Paula: “I use Danish in ways I didn’t even imagine”

"I came to Denmark from Spain to study for my master’s degree and now PhD. I don’t need to know Danish for my studies, but I decided to learn it because I think it is such an important part of the culture. And I got tired of saying that I didn’t speak Danish.

Now that I speak Danish, I end up using it in ways I hadn’t even thought of.

It is actually very useful in my work. My field is bioenergy perception, and now I can read Danish news about my project and field of research and understand it all. I can also understand all the answers that people give to my questionnaire directly, without needing someone to translate it. And I talk more to my colleagues in Danish.

It also changes the way I experience life in general here. When your first contact is in Danish, it changes your relationship with people. They are grateful that you speak Danish.  

And I get to show my personality more. When I tell a joke in Danish and show my personality in that way, it is a super rewarding feeling.  

On a deeper level, I feel like I will have something of Denmark with me forever. I might not live here forever, but if I leave Denmark, I will feel that I take some of the culture with me."