beautiful young woman listening to music in the city autumn

10 (foolproof) tips to improve your listening comprehension in Danish

So you’ve been studying Danish for a while, but you keep having trouble understanding what Danes are saying…Does this sound familiar?

Spoiler alert: If you’re here to grab our Danish playlist, you can do so right here via Spotify. If you’d like much more than just playlists, you can safely keep on reading 🙂

Try out these suggested tips based on our experience teaching Danish since 1977. You’ll be guaranteed to improve your listening comprehension. And the best part is: Listening to Danish does more than just improve your comprehension. It also helps you build vocabulary, learn sentence patterns as well as deepen your cultural insight. So let’s get you started.

You’ve probably heard this before: When you learn a foreign language, you need a lot of audio input – preferably more than 10.000 hours. Sure! But who has time for that? And where do you even find input in Danish, that you can stand listening to for such a long time?

In this article we have collected some very realistic ways for you to find more time to listen to Danish.

We have also asked our experienced Danish teachers to give us their suggestions for great listening content in Danish. We will share these tips as soon as we’ve collected them. And that means one tip per week until we’ve got 10 great listening suggestions for you. So be sure to follow us on facebook or LinkedIn to get them all directly in to your newsfeed.

Unexpected ways to get more time to listen to Danish and start improving your listening comprehension fast

You don’t have to sit down for hours in deep concentration in order to get yourself on the right track to better listening habits. There are many different ways of listening to a foreign language, and you can practice each one of them at different times in order to fit them neatly in to the rest of your busy schedule.

Young man practicing his listening comprehension outdoor

For example, you can convert your daily commute in to a Danish listening practice. The daily commute to work has an enormous potential for becoming one of your best daily learning habits. All you have to do is plug in your headphones and listen.

But be patient. Don’t expect all the funny Danish noises to make sense from day one. Building your listening comprehension takes time.

And make sure to vary your listening input, so you don’t get bored or fed up with it. Find a variety of content you enjoy listening to. You can also listen at different speeds as this blogger suggests.

And remember that your daily commute is just one example. There are many pockets of hidden time you can make use of. Why not listen to Danish while jogging in the park or at the gym just to mention a few? Or you can listen while cleaning your home or doing other chores. If you have some tasks at your job, that are pure routine you can even plug in and listen to Danish in the background while working. (Just make sure it’s okay with your boss, colleagues, customers etc.) When you start looking for time slots to listen to Danish, you’ll soon discover that the possibilities are endless. We’ve even heard about a learner who bought himself wireless headset and listened to Danish while sleeping! (He learned very fast.)

Woman practicing her listening comprehension at the gym.

1. Improve your listening comprehension with TV series Nynne

Our first tip is from Danish teacher Bent, who suggests that you watch the Danish TV series Nynne from 2006. The series is a bit like a Danish version of Bridget Jones, and you can get the episodes at a reasonable price from Blockbuster. Or you can search for ‘Nynne serie’ in Youtube to get a sneak peek before you decide. Bent got this tip from his students, and he confirms that watching Nynne will definitely support your learning. It is entertaining and easy to follow. By the way, Bent teaches Danish at our Intensive Danish courses.

If you get hooked on TV series, there are many more. And lots of them are free such as Borgen (fictional story about Danish politics), Rejseholdet (crime series), Nikolaj og Julie (romantic comedy) and Fra baggÄrd til big business (10 short documentaries about epic Danish entrepreneurs).

2. Improve your listening skills with Spotify playlists

Danish teacher Sara explains why you should improve your listening comprehension by listening to songs.

Sara teaches Danish at IA Sprog. She is also a skilled singer and a person who likes and understands music very much. Her tip for you is that you should listen to a lot of Danish music (with Danish lyrics of course!) whenever you get the chance. Sara and her colleagues have put together a unique set of IA Sprog playlists on Spotify with Danish contemporary songs covering topics such as Copenhagen, the four seasons and love!

3. Become a Danish-listening-champ with interesting podcasts!

Danish teacher Lea is putting on headphones and starting to talk about how to improve your listening comprehension in Danish

Lea is a Danish teacher, an avid language learner and a true podcast enthusiast! In fact Lea has created an awesome podcast for you about Assistens Kirkegaard, the historic cemetery in Copenhagen, where Hans Christian Andersen and SĂžren Kierkegaard are buried. The cemetery is also a favorite spot for hundreds of Copenhageners who love to stroll through the park with a coffee or even take a nap on a blanket in the grass. In this podcast episode you will listen to Lea’s pleasant voice telling you about Assistens with her lovely and understandable Danish pronunciation. But don’t stop there! At IA Sprog we have got many more podcast suggestions for you such as Anders & Anders podcast, Godnathistorier, Her gĂ„r det godt, Hjernekassen pĂ„ P1, RadiofortĂŠllinger, P1 Dokumentar, Vanvittig Verdenshistorie! Just tune in, listen and enjoy 🙂

4. Get into the habit of watching TV series RITA

Rita is a Danish TV series released in 2012. It’s the story of a Danish schoolteacher and single mom, who doesn’t always play by the rules. Outspoken, independent and politically incorrect, Rita cares more than anything about her students and is adored by them – and not so much by their parents. You can watch Rita on TV2 Play or on Netflix. Rita is fairly easy to follow since Danish is spoken clearly and the language is similar to the Danish you will hear in real life situations.

5. Use the fall break to form a new listening habit

beautiful young woman listening to music in the city autumn

The teachers at IA Sprog have put together a unique set of IA Sprog playlists on Spotify with Danish contemporary songs selected for you. These songs cover topics such as Copenhagen, the four seasons and love! Go ahead and explore this playlist to see if you can find a song about the fall season. (Cheat sheet: ‘Fall season’ in Danish is ‘efterĂ„r’!)

Do you want more listening tips?

Be sure to follow IA Sprog on facebook or LinkedIn to get all our suggestions. We will publish them as soon as we have collected them for you. One per week for 10 weeks over the course of September, October and November 2019.