How long does it take other Scandinavians to learn Danish?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Danish always gets a hard time for being that much harder to understand even for Scandinavians than Swedish or Norwegian, both of which have little problem understanding each other. That's why you can find videos like the following:

Very often people won't learn languages that are too similar to their mother tongue because it doesn't really feel like a different language. But how long would it actually take for other Scandinavians to become comfortable with Danish?

Answer: 16 hours, according to this site.

Ja, det kan man virkelig, og det er tilmed ganske let. Der findes danske lektorer på svenske universiteter, og efter et kursus i dansk på 16 timer synes de fleste studerende at både skrevet og talt dansk er rimeligt let at forstå!
Yes, one really can, and it is indeed quite easy. There are Danish lecturers at Swedish universities, and after a course in Danish for 16 hours most students find that both written and spoken Danish is quite easy to understand!

How much time is that compared to other languages? This site says that the easiest languages for English speakers to learn take 575-600 class hours to reach this level:
Speaking 3: General Professional Proficiency in Speaking (S3) and Reading 3: General Professional Proficiency in Reading (R3).
Note that other Scandinavians already start out with a near fluency in reading Danish (Norwegians moreso than Swedes); it's just the speaking and listening that isn't so easy.

Any studies out there by the way on how long it takes Estonians to learn Finnish and vice versa?


Anonymous said...

I don't really know about that question, but I'm Norwegian, and I would say Danish is much more easier to understand than Swedish... though I think many other Norwegians wouldn't agree with me :P

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