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Thread: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

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    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Post Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Not entirely sure if this is the exact appropriate place for a thread like this, but what better source could get get for learning how to speak the tongues than from the people who already speak it?

    I would mainly like to learn Danish first, but quite frankly i'll go for anything i can get my hands on. How did you guys learn the language, and/or what advice would you give to people who want to learn them? Any good books/sources?

    Thanks for the help in advance.

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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
    Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.

    I don’t like people comparing the tongues, total different ethics involved and meanings!
    And who cares how many people there is in Sweden, to base the choice upon that would be total superficial.

    But is not something you just learn, if you have no involvement there you will not take it far.

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    American Couch Potato
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    He probably wants to learn more languages because he feels like a dumb American(or Canadian). I have the same issue. I don't understand how some of the members of this board have better English skills than I do and its my primary language. I speak some Spanish, but nothing comparable to the English that members use here. I know that I'd like to learn French/German for personal reasons and Arabic/Japanese for business reasons. I am dealing with so many god damn brown Indians and Arabs everyday that I just want to learn Arabic/Hindi in order to understand what they're discussing in front of me. I am at times paranoid

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    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor
    Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
    Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.
    I am Danish in heritage, and later on in life I plan on moving to either Danmark or Norwegian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tryggvi
    It doesn't really matter whether you learn Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian; with any of them you will be able to understand the others in written (and with some practice also in spoken) form. Go for whatever you like most. Swedish has double as many speakers as Danish and Norwegian, though.
    Yeah, i knew that each of the three countries could pretty much understand eachother pretty well. I read that Danish is supposed to be a bit more gutteral, while swedish is more sing-songish. When it comes to being written, I think swedish was supposed to be kind of an oddball since they have different vowels....? I can't quite remember.

    Anyways, thank you very much for your post, Tryggvi.

    @AngryPotato - I'd be a dumb American. I live just 60 miles from the border to Canada though, so close enough.

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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Det är väl inget fel om en Amerikan av Dansk eller Svensk härkomst har en vilja att lära sig ett Skandinaviskt språk. Ett språk är ju inte allt. Du kanske menar att kulturens bas står på en nationell anda eller mentalitet, som skiljer sig mer mellan Danmark och Sverige, än mellan Sverige och Norge.

    Det finns ju självklart en tendens att klumpa ihop dessa liknande nationer endast på grund av deras historiska relationer, stereotypiskt blonda typer och till en viss del liknande välfärdssystem (i alla fall till mitten av 70-talet). Jag är ganska säker att du vill att folk som också vill lära sig något om Norden bör ha en djupare anledning än det uppenbara.

    I think the best method is to study from linguaphones. Danish has a glottal stop, and is therefore quite hard to pronounce, but it sure sounds cool, like Dutch. Some Danes sound like they are mixing German and Chinese. Most Swedes understand almost all Norwegian speakers (less so the accent of West Coast Norwegians). Norwegians understand better Danish than Swedish. Norway has, because of its mountainous topography, sharper cut-offs between dialectal regions.

    I think that it is best to begin by learning the similarities between English and the Scandinavian languages. He can e.g. try to read the first sentences in this post.

    He may not understand the meaning of the sentences, but may be able to learn how to pick up some similar words. väl=well, vilja=will, lära=learn, allt=all, mellan (similar to middle, which is better translated to Swedish mellersta)=between, tendens=tendency (or trend), säker=sure, djupare=deeper.

    Some other translated words, anda=spirit, står=stand, skiljer=separate or distinguished, härkomst=extraction, på grund av=because of, välfärdssystem=welfare systems, uppenbara=obvious.





    Quote Originally Posted by Tor
    Hmm what the hell is this? Why do you want to learn?
    Who are you to learn? I just want to know the purpose.

    I don?t like people comparing the tongues, total different ethics involved and meanings!
    And who cares how many people there is in Sweden, to base the choice upon that would be total superficial.

    But is not something you just learn, if you have no involvement there you will not take it far.

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    Senior Member Mac Seafraidh's Avatar
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    I find it hard to teach myself a language. Learning a foreign language is really easy for me though. In a classroom and or by a teacher it makes it really easy for me. The Germanic languages are so ease to learn, as well as the Romance languages. I would like to learn Italian,Greek, and Russian. My German is very rusty since I have graduated high school and I can no longer remember genitive case,etc. I really like the Flemish/Dutch language too, but if you were to learn that with German and all the Scandinavian languages messing them up would be no problem.That is why I changed my mind from orignally wanting to learn almost every Germanic language and Romance to the ones I listed above.

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    Senior Member NormanBlood's Avatar
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Volkdeutscher: Hmm...I tried to see if I could understand the first sentence.

    Det är väl inget fel om en Amerikan av Dansk eller Svensk härkomst har en vilja att lära sig ett Skandinaviskt språk.
    Something about someone being an American of Danish or Swedish descent or heritage and want to learn to speak (I am assuming sprak means to speak..or similar as it reminds me of the German verb Sprechen) Scandinavian languages...or something bah I suck at this lol Was I close...somewhat?

    Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things

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    Senior Member Julius's Avatar
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    It was right. Here's my word for word translation of the sentence:

    "It is det är nothing wrong inget fel if an American om en Amerikan of Danish or Swedish descent av dansk eller svensk härkomst has a will har en vilja to learn att lära (sig) a Scandinavian language ett skandinaviskt språk."

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanBlood
    Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things :-)
    Yeah, it would be fun! I would also like to learn Norwegian and Danish.

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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    You understood it. Well done! I love the melody of the Swedish language. Yes, German and Swedish are quite similar. Middle Low German enriched the Swedish language during the late Middle Ages. I have forgotten most of the effects, but they thought us about that back in school. The Hansa were in the Baltics. They dominated the Nordic trade. Many town officials in Sweden were of North German descent. So Swedish is full of Low German prestige words.

    We can make it to a teaching and learning thread. I am for it.


    Quote Originally Posted by NormanBlood
    Volkdeutscher: Hmm...I tried to see if I could understand the first sentence.

    Something about someone being an American of Danish or Swedish descent or heritage and want to learn to speak (I am assuming sprak means to speak..or similar as it reminds me of the German verb Sprechen) Scandinavian languages...or something bah I suck at this lol Was I close...somewhat?

    Why don't we turn the thread into a sort of "learning Danish/Swedish/Norwegian" thread. Those who already speak one of the languages can come and teach usa few things

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    Senior Member NormanBlood's Avatar
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    Post Re: Teaching yourself any of the Scandinavian languages...?

    Wow, had not thought I would go have got it right. The word I was really unsure of was "härkomst" but I tried to put into context what I thought the sentence meant up until there and so I figured if I was right it would be something similar.

    Julius, you put "sig" in brackets. What does it mean? Or is it one of those words that doesn't really have an English equivalent?

    Personally I am most interested in learning Norwegian or Danish out of cultural interest. But Swedish would be good to because, as mentioned here, all three languages are very similar, plus I know there is an exchange to Sweden or Norway at the University I will be attending. So it would be great to learn some Swedish or Norwegian ahead of time

    Ok, so how should we start?

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