AFP 44 – Vladimir Georgiev: Denmark and Learning Danish

Today I'm talking to Vladimir Georgiev, a Bulgarian national who ventured on to Learn Danish and moreover even live in Denmark for an extended period of time. I ask him about his experiences and we get into specifics about learning the Danish language and coming to Denmark as a foreigner.


Once again I find myself with less than optimum quality. I apologise. My computer that I use to produce the episodes has died, and on it I had all the sound bytes I use for the show. I hope you'll accept this week's poor quality while I try to make it better for next week.

Denmark and Learning Danish

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Danish. One of the major reasons is because of my project, which I'll talk about in the next paragraph, but also because I've seen more and more people express an interest in learning the language. As a Danish person I feel like it's my duty to help you with getting as much help as you can on your way to speaking Danish fluently.

In this interview with Vladimir Georgiev, we look at the language from the perspective of a person outside and Vladimir shares his story on how he came across the language, as well as how he learned it, to quite a high level I must say. We get into what the hardest part of the language is, and also talk about his experience moving to Denmark.

In a later episode I'll talk more technically about the Danish language, from the perspective of native speakers. Look out for that episode in the future.

FREE Danish grammar introduction

If you are interested in learning Danish, I'll be starting a website soon that aims to teach you. Before it starts I'd like to give you a free grammar introduction, that I wrote together with my friend Daniel. We're looking forward to welcome you on the website soon!

Simply add your details here to get the free guide, you'll also be notified when the site goes live. Thanks!

The Episode

Show Notes

In this episode you will hear about:

  • How Vladimir got into learning Danish in Bulgaria
  • What motivated him to learn languages in the first place
  • His experience of moving to Denmark and living here
  • The biggest challenges of learning Danish
  • Tips and tricks for aspiring Danish learners
  • And much more

Episode Resources

This lists the resources relevant to the episode. For other language learning resources please go to the resource page for more information.

  • Celine says:

    The danish grammar ? I have never seen something that easy. When you already know english, it’s almost like literal translation. And if you know english AND german, well, you barely need to put some effort into learning new vocabulary… Danish, english and german have a lot in common.

    What’s the hardest about danish is, of course – and I mean by “of course” : I am pretty sure the whole country is aware of that, you ruthless slaughterers of consonants – pronunciation.

    I am looking forward to reading your future site about danish learning.
    As you already know I started danish with duolingo, and it still goes on. I train with memrise and that provides a range of articles and exercises for 4 different levels. But for pronunciation, this excellent site deceived me, as it uses a computer voice that reads very fast and… lacks of human flavor, of course. So if you go on your project, it would be great if you could post simple texts that you read aloud at 2 or 3 different speeds, so we can listen to and repeat. I have looked for this on the net, and did not find it. Maybe I searched badly. For the grammar part, I already have some kind of help with a lot of french websites, at least on the level I need.

    This is my suggestion, based on my own experience of course. Other learners might need more or something else. But if you need feedback at some point, do not hesitate to ask.

    • Chris Broholm says:

      Hi Celine,

      Thanks for your comprehensive input to the Danish discussion. We’ll definitely use your feedback when adding the finishing touches to our little learn danish project! Pronunciation is hard, but hopefully we can make it just a tad easier.

  • Vladimir Georgiev says:

    I think, that I didn’t manage to say all things in the audio and therefore I’ll point out them here:
    1. Another tip I have for a beginner is to find a teacher, who speaks fluently at least one language besides Danish and English and it’s a plus if s/he has an interest in languages. The teacher might not necessarily be a person born with the Danish language. The teacher should introduce the student to the culture and listen to him/her patiently and encourage them.
    2. If you’re a foreigner planning on living for an extended period in Denmark, then start to learn Danish as soon as possible. It’ll make a huge difference if you start your life in Denmark with at least conversational level in Danish.
    3. In Denmark people are very independent and figure out almost everything by themselves and expect you to do so too.
    4. Learn to be an independent student and don’t rely only on the Danish classes provided by the municipality, take more responsibility for your learning.
    5. If you learn Danish well, you’ll find out that people aren’t as reserved as many people describe them.
    6. Even if many foreigners live in English in Denmark, their life quality is mediocre, they have most often a few friends and they are unable to fulfill their potential.
    7. The benefits you’ll get from speaking Danish shouldn’t be your primary reason to start learning..

  • Vladimir Georgiev says:

    and a little about my personal experience:
    1. I came knowing Danish at A2 level and I wish, I had more speaking exercises and I knew it a bit better.
    2. The biggest challenge was discouragement from peers and parents at the start of my stay
    3. It’s harder to make connections “outside of your box”
    4. The reason why I had success is because at one point I decided to be a stubborn and not to give in to the peer pressure and to speaking English
    5. Nice working environment
    6. As a person of the books, logics and theory, I was confused by the practical approach of the schools and life here in general
    7. The hardest part for me was studying, working and living in male dominate environments 😀
    8. Having at least one friend in Danish will make a huge difference in your life in Denmark.
    9. I didn’t enjoy the Danish way of partying

  • morinkhuur says:

    I finished my French “tree” on Duolingo and decided to do an experiment – how much Danish could I learn to read (setting aside speaking and listening for the purpose of the experiment) ONLY using Duolingo. It’s about 2000 words I think and on paper the grammar should put you high A2 or even B1. So between now and Easter I’m going to do Duolingo Danish and see where I end up at the end.

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