One of Europe’s leading economies and a great place to raise children, Denmark is a prime destination for migrants. A prerequisite for finding employment in Denmark is to learn the language. Although most Danes speak English, Danish remains the primary language of business and commerce. Here are some ideas on learning Danish to fluency.
Danish learning opportunities
IA Sprog in Copenhagen is a popular language training institute. It offers both classroom and online learning options. Online learners can find a host of interactive exercises in grammar, pronunciation, oral comprehension, and written comprehension. The online lessons are conducted in groups. Each group has a unique virtual classroom where the members meet. They discuss the lesson of the day and the homework assigned. IA Sprog recommends an online test for new joiners. This helps learners assess their language level and sign-up for a suitable course. IA Sprog’s Danish language courses are for all levels. These include Danish for beginners, intermediate Danish, and advanced courses at level C1. The online course costs DKK 1,370 (EUR 184). The in-person classes are offered at IA Sprog’s Copenhagen center and cost DKK 1,245-3,775 (EUR (EUR 167-508).
Copenhagen Language Center also offers in-person and online language classes. The courses are flexible. They are designed to suit working professionals and other learners with limited time. The Center offers guidance from qualified Danish teachers and materials for self-study. This is to enable learners to self-pace their learning process without having to attend classes in person. Each course consists of 12-18 participants. The cost varies from DKK 1,311-3,198 (EUR 176-430).
Speak School of Danish offers a variety of Danish courses for expats at all levels. Learners can choose an intensive course with classroom sessions in Copenhagen. There is also a 100% online course via Skype. In addition, Speak School offers blended classes, which combine classroom sessions with online assignments. Weekend classes help work professionals and college students. Courses cost DKK 2,000 (EUR 270) as a deposit, followed by DKK 122 (EUR 16) per lesson.
Danish for speakers of English
Danish has 40 vowel sounds. This includes the letter ‘y’, considered a ‘partial vowel’ in many other languages. Danish is a vowel-centric language. English speakers often find Danish pronunciation a bit complex. Danish words are rather long, with many silent letters. Much as in German, every noun in Danish has a gender. Learners must remember the gender along with each noun’s meaning. Numbers can be tricky for new learners. Danish counts in the 20s. For example, the number 50, Halv-tre-sinds-tyve, translates as half three times twenty (2.5 x 20 = 50). 70 Halv-fjerd-sinds-tyve translates as half four times twenty (3.5 x 20 = 70), and so on.
Learning Danish is no harder than learning German, French, or English. There are multiple facets to learning any language. Every learner is different in terms of what aspects they may find easy or hard. Danish is a mixture of flat, monotonous, and softly spoken sounds. It has a well-defined phonemic structure, which is a bit different from English. Foreigners new to the language may initially find it difficult to discern individual words. Danes are particular about pronunciation and accent. The best way to learn Danish is to practice with other students in a supportive environment where native Danish teachers can check students’ pronunciation and correct it right away. Learning from the errors of other students in the (virtual) classroom also enhances the value and speed of collective learning.
Opportunities in Denmark
Denmark is home to vast communities of migrants. These expat professionals regularly send remittances back to their home countries via the Ria Money Transfer App and similar channels. The average monthly salary for an expat in Demark is DKK 47,000 (EUR 6,300). According to the World Happiness Report 2019, Denmark is the second happiest country on Earth. The services sector dominates the Danish labor market. Unemployment in Denmark is low at 4.85%. Denmark is an important distribution point for Europe. Some of Denmark’s major exports include food products, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, iron and steel, textiles and clothing, and electronics. Denmark is home to world-class brands like Pandora, Carlsberg, and Ecco. The Danish economy is currently facing shortages in certain skill areas such as education, engineering, IT, medicine, and healthcare. Foreigners with such skills can find gainful job opportunities in Denmark, provided they are fluent in Danish.
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.