Tag Archives: language learning

“Winging it” sounds the same in any language

Yes, I know he's not Danish. He's also not really speaking Swedish. That's not the point.

Yes, I know he’s not Danish. He’s also not really speaking Swedish. That’s not the point. Art by Max Geiger.

In Danish, the phrase “Good morning, how did you sleep,” looks like this:

God morgen, hvordan har du sover?

It sounds like:

G’morn, vordenardusowah?

As in any language, in Danish, phonetics often have little to do with how words look on paper. While this particular phrase (which Jack needs to learn, along with a short introduction speech by the end of the month), may not be too difficult, there are sounds in that language that don’t even exist in English. Not to mention letters, like: æ, ø, and å.

But when I reminded him last week about putting together his speech, he was unconcerned. He said he’d just use the handy, new Danish dictionary he got for Christmas, and whip out a few phrases.

Oh, honey. Please (er, ahem: vær så venlig). (more…)