Colin Marshall sits down in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro with Louise Sand (and her baby daughter Alice), who teaches the Danish language on the Copenhagencast. They discuss why the Danes speak English so well, yet still feel shy about speaking it; her experience teaching Danish to classrooms of foreigners; her original studies to become a Spanish teacher; her inspirational friendship with Japanese-teaching podcaster Hitomi Griswold of Japancast.net; how she learns one language after another, like a musician addicted to learning one instrument after another; the importance, and difficulty, of giving up goals like perfect fluency; how podcasting lets her approach Danish education in a “modern,” less traditionally academic way; that thoroughly satisfying moment when a native speaker of a foreign language first understands you; the cultural lessons you find your way to when studying language, such as the existence of the onsdags snegle; how the Danish language enriches Danish life, especially its sense of humor; why to study subjects you love in other languages; the last twenty years you spend mastering the last ten percent of a language; the surprising directness of Danish in contrast with other languages, and the elements of life evoked by its idiomatic expressions; what she’s learned watching her young children acquire language; how flash cards “increase the storage space in your brain”; and the new expansion of the Danish language, as manifested in the signature expressions of a well-known traffic broadcaster.
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