Monday, October 02, 2006

THE DANES ARE NOT SURPRISED

On the first evening in Haderslev in south Denmark, I went to my host Christian Juhl’s mothers home. It was a linguistically-challenged affair. Noone there knew English and I didn’t know a word of Danish. My energy was spent mid-way through the meal after all the animated acting involved in communicating what I was trying to say. I gave up and sat in silence eating Gammeldags hvidkal – a mash of cabbage and cream (quite nice). But the family – Christian Juhl, his sister Rita, her husband Gunnar and their mum Annalise continued to speak in Danish. I thought Christian must have been telling very interesting tales because Rita was drawing in her breath every few minutes.

The following day I met more people making sharp intakes of breath, every few sentences. The Danes must be easily surprised I thought. But its only now at the end of the first week here that I realise its their characteristic way of speaking. Spoken words are followed by a gulp of air.

Now I don’t rush to ask what the matter is when I hear a “whu”. Its just air making its way into a Danish throat.

4 comments:

GeekBeyondRedemption said...

You could probably use this :-)

http://www.englishlearner.com/ectaco/dictionaries/all-products-danish.html

And if you do, a review would be appreciated!

Sathej said...

Hello Alaphia,
How is your vacation going?Interesting to know of such trivia.Keep them coming.And have a good and refreshing time.
Sathej

matcher said...

Hi Alaphia -

Do you know that you have a fanfare of yours online.

Has the time arrived for us to compare you with Maria Bartiromo.

Keep up the good work.

Sriram said...
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