A lot of people ask why I started learning danish (Wikipedia)
Even in a global world, learning languages still seems like a weird thing to do.
If you know me, or even if you have just been following my Youtube Channel for a little while, you know I love languages. Aside from my native Spanish, I speak, in several levels, English (as if that weren’t obvious), French, German, Italian, and Danish.
That, as of general, purports a plethora of reactions that varies from “Whoa, that’s impressive“, to “Why ?“. This last one happens mostly when I tell people that I am in my second year of Danish.
Their confusion seems to be softened when I talk about my fascination with Scandinavian television and film, and my wish to, one day, work in that industry. And how Destiny (why yes with a capital D), decided for me that I had to learn Danish.
And oh boy, I’m so glad it did.
Mind you, I might curse to København and back regarding the pronunciation and intonantion (God bless my poor teacher who suffers my mistakes with a healthy dose of good humor.) and the many errors I have. But don’t be mistaken, I have an insane amount of fun in those classes, and it has reaffirmed something that I already know: I F**KING LOVE LANGUAGES.
That leaves me to wonder: Why, if I were to say that I am learning so or so language because I d*mn well enjoy doing so, would people look at me as if I were green? Why have we placed such a stigma on knowledge for the sake of it?
I still remember a girl I went to high school with . She once said that when she left she would never pick up a book again. I pretty much was f**king aghast. Why could she say that?
(Mind you, education systems could do better to instill some love of learning in people. But then again it would mean that the politicians that create those systems actually care for their citizens. Still, that’s for another post.)
But anyhow, as I was saying, I love learning languages. They are a gate to more knowledge, and not only academical. Because there’s something amazing in being able to hold a conversation in the language that you have been learning, or enjoying a piece of media in said language, even if it is the silliest cartoon you can imagine.
And to be honest, for me, there’s always poetry.
In fact, I do have a saying: “You never find the true beauty of a language until you discover its poetry“. As for me, I think that I might have just started to truly discover the beauty of Danish with this first foray into its poetry.
What I discovered for sure, though, was something that surprised me (but that I should I have known nonetheless): H.C. Andersen, aside from giving us a lot of stories that we know and love, like The Little Mermaid , also wrote poems.
Poems that, for my short understanding in this language, are quite interesting. This is one of his earliest, titled Livet (The life) (You can listen to a recording here):
Hvad er vort Liv? – o see det svinder brat,– Et Stjerne-Skud i Evighedens Nat –Et Skridt fra Intet til et Intet atter,Hvad eller til – hvad ikke Tanken fatter!
As I continue with Danish, I promise more of the poems(along with the story of Andersen himself) will feature in both the Youtube channel and this blog. They might even help me improve the pronunciation and give me an impulse in the journey of studying this language.
After all, hvorfor ikke?
Sources for this post:
- Livet, af H.C. Andersen (HC Andersen dk)