Dialogue - Danish

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Vocabulary

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weekendtillæg weekend supplement
weekendvagt weekend shift
arbejdstid working hours, hours
studerende student above senior high school level
tjenererfaring waiting experience
indkaldelse call, summons, call-up, draft
hedde to be called, to be named
tjener waiter
konfliktsky afraid of conflict
søge to apply for

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is Discussing Reasons
Jeg vil gerne arbejde her på grund af de fleksible arbejdstider.

"I would like to work here because of the flexible working hours."

 


 

In this lesson, you will learn how to:

1. Express reasons with the conjunctions fordi and

2. Express reasons with the adverb derfor

3. Express reasons with the phrase på grund af

 


 

 

1. How to express reason with the conjunctions fordi and


 

The conjunction fordi means "because" and it is used just like its English equivalent; to give reason. It is always an introduction to a subordinate clause, preceding or following a main clause. Normally, subordinate clauses cannot stand alone, but if someone asks you the reason for something, you can answer with a subordinate clause only. For example, when like in the dialogue, when Theresa asks Jon why he wants to work at this exact café, Jon could have answered Fordi I tilbyder fleksible arbejdstider. This literally means "Because you offer flexible working hours." The conjunction means "so" and it is also used like its English equivalent. differs from fordi because it can introduce both main and subordinate clauses, as it can be a co-ordinating conjunction. Also, is used to express reason through the effect or result of an action. Like in the dialogue, when Jon tells Theresa about his waiting experience, he first explains that the waiter at his old job suddenly left, which was the action that caused him to sign up for the job.

 

Sentence structures:

Even though fordi introduces a subordinate clause, it does not mean that the order of the two clauses can be switched. If a main clause precedes a subordinate clause, the subject comes before the verb in both clauses. If the subordinate clause precedes the main clause, the word order changes in the latter so that the verb comes before the subject. It is most common to start with the main clause before the subordinate clause, but if you really want to emphasize the reason for something, you can start with fordi and the rest of the subordinate clause and then the main clause. In questions, the main clause always precedes the subordinate clause, and once again, the word order changes in the main clause.

 

 

Affirmative: [main clause: subject + verb] + fordi + subject + verb

Negative: [main clause: subject + verb] + fordi + subject + ikke ("not") + verb

Interrogative: [main clause: verb + subject] + fordi + subject + verb?

 

 

 

Affirmative: Fordi + subject + verb + [main clause: verb + subject]

Negative: Fordi + subject + ikke ("not") + verb + [main clause: verb + subject]

 

 

 

 

Affirmative: Fordi + subject + verb

Negative: Fordi + subject + ikke ("not") + verb

 

 

 

 

Affirmative: [main clause: subject + verb] + + subject + verb

Negative: [main clause: subject + verb] + + subject + verb + ikke ("not")

Interrogative: + subject + verb?

 

 

For example:

  1. Han ansøger, fordi han mangler penge.
    "He is applying because he needs money."
  2. Fordi hun ikke spurgte, udelod han det.
    "Because she didn't ask, he left it out."
  3. Lønnen var også for lav. -Så du gik?
    "The salary was also too low." -"So you left?"

 

2. How to express reason with the adverb derfor

 


 

As a causal adverb, derfor means "therefore," and it is used like its English equivalents, including "thus"; to express reason. Derfor can only introduce main clauses in which the word order must be inverted. In the dialogue, Jon talks about his strengths and weaknesses, and follows that sentence with another sentence starting with derfor. Here, the adverb clearly refers to the first sentence, which is the reason why he will do anything to keep others happy, as he explains in the latter sentence. Even when a main clause is followed by another main clause, connected by a conjunction, such as the familiar , the word order must be inverted in the latter clause because of derfor. preceding derfor works the same as in English, "so therefore." When using derfor in questions, it is often translated as "why" to make sense in English.

Sentence structures:

 

Affirmative: derfor + verb + subject

Negative: derfor + verb + subject + ikke ("not")

 

 

 

Interrogative: Er det ("Is it") + derfor + subject + verb?

Interrogative: Er det ("Is it") + derfor + subject + ikke ("not") + verb?

 

For example:

  1. Derfor er det vigtigt at være velforberedt.
    "Thus, it is important to be well-prepared."
  2. Han var ærlig, og derfor fik han jobbet.
    "He was honest, and therefore he got the job."
  3. Er det derfor, du har gode anbefalinger?
    "Is that why you have good recommendations?"

 

3. How to express reason with the phrase på grund af


 

The phrase på grund af consists of the preposition , which has several meanings, such as "on" and "in." Next, the common gender noun grund which means "reason." And finally, the preposition af which also has several meaning, such as "of." The phrase is used to give reason like its English equivalent "because of." Like in the dialogue, Jon uses the phrase in a sentence explaining why he want to work at that café in particular. På grund af can appear anywhere in a sentence except at the very end, because it will always be followed by a reason.

 

Sentence structures:

 

Affirmative: på grund af + reason

Negative: ikke ("not") + på grund af + reason

Interrogative: på grund af + [reason]?

Interrogative: ikke ("not") + på grund af + reason?

 

 

 

For example:

  1. Du er ansat på grund af din gode attitude.
    "You are hired because of your great attitude."
  2. På grund af manglende erfaring giver vi dig afslag.
    "Because of lack of experience, we are turning you down."
  3. Er det på grund af min civilstand?
    "Is it because of my civil status?"

 

Examples from the dialogue:

  1. Tak fordi du ville komme. Vil du fortælle om din tjenererfaring?     
    "Thank you for coming. Do you want to tell about your waiting experience?"
  2. Jeg er service-minded, men konfliktsky. Derfor gør jeg alt for, at andre er glade.
    "I am service-minded, but afraid of conflict. Therefore, I do anything to make others happy."
  3. Jeg vil gerne arbejde her på grund af de fleksible arbejdstider.
    "I would like to work here because of the flexible working hours."

 

Sample Sentences


 

  1. Jeg er glad, fordi jeg er blevet fastansat.
    "I am happy because I have been tenured."
  2. Du havde mest erfaring, og derfor ansætter vi dig.
    "You have the most experience, and therefore we are hiring you. "
  3. Arbejdspladsen er god på grund af det gode kollegaskab.
    "The workplace is good due to the great colleagueship."

 

Cultural Insights

Applying for Jobs in Denmark


 

The most standard job application procedure in Denmark is simple. You send your resume and a cover letter through email or upload it through a given employer's application site. Besides newspapers, bulletin boards, and the like, Danes often use online job portals to find available jobs matching their profile or field. If there are no relevant jobs, you can always try sending an unsolicited application, but do not be surprised if you never get an answer. When you are unemployed, you can receive a monthly deposit, for a limited time of course, if you are a member of an a-kasse and declared unemployed at the authorities' job center online.

Useful expression:

  1. a-kasse
    "unemployment fund"

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
John: Hi everyone, and welcome back to DanishClass101.com. This is Intermediate Season 1 Lesson 1 - A Danish Job Interview. John here.
Nana: Hej I'm Nana.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to discuss reasons. The conversation takes place at a café.
Nana: It's between Jon and Theresa.
John: The speakers are strangers. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Jon: Tak for indkaldelsen. Jeg hedder Jon, og jeg er studerende.
Theresa: Tak fordi du ville komme. Vil du fortælle om din tjenererfaring?
Jon: Jeg var opvasker, men pludselig rejste tjeneren. Så jeg meldte mig.
Theresa: Det var heldigt. Hvad er dine stærke og svage sider?
Jon: Jeg er service-minded, men konfliktsky. Derfor gør jeg alt for, at andre er glade.
Theresa: Javel. Hvorfor vil du gerne arbejde på netop denne café?
Jon: Hmm... Tja...
Theresa: Caféen overfor søger jo også en tjener.
Jon: Jeg vil gerne arbejde her på grund af de fleksible arbejdstider.
Theresa: Hvordan har du det med weekendvagter?
Jon: Helt fint. Giver I weekendtillæg?
Theresa: Det gør vi.
Jon: Alletiders.
John: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Jon: Thank you for the call. My name is Jon and I am a student.
Theresa: Thank you for coming. Do you want to tell me about your waiting experience?
Jon: I was a dishwasher, but suddenly the waiter left. So I signed up.
Theresa: That was lucky. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Jon: I am service-minded, but afraid of conflict. Therefore, I do anything to make others happy.
Theresa: I see. Why do you want to work at this café exactly?
Jon: Hmm... Well...
Theresa: After all, the café across the street is also looking for a waiter.
Jon: I would like to work here because of the flexible working hours.
Theresa: How do you feel about weekend shifts?
Jon: Totally fine. Do you give weekend supplement?
Theresa: We do.
Jon: Great.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
John: Jon is looking for a job.
Nana: I think that working in a restaurant is a pretty common job for students.
John: I think so too. What is job hunting like in Denmark?
Nana: The procedure is pretty simple. If you find a job you want to apply for, then send your resume and a covering letter.
John: How do people usually apply?
Nana: Often via email or the employer’s own website.
John: I guess that people find job listings in the usual ways, in newspapers and on bulletin boards.
Nana: That’s right. There are also online portals where you can search for specific types of jobs.
John: Oh, I’ve used those before. Your search results are usually tailored to your profile and field of work.
Nana: You can also send applications to a company even if they don’t have jobs advertised, but that might not get you any response.
John: If you’re unemployed, what can you do for money in Denmark?
Nana: You can receive money for a limited period of time, if you are a member of an a-kasse, an unemployment fund, and register as an unemployed at the job center.
John: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
John: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Nana: indkaldelse [natural native speed]
John: call, summons, call-up, draft
Nana: indkaldelse [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: indkaldelse [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: hedde [natural native speed]
John: to be called, to be named
Nana: hedde [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: hedde [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: studerende [natural native speed]
John: student above senior high school level
Nana: studerende [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: studerende [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: tjenererfaring [natural native speed]
John: waiting experience
Nana: tjenererfaring [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: tjenererfaring [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: tjener [natural native speed]
John: waiter
Nana: tjener [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: tjener [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: konfliktsky [natural native speed]
John: afraid of conflict
Nana: konfliktsky [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: konfliktsky [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: søge [natural native speed]
John: to apply for
Nana: søge [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: søge [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: arbejdstid [natural native speed]
John: working hours, hours
Nana: arbejdstid [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: arbejdstid [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Nana: weekendvagt [natural native speed]
John: weekend shift
Nana: weekendvagt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: weekendvagt [natural native speed]
John: And last..
Nana: weekendtillæg [natural native speed]
John: weekend supplement
Nana: weekendtillæg [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nana: weekendtillæg [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is...
Nana: være studerende
John: Meaning "to be a student". What can you tell us about this?
Nana: The first word være is the irregular verb "to be" and studerende is a common gender noun meaning "student."
John: Is this used by all students at all levels?
Nana: It’s usually used for students who are above high school level.
John: What about students who are younger?
Nana: You replace studerende with elev, and elev is often combined with an institution. So gymnasieelev is “senior high school student”.
John: Can you give us an example using this word?
Nana: Sure. For example, you can say... Alle mine venner er også studerende.
John: ...which means "All my friends are students too." Okay, what's the next word?
Nana: søge
John: Meaning "to look for, to search for, to seek, to apply for, to try".
John: What can you tell us about this word?
Nana: Søge is a regular verb, and it conjugates according to the second regular conjugation in past tense, so søge in past tense is søgte.
John: What is it used for?
Nana: Like in English, you use it for talking about looking for someone or something.
John: Is it usually paired with any particular prepositions?
Nana: Yes, it is often followed by efter, which literally means "after," but in this case it is the equivalent of "for" in English.
John: Can you give us an example using this word?
Nana: For example, you can say... Vi har søgt efter chefen overalt.
John: ... which means "We have looked for the boss everywhere."
John: Okay, what's the next phrase?
Nana: give weekendtillæg
John: Meaning "to give weekend supplement".
John: What can you tell us about this?
Nana: The irregular verb give means "to give," and the neuter gender noun weekendtillæg means "weekend supplement."
John: By ‘supplement,’ we mean additional money or a bonus.
Nana: That’s right. It’s usually used in a work context. If you have a job interview, you can ask Gives der weekendtillæg?
John: “Is there a weekend supplement?” Can you give us another example using this phrase?
Nana: Sure. For example, you can say... Arbejdsgivere kan give forskellige weekendtillæg.
John: ... which means "Employers can give different weekend supplements." Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

John: In this lesson, you'll learn how to discuss reasons. How do we do this in Danish?
Nana: There are many different ways. First, let’s look at the conjunction fordi.
John: This is very similar to the English conjunction “because,” and it is used in subordinate clauses.
Nana: The conjunction så works the same way as the English “so”. Unlike fordi, it can be used in main and subordinate clauses.
John: Let’s look at how to make a sentence using these words. In English, you can often swap around the order of main and subordinate clauses.
Nana: You can’t always do that in Danish. If a main clause precedes a subordinate clause, the subject comes before the verb in both clauses. If the subordinate clause precedes the main clause, the word order changes in the latter so that the verb comes before the subject.
John: Let’s hear an example sentence.
Nana: Han ansøger, fordi han mangler penge.
John: “He is applying because he needs money.”
Nana: Lønnen var også for lav. - Så du gik?
John: “The salary was also too low.” “So you left?”
Nana: You can use the causal adverb derfor to give reason too.
John: This is similar to the English “therefore” and “thus”.
Nana: Derfor can only introduce main clauses in which the word order must be inverted. Even when a main clause is followed by another main clause, connected by a conjunction, such as the familiar så, the word order must be inverted in the latter clause because of derfor.
John: Again, let’s hear some examples.
Nana: Derfor er det vigtigt at være velforberedt.
John: “Thus, it is important to be well-prepared.”
Nana: Er det derfor, du har gode anbefalinger?
John: “Is that why you have good recommendations?”
Nana: Finally, we can express reason with the phrase på grund af.
John: This is like the English phrase “because of”.
Nana: På grund af can appear anywhere in a sentence except at the very end, because it will always be followed by a reason.
John: Let’s finish the lesson on an example.
Nana: Du er ansat på grund af din gode attitude.
John: “You are hired because of your great attitude.”
Nana: Listeners, make sure to check the Lesson Notes PDF for more information about the topics covered in this lesson, as well as additional examples.

Outro

John: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Nana: Hej hej