Danish as a fourth language

Kalyani Gupte is 39 years old. She comes from Mumbai in India. Kalyani lives in Charlottenlund with her husband. They came to Denmark in 2016, and soon after she started attending Danish classes at IA Sprog.

Danish as a fourth language

Kalyani speaks Marathi, Hindi and English, so when she took on Danish, it was her fourth language. Like many other newcomers, she thought Danish seemed quite challenging.

“When I started learning Danish, I thought it was really difficult. But the more classes I attended, the more I learned. The teachers made sure that the lessons were interesting and that motivated me to stick to it. Now it’s just fun and exciting. I have passed three modules, and I am keen to pass the last modules too.”

Work in Denmark

Kalyani came to Denmark when her husband got a job with the Indian firm Tech Mahindra in Copenhagen. He works as an IT engineer. His contract might expire in 2019 though, and then they must find out what they are going to do. But they would both like to stay on in Denmark, and Kalyani would also like to find work here and make use of her extensive educational background from India.

She has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and genomics, a diploma in business management and IT, and she is also a trained interior designer.

“My wish for 2018 is that I find a job here in Denmark – either a regular job or volunteering. I would like to teach or do administrative work.”

The smell of coffee

Kalyani believed from the start that it was important to learn Danish, even if she and her husband were only going to be in Denmark for a limited period of time.

“I felt that since I was going to live here, it was necessary to learn the language, so I could talk to people and get a job here. In addition, it is also important to learn the language in order to understand a country’s culture and history.”

Kalyani is very happy to be attending an IA Sprog course, and she looks forward to her classes.

“I enjoy coming here, I’ve made many new friends. There is a good atmosphere, and the teachers are friendly and helpful. And I also love being greeted by the lovely smell of coffee, when I step into the cafeteria. There is something very nice about that,” she smiles.

A feeling of success

When we ask Kalyani about her biggest success in her learning process, she answers:

“The day I could understand the messages over the loudspeakers at the train station! It was a great moment, when I could understand and follow the Danish instructions! And after that it was when I began to understand the letters and text messages in Danish that we received. I could understand and explain it to others, translating from Danish into English. I am also trying to speak a bit of Danish at the supermarket, and we’ve made some Danish friends too. I am not perfect, but I manage.”

Living in Denmark

“I think it is very peaceful and beautiful here. It’s great to be here. People don’t meddle so much in each other’s lives, and we haven’t experienced any racism. We are not treated any different. People are fun, and there is a lot of partying going on,” she adds, laughing.

But of course she misses her family, and it is a long journey from Denmark to India. And regarding the weather – she is not a big fan of the cold or the getting dark early.

“It can be quite sad in the winter. But I do love all the four seasons here, and I actually like snow!”