Rosetta Stone Danish
Learn Danish Online
Rosetta Stone Danish is software designed to help you learn Danish as easily possible. I ordered it in January 2009, but it doesn't seem to be available anymore (The last time I checked the Rosetta Stone website on October 5, 2014 it wasn't there). So in this lens, I've suggested some other language tools that you can try.
My name is Rebecca and I studied Danish at a language school in Copenhagen in 2009. You're about to find out about two language programs that I used to get a good understanding of Danish before I arrived in Denmark.
I hope that after reading my lens you'll get some tips that will help you to learn Danish as quickly as possible. The good news is that Danish is an easy language to learn (don't listen to the people who say it's hard!) it's easier than German or any of the Latin languages.
Rosetta Stone Danish was helpful to me when I was just starting to learn the language, but even if it were still available, it's actually not what I would recommend if I had to start all over again...more details further down the page...
I Need to Learn Danish, and Fast!
My near-obsession with Denmark began in 2007 after reading articles in Monocle and Wallpaper magazines describing Copenhagen as the best place on Earth. The Danish capital seemed to be an urban Shangri-La, with bicycle lanes, yummy open-faced sandwiches (Smørrebrød), and infrastructure that makes a few G8 nations look third world.
I decided to apply to a Danish university and began researching their requirements. Some universities had courses in English, but the one I wanted to apply for the most was taught in Danish. In order to be eligible for the program, I would have to pass Studieprøven, a Danish language exam for foreigners. I've always liked learning new languages, so it seemed like no big deal to learn Danish. But everyone I knew thought it was a bit weird: "DANISH?" "WHY?"
I went online and ordered Rosetta Stone Danish (this was January 2009 when it was still available). It arrived in the mail a few days later and I started using it immediately. So how was Rosetta Stone Danish? Was it the best tool I used to learn Danish? Would it be worth it if you could get a used copy online? More details below...
Rosetta Stone Danish Was Good, But It Doesn't Seem to Be Available Any More
So What Are Some Good Alternatives?
Rosetta Stone Danish was certainly helpful, but I personally found it a bit slow and got bored because I wanted to progress more quickly. I think this was the case because English is my native language, and for native English, German, and Dutch speakers, Danish is a very easy language to learn. But that doesn't mean that Rosetta Stone Danish isn't pretty good. If you could find a used copy online, it would certainly be worth trying.
Overall, I think the best way to learn Danish is to study the language in Denmark. I went to a language school in Copenhagen and I found that I learned the language faster and in greater depth than when I was using Rosetta Stone Danish. But, if you would prefer to study independently, there are other types of software as well as books and CDs that you can try. More details below...
Best Alternative to Rosetta Stone Danish
I bought this course before going to Copenhagen and it really helped me to learn how to pronounce Danish words (which is probably the most challenging part of learning an otherwise easy language).
Bonus - Where Should I Live in Copenhagen?
Lidt Kedeligt På Amager - A Little Boring in Amager
(No offense if you're currently living in Amager!There are, of course, some places in the district that are interesting.)
When I first arrived in Copenhagen I lived in Amager, which is not exactly the center of all the action. I was one minute from the metro station Lergravsparken which was convenient for commuting to my language school near the University of Copenhagen. However, it wasn't an ideal location for restaurants, cafes, boutiques etc. and architecturally speaking, my immediate surroundings weren't very inspiring, so I moved to Østerbro after a couple of months.
Østerbro, Frederiksberg, and Hellerup - The Best Neighbourhoods in Copenhagen?
Some would disagree...but if you're looking for a Danish approximation to South Kensington in London, these could be the places for you. They're not "edgy"...but are great for families and solo expats looking for good restaurants and cafes, galleries and nicely curated shops.
Also, if you're moving to Copenhagen for work, and will be taking your family with you, Østerbro has some of the nicest larger apartments in the city.
This is a suburb of Copenhagen and is a great area if you're looking for more space. Hellerup is known for its large villas with gardens...perfect for kids and entertaining.
A 'city within a city', Frederiksberg is actually a small island that is regarded as being a part of Copenhagen. It has wide, tree-lined avenues and some beautiful apartments with period features. Soon after arriving in Denmark, I took the metro to Frederiksberg to buy a pair of boots and remember admiring the neighbourhood. This district also has some good specialty food shops for wine, cheese, chocolate...
Østerbro, Hellerup, and Frederiksberg
Another great guide to learning Danish. Available in Kindle format if you'd like to download and get started right away. However, it's probably better to get the version with audio CDs because listening to Danish being spoken is the only way to learn tricky Danish pronunciation.
How to Improve Your Conversational Danish While In Denmark
1. Talk to people in bars and cafes
It's surprisingly easy to make friends in Denmark. I remember once I was sitting in a cafe near to the Nørreport train station and the waitress and I just started chatting. She ended up inviting me to join her and her friends for the May Day celebrations taking place in the city. I lived in Paris for almost two years and while I was there, I would NEVER just start talking to someone sitting beside me in a cafe. But in Denmark, the people are relaxed and approachable, so you can.
2. Invite your neighbors over!
A week after you've arrived in Denmark, start planning a little party at your place where you can get to know your neighbors. Seven days before the party, one evening when your neighbors are back from work, or on the weekend, knock on their doors, introduce yourself if you haven't met, and invite them over. You'll find that most, if not all, will come and you'll have a great time getting to know each other.
3. Don't associate exclusively with people from your country
This is the case if you want to learn any language, not just Danish. But in Denmark, the people are unusually open-minded and curious. Denmark is a 'high IQ society' where people have a great capacity to think, so it would be a shame if you spent all your time speaking your native language and associating with people from your own country when there is so much to learn from the Danes.
4. Ask to be spoken to in Danish
Many Danes speak English fluently and most speak it fairly well (especially in the cities). While I was in Copenhagen, I can't recall meeting one Dane who didn't speak any English. Unfortunately, this will make it harder for you to learn Danish because many Danes speak to foreigners in English automatically. So you might have to ask them to speak to you 'På Dansk'.
What's the Main Reason Why You Want to Learn Danish?
Useful Resources For Learning Danish
An online dictionary
- A Guide to Studying in Denmark
This website has good information if you'd like to attend a university or college in Denmark.
- Politiken newspaper
Reading a Danish newspaper (even if you have to use a dictionary) is very helpful in learning the language. In the beginning, you might only be able to scan the headlines, but as you get better at Danish, you'll be able to read articles as well.
- Google Translate
Although the translation won't be perfect, it will help you to understand articles from Danish online newspapers and websites.