Eating Habits in Denmark

When I had a first look at my timetable for the semester at Aarhus University, I already wondered whether the Danes did not consider lunch as an important meal during the day. This is because two of my three classes took place from 11am to 2pm. At home, I am used to having lunch as the biggest meal of the day – and now I was supposed to basically not have lunch at all? As the canteen served lunch exactly between 11am and 2pm, there was not even a possibility to have a very early or a very late lunch before or after class. Having no other possibility I started to do what most of the Danish students did: Run to the canteen in one of the two 15-minutes breaks and grab some food to go, usually some salad or a sandwich – and then eat it during class. In the beginning I felt very uncomfortable eating during class as I considered it rude, particularly because we were only a small group of students. In fact, it turned out to be quite usual, at least tolerated if not welcomed. There was this one guy who always got himself the full menu in the staff canteen and used to bring the whole tray to class. It was even not uncommon to see our lecturer holding the lecture while eating a sandwich. The first few times I had lunch during class I tried to be very careful and as quiet as possible because I somehow felt ashamed although I was not the only one eating. During the course of the semester I got more and more relaxed and in the last few weeks I did not even give it a thought anymore. Having lunch during class has become a routine on lecture days. Continue reading “Eating Habits in Denmark”

When confronted to Danish, English feels like your mother tongue!

During my stay here in Denmark, I am confronted with two foreign languages at the same time, namely Danish and English. As I did not know any Danish when I came here, my primary communication language in everyday life is English. Also my university courses are in English. Nevertheless, I take some Danish classes – the Danish state offers free Danish education to everyone that moves to Denmark – and try to learn the language. I like learning languages, but it is a challenge. Although as a German speaker you understand quite a lot of written Danish, the spoken language is on a whole different level. There are not only very strange pronunciation rules (for example that a written “d” can be pronounced as something that could maybe be described best as a mixture of “l” and “th”), no, they also swallow almost half of the letters, so that you cannot hear them at all! Understanding Danes speaking was completely impossible for me in the beginning but in the meantime I got a bit more used to the sound and I am able to understand parts of a conversation. And if I know the context of the conversation, I can even figure out somehow what has possibly been said. I never thought that I could get that far in such a short time! Continue reading “When confronted to Danish, English feels like your mother tongue!”

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