Monday, May 27, 2013

A Swedish Sojourn

Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary, so we decided to get away for the weekend.

With Sweden so close, it's felt entirely ridiculous that, after nearly a year, I had still never been.  So, we spent the weekend in Malmö.

Malmö is just a short train ride from where we live here in Copenhagen, but it seems quite different.  Technically, Copenhagen is the older of the two cities, but since much of Copenhagen was burnt down by the Brits in 1807, there isn't much that remains here that is older than that.  Malmö, on the other hand, maintains much of it's old architecture, making it look much more like bits of Germany or Flanders in Belgium.

Those of you who know the infamous Eurovision song competition may be quite familiar with Malmö by now, as it was just held there last weekend.  Luckily, we did not get married a week earlier, or it would have been much more difficult (and much more expensive) to get a hotel room.  As it was, we managed to get a really lovely room right on Malmö's Lilla Torg, or "little square."

We were literally two doors down from a Spanish restaurant that was recommended by a colleague of my husband's, so we went there for dinner on Friday night.  On Saturday, we spent the morning wandering around town, and stumbled upon a really lovely park that was crawling with geese and ducks.  Not only that, but it seemed were just in time to see a bit of the Malmö Garden Show in the very same park.  Dinner was at a little seafood restaurant (which could have been better, to be honest), followed by a surprisingly good and creative dessert in our hotel restaurant.

Malmö really is a lovely town.  There isn't a whole lot to do, but it's got lots of beautiful architecture and a really comfortable vibe.  If I had any reason to, I could see myself living there.  And in fact, there are a lot of people who live there and work in Copenhagen, because the cost of living is so much lower.

Today, it was back to the grind with Danish class.  The first day that we met our new teacher, he said (in regards to how difficult it is to learn Danish), "Det skulle ondt!"

Translated, this means, "It should hurt!"

And boy, does it ever.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Studieskolen - Module 4.2, A New Hope

The new teacher walked confidently into the room wearing jeans and an open button-down gingham shirt over a plain white t-shirt, looking like a mix between Paul Giamatti and Tim Curry.  His hair was wild and curly and his smile was big and full of humor.

I knew immediately that this was going to work out.

From the start it was clear that the new teacher had been teaching Danish longer than our previous teacher.  He was infinitely more sure of himself and of the answers he was giving to our questions.  Not only that, but his Danish was far easier to understand.  Both because his pronunciation was clearer and because he seemed to have a better understanding of which words and phrases we had and had not learned in previous classes.

I already feel more optimistic about the class going forward.  To be honest, I had started to seriously lose hope and motivation, and was beginning to wonder if continuing was a waste of time.

It's clear that he's going to be a tough teacher.  Strict but kind. Insisting that we speak Danish whenever he's in the classroom, even before class starts and during breaks.  But always with a smile on his face.

It's nice to feel a renewed sense of hope.

Monday, May 13, 2013

En Film på Dansk

Strange as it feels to say, this is already the last week of module 4.1, and I'll be heading to module 4.2 next week.

Not only that, but it seems like we're changing horses midstream.

Instead of continuing on with our nice-but-frustrating Monday/Wednesday teacher, Studieskolen has altered the class a bit and we will have a brand new teacher next week.  We'll still have our other teacher one day a week, but our less experienced teacher is being replaced by someone who has, apparently, been working at the school for many years.

I, for one, am relieved.

So, today was our last class with the aforementioned inexperienced teacher.  We spent the first hour of class going over our homework, and took the following two hours to watch a Danish movie.

He asked the class if we would prefer English or Danish subtitles, and I think I was the only one to meekly squeak "...English...!"  That's was my insecurity speaking.  Everyone else enthusiastically voted for Danish.

So, Danish it was.

We watched a film called "Adams Æbler," (which, as you might have guessed, translates to "Adams Apples).  This is a film from 2005 starring famous Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.  You might know him from the current American TV serious "Hannibal."

I went into it fully expecting to be completely lost, but I surprised myself.  I actually understood most of what was said.  To be fair, I would never have been able to figure it out without the subtitles.  But with the subtitles, I found that I could follow fairly well.

This gives me hope.  And maybe even a tiny bit more confidence.

By the way, speaking of subtitles... It's now a word that I often have difficulty remembering in English. I find myself always wanting to use the danish word (which is "undertekster").

I'm not sure I have room in my brain for both languages, and may eventually forget English completely.