I hear Danish every day.
And not that I am an eavesdropper or a naturally nosy person, but I listen to all the Danish conversations around me (that I am not directly involved with) because that is the only way I can train my ear to understand all the 60+ dialects plus get all of those "talesprog" (conversation lingo) things that no one teaches you in grammar lessons!
So I listen.
And I learn.
I always make little goals for myself based on what I hear and learn.
For example, I know that I will be a fully integrated Danish wife when I can finally remember to use "ikke også" at the end of about 50% of my sentences! I want to do that so badly ...just like the Danes do, but I can never remember! BUT Someday!
Anyway, in all of my listening and learning, the last 2 weeks I have picked up on a word/phrase that EVERYONE uses allllll the time in his/her speech. However it is used in so many different contexts that I just had no hope of learning what it was. But seriously, I bet I hear it 100 times a day!
So today, I made it my goal to memorize some of the phrases where I hear it and go home and ask Mads what the heck it was because my wonderful high-level "use your context clues" skills were just not cutting it this time!
Here is how that conversation went:
Me: Ok, skat, there is this word I keep hearing all the dang time, but I have no clue what it is.
Him: Ok, what is it?
Me: I think it is something like "et landt".
Him: Can't be..that is not a word.
Me: Listen to me say it again...listen carefully because I swear YOU say it all the time, all my colleagues say it, my students say it, so you have to figure out what I am trying to say...."et landt".
Him: Seriously , I have no clue.
Me: Ok the way it was used in a meeting today was this "Et landt tidspunkt"..
And then the laughter began.
Him: No wonder you have no idea what it is... it is really THREE WORDS that we have smushed into one, in the typical Danish way! What they are saying (and what I say all the time) is "et eller andet".
(as he continues to chuckle)
Me (sighing in exasperation, and holding my head in my 2 hands): WHY DO YOU PEOPLE DO THIS TO ME? There is no code book that tells me when to smush the words and which words to smush. How do you take the 5 syllables of "et eller andet" and get 2 syllables? Seriously? How?!
Him (beating his chest like a cave man): Me proud Danish man. Don't need grammar. You foreigner can't know secrets!
LIFE AT OUR HOUSE IS SO FUN!
So all you Danish-learning udlændinge out there.... LISTEN UP! I know you are hearing this "sound" as often as I am... so now you know:
ET ELLER ANDET sounds like "et landt" but it means "THIS OR THAT", "ONE OR THE OTHER" or any other "you got two choices" kind of meaning you can use it for! I took the bullet for my fellow foreigners on this one!
Now the rest of you get out there and crack the next "SMUSHED WORD CODE PÅ DANSK" and share it with the rest of us!