If there is an aspect of the Danish language, which turns off the potential students, this is without doubt the pronounciation. During my study period in Denmark I noticed repeatedly many foreigners' reactions when they hear for the first time the names of the local places. They become so scared and confused about what's going on, that they later on convince themselves that Danish is the most difficult language in the world and that "everybody in Denmark speaks perfect English" and don't even try to learn. In that way they miss out understanding the culture, getting to know better the Danes and figuring out that they aren't closed off, as well as possibilities for qualified work in Denmark.
When I first heard the language 6 years ago, the pronounciation wasn't really what I expected and I didn't imagine myself speaking that language, but as a result of a lot of practice, I was asked by a few Danish people, if I was born in Copenhagen.
When I take on any language, the first thing I take look at is the pronounciation.
There are many articles in Wikipedia and in other language websites, where they describe exactly how you need to pronounce a specific sound and give as an example a word in which this sound exists. You need to listen carefully and try to imitate the speaker. Don't focus on the meaning of the word, focus just on pronouncing the word.
After doing enough exercises you can move on listening to music. Look at the lyrics while listening to the music. After listening for a couple of times, you might remember the lyrics and try to sing on the melody. If you learn pronounciation, don't focus on the meaning of the words!
When you start speaking with people, focus on speaking faster and with more confidence. Forget about pronouncing every single sound like a native Dane. Even if you say "Rødovre; rødgred med fløde; Strøget" with a bit of accent, you will be understood!
I'll come back later with more tips. In the meantime, if you are a beginner in the Danish language and you're not sure what to expect from your language learning journey or if you're an intermediate student, struggling to find a motivation to move forward, you're welcome to ask me for help.
Held og lykke med jeres sprogstudie og vi snakkes ved :)
I'm a Dane myself, and I know that pronounciation can really scare a lot of people away from trying to learn Danish. As well as the fact that everyone in Denmark speaks really good English as you said Vladimir.
But really, if you tell a Dane that you are trying to learn Danish and therefore you don't want them to switch into English, they will gladly do so, even if you are not particularly good at Danish yet. If you ask any Dane to talk slower or help you with a particular word's pronounciation or meaning, they will almost a 100% be glad to help you.
Don't mistake Danish people's occaisional shyness towards strangers, as coldness or hostility :))))
In my German based textbooks and workbooks there are specific exercises focussing on important details of the Danish paronounciation. ("Vi snakkes ved", "Dänisch Neu" and "Einstieg Dänisch").
Furthermore my Danish teacher at the "Volskhochschule" (VHS) was very helpful as was always correcting thourougly my Danish readings in class during several semesters. Both things helped me in getting a feeling for patterns of the Danish pronounciation, which enables me to pronounce as well unknown Danish words correctly.
Thanks Vladimir. I identified myself with your article. I will keep your tips in mind.