Why should you start learning Danish for free?
- Danish is spoken by more than 6 million people around the world.
- Danish is a North Germanic language, derived originally from Old Norse.
- The Foreign Service Institute identifies Danish as a Category I language, meaning it is fairly easy to learn.
- Begin studying Danish with Babbel
Get to know Denmark’s stellar literary output
At school, we’re introduced to French, German, or Spanish, but Danish? Probably not. That’s a shame, because Danish is a really rewarding language to learn, with a wide range of uses, and the option to use it as a springboard to learn other tongues as well. So let’s offer some good reasons to ditch the big languages, and give some love to the little guy. Denmark isn’t a big country, but it has played a huge role in European and world culture. In the 19th century, Copenhagen played host to some of the first Existentialists - philosophers who grappled with atheism and the emptiness of modern life.
Kierkegaard is the most famous of all, inspiring countless thinkers, musicians, and novelists since his works appeared. But Danish literature is about more than angst. For instance, most English speakers won’t have heard about Henrik Pontoppidan, but they should. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917, his novel “Lucky Per” has hardly ever been translated, but is ranked as one of the greatest creations of the 20th century. When you add in Karen Blixen (writer of “Out of Africa”) and the great playwright Henrik Ibsen, and there are plenty of Danish language masters waiting to be discovered.
Speak Danish like a native: Your trip to Copenhagen
Denmark’s capital is an ever-popular city break destination, and with good reason. It’s home to the hippy enclave of Christiania, Michelin starred restaurants like Noma, a cluster of atmospheric jazz clubs, fantastic museums, and the multi-coloured harbor district of Nyhavn. Easy to navigate by bike, Copenhagen always has something new to offer.
When visitors head to Copenhagen, they will only scratch the surface if they can’t speak Danish. For starters, meeting Danes will be easier. Locals love to help out foreigners with their vocabulary and pronunciation, and will give you a lot more time if you attempt to master a few words. You don’t need to be fluent. A few courses on apps like Babbel will be enough to help you make friends much more easily.
Appreciate Danish cinema much more
Denmark also punches above its weight in the world of cinema. Big names like Von Trier, Dreyer, Refn, and Vinterberg have all won numerous awards around the world, and created masterpieces. You’ve probably seen some of them, including “Dogville”, “Day of Wrath”, and “Festen”.
However, if you can’t speak Danish you almost certainly relied upon subtitles. That’s a great way to get a feel for the narrative, but subtitles are a distraction for real film fans, and they can miss jokes and subtle lines - sometimes ruining the whole movie. Instead, fans of Danish cinema can brush up on their vocabulary, and head to a local “biograf” to enjoy films on a whole new level.
Affordable and fast: Discover the Babbel Danish courses
This all sounds great, but language learning can seem intimidating to some people. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Thanks to app-based language learning tools like the courses created by Babbel, students can learn Danish at their own pace. They can choose intensive primers for travel, or take their learning slowly. It’s all up to the individual.
Babbel’s tools for learning Danish free provide a grounding in speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Classes are themed around real life conversations, with relevance to the student’s interests, while technologies like speech recognition make it much easier to achieve perfect pronunciation.
Instead of struggling in classrooms with teaching of variable quality, give Babbel’s courses a try. You can book a taster class to see how it works, then add in courses lasting from 1 to 12 months. In no time, your Dansk is sure to be “fantastiske.”