jeg kan godt tale dansk!

I have finished my three week intensive Danish course. To show for it, I have a nice little certificate, and three bottles of beer I snagged from the reception on my way out. But now what I really want to know is why these silly Danes don’t ever seem to follow the scripts… whenever Jytte or Søren orders a cheese sandwich in the book, the counter-guy always asks if they want anything else, but whenever I order a cheese sandwich, I get asked what kind of cheese I want, or if I want my bread toasted, or something else equally incomprehensible. No one has ever asked me if I want anything else.

So I think there should be a clever international system for this sort of thing. When you come to another country and want to practice the language, you indicate somehow – perhaps by wearing a colorful button – that you can understand phrases from a standard, pre-approved list of scripts. And if “what kind of cheese do you want?” isn’t on that list, then you’ll be happy to eat whatever kind of cheese you’re given, as long as you can answer the question “anything else?” with “that’s all, thanks” like they do on all the practice tapes.

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