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Speaking the language to get a job

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Denmark.

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Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:05 pm

I was at a careers advice session a few weeks ago. The advisor said that, for my line of work (Chartered Engineer working in electronics and optics) being unable to speak Dutch would not significantly hinder me in finding a job, although I would need to learn the language to live there in practice.

Does this ring true to anyone?

 

dtl1606
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 10:26 pm

Oops - that will teach me to cut and paste - I meant Danish of course!

 

dtl1606
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 6:55 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying.
It is true that the vast majority of young and/or well educated danes have a very high standard of English.
Many English only speakers have worked in Denmark knowing very little about the language - It depends mostly on if your Danish colleagues can handle it.
In practice, of course the sooner you learn danish the better. The state will provide 3-4 years of subsidised (often free) danish classes and there are some good websites to help beginners.

I've been through this scenario, so I'd be happy to answer any further questions either about living in Denmark or learning the language.
I have to admit I was rather proud the day I passed my first fluency test.


_________________

The secret of getting things done is to act.

Dante Alighieri

 

redtree999
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:48 pm

Thanks for the reply. Wherever we end up settling, we would certainly be planning to learn the local language - I think its incredibly arrogant to move to another country and not learn the language. At the careers interview, a number of countries were mentioned as places where being an engineer is highly regarded, unlike the UK. Until I get a job, I won't know which language to learn!

On a totally different topic, what is the school system like in Denmark? How is home schooling viewed? (my wife is Japanese/American, so we wanted to home school our daughters until they are about 10 so they will get a good grounding in their diverse cultural heritage and languages)

Thanks

 

dtl1606
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 12:31 am

My g/f is an education professional, so I'll pass your question on and reply as soon as possible.


_________________

The secret of getting things done is to act.

Dante Alighieri

 

redtree999
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 2:34 am

In the meantime, from a UK perspective I would say that Danish schools in general would be comparable to most private schools in the UK - Education is treated far more seriously and funded accordingly.
They learn English at a very young age - Almost immediately after starting school in some cases. Also, on TV (especially cable), the vast majority of programming is English language with Danish subtitles (apart from most cartoons and "made for Denmark" stuff), so as I said before, most young and/or educated people will speak very good English.
There is also a popular system (SFO) in place to look after children before/after school hours during the working day, kind of like an youth centre with arts, crafts and sports etc, but with qualified educators (pædagog).

As far as I am aware (we can await my g/f's view on practicalities), if you want to home school, have genuine reasons for doing so (the Danes frown upon people excluding themselves from society), have a properly qualified person available to teach, or are prepared to pay for one, then it should be relatively straight forward.

For what it's worth, unless you would rather avoid state run systems altogether, my opinion is that if you were staying for more than 6 months, you should put the kids into the Danish system while teaching them the other cultures at home. I'm pretty sure you will also find that the school / SFO will gladly embrace the different cultures of your children and find a way of integrating them into their activities - The Danes are good at things like that.


_________________

The secret of getting things done is to act.

Dante Alighieri

 

redtree999
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Re: Speaking the language to get a job

Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 4:54 am

Update: My g/f agreed with everything apart from my use of the word integrating.

Quote:

"We prefer to use "inclusion" as oposed to "integration", because we believe there is an important difference.

Integration: Members of the minority groups gain full access to the opportunities, rights and services available to the members of the mainstream.

Inclusion: A sense of belonging, feeling respected, valued for who you are, feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that you can do your best work."


_________________

The secret of getting things done is to act.

Dante Alighieri

 

redtree999
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
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