Nej, jeg snakker ikke Dansk. | No, I do not speak Danish

The Humanities Campus on Amager
Denmark is truly a wonderful place. I have loved living in the country of Denmark where a beautiful, lush forest is five minutes away but also being twenty minutes from Copenhagen and the charm it holds. Coming over, I knew that not knowing the Danish language would be an obstacle to getting adjusted, but it's been different than I've expected. Most Danes have English skills that far surpass people whose mother tongue is English, but there are a fair amount of challenges that come about from not knowing a country's language.

I am a person who prides myself on knowing a lot. This is one of my downfalls in life because it can lead to me looking down on others who maybe don't know as much about a topic I do, or it can set me up for failure because I have very high expectations of myself. Not knowing a language is a sure way to humble yourself. My host family speaks Danish amongst themselves and many times I have no idea what they are saying or a joke is said and everyone starts laughing and I laugh too, but I have no idea what I'm laughing about. They teach me Danish as they speak it which is so helpful but it takes time to learn enough of a language to understand colloquial conversation. When I meet Danish people who speak no English, or young Danish children there is no way I can communicate; it is like a wall goes up between us that can not be knocked down. In those situations I feel dumb and stupid even though there is nothing that can be done about it. Not understanding a language doesn't just mean I can't communicate, rather it means that my pride is knocked down a few levels, which is a good thing.

My Danish classroom
Today, the Danish language course began. I have been so excited for it because I have a strong desire to learn the language. Just today, my host family and I were all learning languages on the DuoLingo app and a total of four languages were being spoken at the same time: Danish, English, German and Spanish. It was quite the sight. This language course actually counts as an actual class, which means that there are exams - oh joy. By the end of the three weeks though, I should be an intermediate speaker of Danish which would be great to build the rest of my studies off of.

One thing that is really awesome about living in a culture with a different language is the way that God can still be worshipped no matter what language you speak. Every evening, my host family reads the Bible to their kids, though it is in Danish. I don't understand a word, but it is powerful to hear God's Word nevertheless. The other day we had to pick up the kids from a church camp and they sang some songs to finish up the camp and this is one of the songs they sang and it nearly brought me to tears. God is present through every tribe, nation and tongue.

Hvor God er god mod mig
Aldrig kan jeg glemme
Hvad han gjorde for mig. 

How God is good to me
I can never forget
What he did for me


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