Update (14 March 2017): The dates for the oral exam in Aalborg in 2017 are some time between 12 and 23 June, following the 16 May written exam, and 4-15 December, following the 14 November written exam.
So it’s over. Prøve i Dansk 3, aka PD3. With the end of the oral exam, about three hours ago, I say good-bye and thank you to Aalborg Sprogcenter. I have learned a lot of Danish, met a lot of interesting people, and made some good friends. As I said during the exam as part of my emne (‘dansk eller engelsk – fremtiden for det danske sprog’), Denmark is the only country I know of that ‘gifts’ language lessons to the immigrants/expats/foreigners/non-Danes (whatever we call ourselves) who choose to live here. In that we are very fortunate, whatever we might think of the importance of being able to communicate in Danish on a daily basis. But before I ‘complete’ the section of my blog on Danish language learning, here are some thoughts about the oral exam portion of PD3…
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Update (14 March 2017): The 2017 spring Prøve i Dansk 3 written exam takes place 16 May. The autumn exam will happen on 14 November. The registration deadlines for these two exams are 6 March 2017 (for the 16 May test) and 4 September (for the 14 November exam).
As I gazed out at AaB’s emerald green field, dotted with gold foil, I noticed that the sign hanging above it was out of date. It stated ‘Danske mestre 1995-1999-2008’. “They need to add 2014,” I thought absentmindedly, as I sat at my table of two and reviewed the words on my vocabulary list for the last time. That’s right – I was not at Nordjyske Arena to watch a football match; I was there to take a Danish exam: Prøve i Dansk 3 (‘PD3’), to be precise.
My post about learning Danish has generated a lot of traffic. After I published it, Lauren, a friend and fellow Danish language classmate, gave me a head’s up about ‘Nyheder på Dansk’, a website that helps newcomers to Denmark better understand the news in Danish. That got me thinking: I bet people could benefit from that site and others that provide ways to improve their language skills. Here is a short list of some of those sites (all of which are free of charge):
- Nyheder på Dansk – here you can read about some of the current events in Denmark, listen to Podcasts of articles while reading them, and view videos of interviews (created and updated by a Danish teacher/journalist who has lived abroad and understands the difficulties of staying abreast of the news in a new country)
- Ligetil: Nyheder, der er lette at læse – news that is easier to read, found on the dr.dk website
- Den danske ordbog – a Danish dictionary in Danish, rather than, for example, Danish-English, German-English or Arabic-Danish; a good way to reinforce one’s Danish
- Verbix.com – Danish verb conjugator; very handy
- Duda’s exercises and games – aimed at Danish students but good for non-Danes learning the language
- Modultest.dk – for students of state authorized language schools that operate according to the module system, this site provides them with practice exams for the module tests (you must get the login and password from your Danish teacher at Aalborg Sprogcenter)
- Memrise.com – recommended by Lauren (see comment below), Memrise is a free online flashcard course with an android app, e.g. 500 most common Danish verbs, basic Danish phrases, and conversational Danish
I’m sure there are more out there. If you know of any, please post them in a comment below. Oh – and don’t forget about the tremendous resource that is the Danish volunteers who help with homework and speaking and listening practice in the Aalborg Sprogcenter study center (several hours every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), Aalborg Main Library and two branches of the library (see hours at the bottom of my post on the Aalborg library).
As this is week 8 – Aalborg’s winter holiday week – and I am away with my daughters visiting their grandparents in Germany, I will not be posting again until next week. Stay tuned for future posts on the special tax scheme for foreign workers and getting a driver’s license in Aalborg.
UPDATE: On 1 July 2017, yet another law on Danish language learning entered into force in Denmark; some of this law will not come into force until 1 January 2018. You can find out about this new law – which includes a requirement that students (except au pairs, asylum seekers, and those living in Denmark through the family-reunification policy) pay a deposit of 1250kr for their lessons and a rule that students have 3.5 years within a 5-year period to learn the language – here. Please note that much of what you will read below is already out-of-date since 2015/2016, when Aalborg began receiving asylum seekers again.
Danish is Denmark’s national language. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that newcomers to the country are expected to (and many want to!) learn it once they make a commitment to live here. However, Danish is not what many would call an easy language to learn* – at least if you are talking about the difference between the written and spoken language. For example, how many people with no knowledge of Danish would guess that the word spelled ‘V-E-J’ (which means ‘way’ in English) is pronounced ‘VY’? Certainly not the woman on my GPS, who pronounces it ‘VEG’ (as in the British word for ‘vegetables’.) Which is why it’s a good idea to study the language formally – at the very least to get a grip on the basics…
I have loved libraries since I was a child. My mother used to take my siblings and me to the library in downtown Moline, Illinois to pick out books every few weeks and we would lose ourselves among the shelves, exploring everything from detective stories (my brother) to ballet (my sister) to horses (me). On Saturdays I would accompany my father there to pick out art for our walls (prints, like books, could be borrowed for a month or so at a time). And as a teen I used the library as a quiet place to study and write.
I have visited and utilized the services of myriad libraries all over the world since childhood. Some have impressed with their enormous collection of materials while others have inspired me to read and write in their huge elegant study halls. And then there is the Aalborg Public Library, which belongs in a category all to itself… Read the rest of this entry »