I have been thinking about taking the “studieprøve” which is the Danish exam at the C1 “Proficient user” level. To be able to do this, I need to become a “Proficient user”, so I have been doing a lot of Danish writing.
To get better, I have been making myself flashcards on memrise, maybe someone else would find them useful too?
I bought two (very reasonably priced) books for students at my level. There are not many available. There are more than a handful of beginner’s books but there are only a smattering of upper-intermediate books. Add to that how picky I am about Danish language textbooks, I don’t have much choice. I reserved two books from the library that are at my current level. They are both called, I am not lying, “Danish is hard”. One is about pronunciation, the other is grammar drills. Who are they trying to kid? It’s no Mandarin, this one.
Skriv på dansk! has some resources and workshops to help me improve my writing. Unfortunately, there is a stench of patronisation on all the pages. In the preface addressed to my teacher “The texts are taken directly from the second-language context the students live in and can therefore be used as a launchpad for discussions with a view to expanding the students’ cultural competence.” What are the texts about, you ask? The environment, men and women’s roles, children, integration, health, the usual. Goodness me, if they had a text about anything that I choose to read every day on my favourite websites, I’d explode with joy. But it’s fine. IT’S FINE. It’s not like the test will be on things I’m actually interested in or anything, it’ll be about this “second-language context” guff I am supposed to be so interested in.
*And* in line with what the government seems to think I require from a language course, they go into great detail about “types of non-fiction” and “constructing an argument”, the skills taught in Year Six back in the old country. Considering you cannot even get on this course unless you have been in formal education (in a country Denmark respects), for more than 15 years (or however long), this is a damned cheek. I already know how to structure a bloody opinion piece, I just don’t know the vocab for it in THIS language.
The book’s not a total bust, the example sentences at the back are ALL about how cheap and healthy potatoes are. Which is either an act of extreme Danish irony genius or an earnest stab at saying something that is uncontroversial (hilariously.. and also kinda ironically). Either way, lols all around.
My other book is about getting the endings right on words. This is something I need to the very MAX.
So, that’s good.
I’m on goodreads and I joined a Danish book group. They have a challenge part of the group and I signed up to read ten novels by Danish-authors in ten months (starting from next month). There are ten different categories:- modern, short story collection, poetry anthology, novel from before 1960, male author, female author, an author I haven’t read before, a novel set in the Danish provinces, a crime novel and a debut novel.
Sounds like fun but we’ll see how long I can keep it up.
Anything to avoid editing my own novel into a second draft.