101: Don't Panic

Book 001 - 101 Don't Panic.png

So amusingly enough, I quit my language class at about the same time that my Danish finally turns a corner. The two are related, since I was galvanized to switch all my texting to Danish and really hit Duolingo again. The app had hit an obnoxious phase where I was spending so much time practicing that I couldn't learn new stuff and the app chose what I should practice, which was always the oldest stuff that I knew cold. However they got new funding, rejiggered it in some much better ways and now I can choose what to practice and am really zooming along. All of a sudden when people stop to coo at my baby I actually understand what they're saying and when I watch Danish dramas, I'm comprehending a lot more. A big contributing factor on that one is a friend lent me Rejseholdet (Unit 1) and the subs that my husband found are delayed, so I hear the dialogue and then the translation comes up afterwards. It's a lot more work, but it forces me to listen a lot more closely and I'm pretty sure it's doing good things for me. I still stutter and have trouble lining up my sentences, but my pronunciation is improving greatly. Also, I found a local high schooler who's interested in a language exchange. As often happens, it ends up being a lot more English than Danish, but practice is practice and he is happy to sit down and explain all the grammar stuff that Duolingo punishes you for, but never tells you the rules of. It's neat hearing his perspective too, because his mom was adopted and is of Bangladesh descent, so he's a indigenous Dane, but very swarthy and exotic looking, which when he was little meant a lot of prejudice from classmates. I'm fascinated with how words like "racist" "prejudice" "bigotry" can have such different connotations in different cultures. While it's never fun to be treated as "other" the racism here seems a lot softer here than in US.