip to Denmark at the end of next month. I'm on film #8 of the boxed set of 14 Olsen Banden movies, so I thought I'd record myself reading a segment about Olsen Banden from one of my textbooks. I'd be grateful for any feedback as to what I'm doing wrong and how I might improve.


Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:10 pm
by Josquin
Hallo, AlOlaf! Herzlich willkommen bei ALLF! Schön, Dich hier zu sehen. Lernst Du noch Deutsch oder konzentrierst Du Dich jetzt ganz auf Dänisch?

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:47 pm
by AlOlaf
Danke für den schönen Willkommensgruß, Josquin! Im Moment bin ich ausschließlich mit Dänisch beschäftigt, aber ich spiele gerade mit dem Gedanken, während meiner skandinavischen Reise auch einen Abstecher nach Deutschland zu machen. Sollte ich mich dafür entscheiden, dies zu tun, werde ich mein Deutsch auf jeden Fall auffrischen müssen.

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:47 am
by AlOlaf
I lined up two Italki sessions for this weekend with a young Dane I haven't had lessons with before, which is both exciting and scary. My routine of listening to spoken Danish and repeating after audio is beneficial, I suppose, but there's nothing quite like having a conversation with a native speaker to really yank back the shower curtain and reveal the naked truth about my command of a language or lack thereof. So I'm feeling a bit of nervous anticipation right now.

I find myself at times wondering if It wasn't a foolhardy decision to try to teach myself Danish in the first place. Through the writings of knowledgable people, I learned on the front end of the language's reluctance to be pronounced or understood, but I brushed this information aside as the prattle of defeatist naysayers and strode whistling into the minefield, thinking I would be the one to make it through unscathed to mastery, even though countless others before me had tried and been blown to pieces. As it turns out, the knowledgable people were right. In spite of using every learning tool I can get my hands on and doing everything I can think of to do, my forward progress in pronunciation and listening comprehension could be likened to that of a tectonic plate: It might be there, but it's not readily apparent.

I sometimes wonder why I don't just quit. Is it because I said I wouldn't give up when I first started my Danish log at HTLAL over three years ago? Is it because I'm fixated on the prospect of some great sense of achievement that'll be mine if I can, as daegga says, tackle this beast? Is it because, through watching many of the superb TV shows and movies the Danes have produced, learning some of their history and seeing their country firsthand, I've come to associate the language with something that's irresistibly appealing? Or could it be that I'm delusional and simply unwilling to recognize the futility of my endeavor?

The reality is, impossible to master or not, I really do love Danish, and I'm going to Denmark next month. I've hired two tour guides, one for each of my first two days in Copenhagen, who will be forced to speak Danish with me because I'm paying them to do so. This means that, even if everybody else I try to talk to there switches immediately to English, I'll still be guaranteed at least some conversation in Danish. As an extra added bonus, one of the guides has passes to Tivoli.

I'm going to Norway, too, to see the valley in Telemark where the homestead of my ancestors used to be. I'm hoping to be able to communicate on a primitive level using Danish and not have to resort to English, but that's probably wishful thinking. I have a suspicion I won't be able to understand what anybody's saying. Later, though, I'll be in Oslo for a couple of days. Maybe I'll fare better there.

And perhaps I'll take a side trip to Kiel to see the only remaining German type vii u-boat in the world, the same kind that's in "Das Boot". I love that movie. I've never been to northern Germany, and I'd really like the opportunity to speak German again.

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:10 pm
by AlOlaf
My Danish Italki teacher says my comprehension and pronunciation are good, but that I talk really slow. I only have a month before I go to Denmark, and I need to do something to try to improve my speed, but I don't want to sacrifice pronunciation. Does anyone know of an effective means of rectifying this problem?Or is my situation hopeless in light of the time constraints?

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:04 pm
by smallwhite
AlOlaf wrote: Does anyone know of an effective means of rectifying this problem?

I have some effective exercises but it would depend on what you mean by slow (slow but even just like slow motion, or hesitant, or self-correcting a lot...) and why you talk so slow (brain going through conjugation table, words take 5 secs to surface...)

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:10 am
by AlOlaf
Thank you for your response and offer to help. You made me realize that I hadn't really put much thought into why my teacher would say I talk slow. I've apparently become so obsessed with pronunciation that I assumed right away he meant I wasn't enunciating rapidly enough. Now, after having had a session with a second, more bluntly direct teacher, it's all but certain that teacher #1 wasn't referring to a lack of word-spew velocity on my part, but rather to the pauses I make while searching for the right word or construction. Teacher #2 says I'm especially wobbly on where adverbs go in dependent clauses and that I should stop being so afraid of making a mistake. He's lined up some practice drills for me, so I'll be booking more sessions with him. I thought I knew the grammar rules, but I guess they just fly out of my head when I start talking.

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:12 am
by smallwhite
AlOlaf wrote:the pauses I make while searching for the right word or construction. ... wobbly on where adverbs go in dependent clauses ... afraid of making a mistake.


Being afraid of making mistakes is a psychological obstacle I cannot help you with.

So, if you get to revise ALL the necessary vocabulary and constructions necessary for the current session right before the session or have them ALL laid out in front of you in the form of cheat sheets, and if you don't need to use adverbs in dependent clauses, you will speak satisfactorily fluently for your level? That is, red and blue are the only problems you need to solve at this stage, apart from green?

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:52 am
by Iversen
Have you studied the word order field models of the Danish grammarian Diderichsen? They give you an almost graphical way of thinking about word order in Danish, and I can't think of a more efficient way of pinning down the rules. Learning them as verbal rules is in my opinion fairly confusing.

Og for øvrigt har det længe undret mig at du holdt ud så længe på HTLAL. Jeg besøger selv siden fordi jeg er moderator der, men der er jo efterhånden ingen aktivitet - den er desværre blevet et museum. Hvis jeg på nogen måde kan hjælpe dig med dine danskstudier, står jeg til rådighed, men pt. befinder jeg mig ved en computer uden adgang til at lytte.

Re: AlOlaf's Log (Danish/German)

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:38 pm
by AlOlaf
Tusind tak for anbefalingen, Iversen! Jeg havde ikke hørt om Diderichsen før, men jeg fandt sætningsskemaet, printede det ud og kiggede kort på det. Det ser ud til, at jeg måske kan forså det, selv om jeg åbenbart er lidt tungnem, hvad grammatik angår.

Jeg ved ikke, hvorfor jeg blev ved med at skrive i det gamle forum så lang tid. Måske er det bare fordi, jeg hader forandring. Men det kan også godt være fordi, jeg vidste, at du stadig besøgte stedet. Du har altid hjulpet mig med mit dansk, og jeg er meget taknemmelig for støtten.