Record yourself to learn faster

Simple Danish Newsletter #13

Hi friends,

We hope you have all had a great weekend so far. We are trying to enjoy the good weather as long as it lasts, by cycling and enjoying the sun ☀️.

Today we thought we’d share a simple, but perhaps slightly uncomfortable tip for progressing in your Danish.

Have you ever thought to record yourself speaking Danish in order to assess how you are progressing?

If you haven’t, then I hope you’ll consider it after hearing us out.

I remember I once attended a course on public speaking, and they made us record a video of ourselves presenting in front of a small crowd.

Then, as a homework for the next lesson, they made us rewatch that video, critique our own presentation, and come up with a list of feedback ideas for the next presentation.

And there was just something… very awkward about watching your own presentation. All of the flaws and mistakes were painfully obvious, but that also made it very easy to write down the flaws.

I think you’d be surprised by what would happen if you recorded yourself speaking Danish, and then gave that recording a few listens to come up with areas you can improve.

Getting feedback from a teacher, or a native speaker might get you there faster, but if you don’t know any native speakers (or don’t want to bother them), or if you can’t afford lessons, then I think you will be surprised at how far you can get with critiquing your self.

Recordings can also serve as a motivational tool, to judge how far you have progressed. Just like a before and after picture on a fitness journey.

You can try recording yourself reading a text out loud, or you can try mimicking a more natural conversation, or you can try answering the prompts from the official Danish tests we shared in newsletter #4 on Active Recall.

Otherwise you can try to record your answer to the prompts below:

Beginner (A2-B1): Beskriv din daglige rutine på dansk. Begynd med når du vågner, og fortsæt indtil du går i seng.

Intermediate (B1-B1+): Fortæl om en nylig ferie eller rejse, du har været på. Beskriv hvor du var, hvad du lavede, og hvad du nød mest, på dansk.

Advanced (B2): Diskuter en aktuel begivenhed eller et emne af interesse. Del din mening og giv nogle baggrundsoplysninger på dansk. Prøv at bruge avanceret ordforråd og udtryk.

Let us know if you decide to give it a try. If you want feedback from us, then feel free to send us a recording by replying to this email and we’ll give you personalized feedback 😊

❤️ Our Favourite things

Idiom of the week: at have det som blommen i et æg

Litterally; to feel like the yolk in an egg. I like this idiom a lot because of how visual it is. It means that you feel good, you feel comfortable, protected, and in the right place.

For example:

A: Se de søde killinger der sover.

B: Åårh, de har sikkert som blommen i et æg.

Word of the week: Tømmermænd

For something quite different than the cozy image of egg-yolks! How do you say to have a hangover in Danish? You say: Jeg har tømmermænd. Tømrer means carpenter, which in itself is quite innocent. I haven’t been able to find the exact etymology, but I can imagine it has something to do with the sound of carpenters hammering nails at, potentially, very early hours.

That’s all we have for you for now. We hope you liked it and as always, feel free to reach out with feedback, comments or suggestions by replying to this email.

Have a great week 😊

Best regards,

Antonina & Rasmus