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Lesson Transcript

Anna: Hi everyone. I’m Anna!
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to DanishClass101.com. This is All About, Lesson 12: Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes in Danish.
Anna: Listeners, you're in for some useful tips in this lesson.

Lesson focus

Becky: That's right, in this lesson you will learn some tips on how to avoid common mistakes made by learners of Danish.
Anna: Now remember, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. It's how you learn!
Becky: We just want you to be aware of the common mistakes so that you can avoid them. It will make your Danish language learning experience a lot easier too! So let's get started!
Anna: Tip number 1
Becky: Think twice when using possessive pronouns!
Anna: Even some Danes have trouble with the use of possessive pronouns. The problems occur when it comes to knowing whether to use “hans” meaning “his”, “hendes” meaning “hers”, or “sin” meaning “one’s” in a sentence.
Becky: The main rule is as follows: use the reflexive pronoun “sin” when what you are referring to is the subject of the sentence. Use “hans” or “hendes” when what you are referring to is something other than the subject. Can we have an example, Anna? Try saying “He is washing his car.”
Anna: In Danish, that sentence can either be “Han vasker sin bil” or “Han vasker hans bil.” In the first version, the subject is washing his own car, and therefore “his” becomes “sin.” In the second version, the subject is washing someone else’s car, and therefore “his” becomes “hans.” Do you see the difference?
Becky: Yeah! I definitely see how this can be tricky! Now the second tip. Watch out for silent letters!
Anna: Danish has letters in words that cannot be heard when spoken, but give a support in an adjoining syllable.
Becky: Right. And to make things harder, there is no single rule for remembering them, and when not to pronounce them and when you are supposed to, which can change the meaning of the word completely.
Anna: Silent letters can occur both at the beginning, the middle, and at the end of a word, and also indicate stress and stød.
Becky: Make sure to check the Lesson Notes for examples of words with silent letters.
Anna: Yes, and don’t worry. There will be much more on silent letters in another lesson.
Becky: Exactly! Now, tip number three - Practice your prepositions hard! In Danish, there are many different prepositions, which is a challenge in itself. In addition, knowing when to use which preposition is not always very logical and definitely not a given.
Anna: Therefore, the best you can do is to check a dictionary if you are not sure about which preposition to use.
Becky: If you do use a wrong preposition, any Danish native speaker will still be able to understand what you are trying to say, even though it might sound odd.
Anna: Right. Now let’s continue with the next tip.
Becky: Learn the pronunciation now.
Anna: Yes. Don’t delay. Pronunciation is a hard part of Danish. It doesn't matter how well you know the grammar. If you don't pronounce it right, it will be hard to understand.
Becky: And we have a complete Pronunciation series that will be introduced right after we finish this All About series. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun studying Danish pronunciation with us!
Anna: That’s right! And the last tip we want to mention is...
Becky: Be careful when using transitive and intransitive verbs! Problems with verbs that belong in pairs can occur when you’re choosing which one is correct for actually saying what you want to say.
Anna: Check out the Lesson Notes to see the verbs that usually cause the most trouble.
Becky: Basically, just make sure that you know which verbs are transitive and which are intransitive and you are good to go. But until then, try not to worry too much about them when using them in the present tense and in spoken language, because many of them are actually very similar in pronunciation. In fact, many Danes cannot always tell them apart either.
Anna: Exactly! The difference only becomes more obvious in past tense and in writing.
Becky: All right! Well, these were our top five tips for avoiding common mistakes in Danish.
Anna: Keep these in mind and your Danish learning experience will be made a lot easier!
Becky: And you'll be right on track!


Anna: Thanks for listening everyone, and we’ll see you next time!
Becky: Hej hej!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

DanishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What do you think is your most common mistake while speaking Danish?


DanishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 09:07 PM
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Hi Luca P. Gentile.

Thank you for your response.

Yes, the soft "D" is certainly difficult for many people. I think it might help to think of the pronunciation of "Th" in English as in "The", "Though" and "That"

Good luck, and let us know if you have any questions.

Best regards


Team DanishClass101.com

Luca P. Gentile
Friday at 05:18 AM
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I am really bad at "D" with the potato in the mouth.

Team DanishClass101.com
Tuesday at 02:38 AM
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Hi Erica,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing!

It is definitely a good (and hilarious) way of explaining the possessive.

Remember though, that quite a lot of Danes say "hans" or "hendes" instead of "sin" or "sit."

Hopefully, you will be able to get the right meaning out of the context :grin:

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thank you!


Team DanishClass101.com

Tuesday at 11:23 AM
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I confuse common and neuter genders pretty often. I have been trying to get into the habit of looking them up in the dictionary when I'm writing to check, but mistakes still slip through.

I have to share the hilarious way the possessive was first explained to me, which really sticks in my mind:

Han kysser sin kone. (He kisses his [own] wife.)

Han kysser hans kone. (He kisses his [someone else's] wife.)

Not something you want to mix up! :)

Team DanishClass101.com
Monday at 10:00 PM
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Hi Phil,

Thank you for commenting.

Yes, the soft D and knowing which letters are silent can be tricky sometimes.

Do you have any rules of thumb?

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thank you!


Team DanishClass101.com

Wednesday at 10:22 AM
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The soft D and knowing which letters are silent.