A Dread of Class is a Bad Sign

S Aufrecht

I’m sad to report that my Danish learning process has taken a turn for the worse. After holiday travel caused me to miss a few classes of my Level 1 Danish class, I was rescheduled into a phonetics class, with the idea that, if I can pass it, I can proceed to level 2. However, there are several changes from my prior class that are making me realize how good the earlier class was. First, the original instructor, Steen, was the headmaster of the school. He has decades of experience, is quite unflappable, and seems to be the author of the special technique for teaching pronunciation that makes K.I.S.S. the top DSL (Danish as a Second Language - I think I just made that up) school in Copenhagen. The new guy is very nice, very enthusiastic, a trained linguist, and reminds me a lot of me as a teacher. In other words, he’s one big long rookie mistake. Please allow me to enumerate the deficiencies in the new class:

More things you wouldn’t guess about spoken Danish by reading it: os, meaning us, and også, meaning also, are pronouced identically in fast spoken Danish. They share a vowel with the o in kop (cup) and the er in cykler (a bicycle).

Gulvet is pronouced something like ghoul and means, a floor. Køkkenet means kitchen, not coconut, and is pronounced kook-nuh. Hundrede does mean 100, but only half of the letters (hun and either of the es, take your pick) are even implied by the pronunciation.