Danish Language Blog

Virtual Vejle Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Normally I wouldn’t promote any other language courses than the brilliant one I suppose you’re currently using: Transparent Language! (Have you tried the new TL Online, by the way?) 🙂

I’ll make an exception, though, for the recent Danish winner of Den Europæiske Sprogpris 2012 (the European Language Award 2012). This award is given every year to people with innovative ideas in the field of language learning in the various EU countries. The Danish gold medallist, the Videnscenter for Integration (the Integration Knowledge Center), has created Dansksimulatoren (the Danish [Language] Simulator), which seems like the dream of every online learner: A virtual Danish-speaking reality!

According to sproget.dk – the excellent online dictionary run by Dansk Sprognævn (the Danish Language Council) – the game was based on simulation software used by American soldiers in order to gain an understanding of the language and customs of Iraq. Obviously, Dansksimulatoren has been modified to fit conditions in Denmark.

In the game, you play the role of the Hawaiian Bob, who has travelled to the East Jutland town of Vejle. As you plan to write a tourist guide, you have to ask the local vejlensere a lot of questions – in Danish!

The good thing about a simulator is that not only does it teach you how to say things, it also shows you how to say them, which gestures to use, what distance you should keep to your samtalepartner (interlocutor) – in short, all those extra-linguistic aspects to correct communication that an ordinary language course isn’t really capable of teaching you.

In Denmark, many immigrants learn Danish at a sprogcenter (language center). When Dansksimulatoren was tested at three sprogcentre in September, it turned out that those students who had spent some time playing the game could get along with 20 % less classroom teaching, and still get the same exam results as those who hadn’t played the game.

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.