Danish, Swedish and Norwegian
Danish is my mother language. I am born and have grown up in Denmark. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are closely related Scandinavian languages. In the 19th century, my great grandfather came from Sweden to live in Denmark.
English was the first foreign language that I learned. I recall from my childhood that I learned to understand English not least by listening to various programs on Danish television, for example American movies. I remember there were subtitles in Danish. When English education started in fifth grade, I remember I knew some English already. After finishing primary education, I was a high school student in New Jersey, USA for a year. I remember that during this year, I improved my competencies in listening, writing, and speaking English significantly. During higher education, English was a key language for me, for example because many of the books were written in English.
German and Swiss German
I remember that when I started learning German in 7th grade at Elsted School, i.e. when I was about 13 years old. I picked up the language quite easily within a relatively short period of time. What helped me in primary school to learn German was, I think, that I had a good German teacher who spoke German really well. Also, it helped me that many words in German and Danish are similar and that there are clear rules that help to learn German grammar. In high school at Risskov Gymnasium, I improved my competencies to understand, speak and write additionally.
During my bachelor education at Aarhus University, School of business and social sciences, reading and writing in German was also an integrated part. As a part of my bachelor education, I studied at Hochschule Osnabrück University of applied sciences for a year. By reading books, which were written in German, writing reports including thesis in German as well as speaking with German students, with whom I lived, studied and did sports, I strengthened my competencies in understanding, writing and speaking German significantly.
Since 2006, I have lived in Zürich, which is located in the German speaking part of Switzerland. During these years, German and Swiss German have for me become key languages, which I use every day.
French was the third foreign language I learned - after English and German. I remember that when I attended primary school in Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s, Danish, English and German were compulsory languages. Children, who attended primary school in Denmark, were required to learn Danish, English and German. French, however, was optional. As I was happy to learn languages and have a natural gift for and interest in learning languages, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to learn French.
During primary school as well as during high school, I developed an even stronger interest in French. The interest I had in communicating better in French became so strong that, one Summer, I decided to go to Nice to participate in a language course which helped me deepen my competencies in understanding, speaking, reading and writing in French. I recall, it helped me a lot that I lived with a French family during the time of the learning period.
After my bachelor education, I decided to go to France to live. And during a period of about 8 months, I helped French companies with various tasks. During this time, I remember that my competencies to understand, read, write and speak French improved considerably. Later, during my masters education, I studied for some months at HEC Montréal in Canada and also improved my French communication competencies a lot during this learning period.
I have been fond of the Italian cuisine as well as Italian clothing and design for several years. In addition, living in Switzerland and Germany, I experienced that people, who come from Italian and Danish speaking areas, share the values openness, humor, creativity, play and beauty. These aspects have motivated me to learn a little Italian, for example via the app Duolingo as well as in other ways.
Of pure interest to learn more about China, for example learn about how people work / learn / play / live in China, I started learning Chinese - mostly via the app Duolingo. For example, I am trying to learn to understand what various Chinese characters mean as well as learn to pronounce words. I still see myself as a Chinese language learning beginner.
I have experienced that among the love languages, I like to speak, acts of service come natural to me. I like to do things for people and help people, I love. Among the love languages I like to listen to, kind words are of importance for me. When I hear and read kind words - including appreciation for what I do and how I do what I do - I feel joy and excitement. These feelings give me more energy and help me to give love.