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nailpolishfanatic's avatar

How could I possibly write a 400 word essay in Danish when I do not understand anything at all?

Asked by nailpolishfanatic (6597 points ) October 13th, 2010

So basically the question says it all. The teacher assigned for us to write a 400 word essay in Danish about our home countries. I am supposed to write about Iceland.
The homework was put up last week I think, but Ive been procrastinating since then instead of starting to do it.
I am trying to avoid sleeping late just because of it and I want to finish it off earlier and do other homeworks I have for other classes.
I am using the dictionary too. What I dont want to do is copy/paste from google translate or wikipedia.
Or should I just do 100 words and say thats all I can do?
The thing is that I have translate every single word.

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17 Answers

crisw's avatar

Is this a class in Danish?

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Why do you have to do it in Danish?

bob_'s avatar

You can’t. Translating word by word will result in a meaningless document.

Explain to your teacher that you do not speak Danish.

Then again, you should have done that as soon as you got the assignment, not when it’s due.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Are you the only person in the class that is not fluent in Danish?

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@all, sorry I forgot to tell you that its for the danish class am taking. I am in Danish B, but I have been signed for extra danish classes, which are not started yet.

@bob_ , I know, but what should I do if I dont understand anything and I dont want to use google translate. I did explain to him and he does know that I dont speak any danish, but when I am reading something I can sometimes understand some words that are similar to some Icelandic words or English words.

@TheOnlyNeffie , Yes. I ve only been here since August…

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Thesexier if you are the only person in the class that is not fluent in Danish, I would expect your teacher to be quite understanding. Perhaps you could pull him/her aside before turning in your project and explain that you’ve done the best you can, but you hope that they will understand that you are learning on a different curve than the other students.
If the class itself is a Danish class, then writing the paper… all 400 words is essential. Do the very best that you can, and try to apply what you do know. Whether that is a little or a lot, just be sure to do that. Try using your dictionary and your textbook to assist you in writing, and don’t fret over the little mistakes you are bound to make.
Putting forth a genuine effort is the most important thing. Not only will your teacher (hopefully) recognize your efforts, and most likely commend you for them, but you will learn more as a result.

I’m sure this will be a challenging homework assignment for you, but in the long run you will have gained skills by doing it. Best of luck to you, hun.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Personally, i would accept it as a loss and not do it at all, while using the time not doing it gives me to work on other things instead.

but, depending on the circumstance that may not be a wise idea.

CMaz's avatar

Danish or Viennese?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Write a 400 word essay in your preferred language, then translate it. You can start with Google translate, but that’s only a start. Look up the words Google translate provides and see if they’re the right ones. Translate it back to the original language and see if it still makes sense. Find someone who speaks Danish and have them look over and correct your Danish essay. Yes it’s a lot of steps and a lot of work, but you understand how to do each step I’ve laid out here so GET TO WORK! :D

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I used to have to write in Japanese, and it took forever to finish a page. I did it by concentrating on one word at a time. That’s all I really could handle: one word at a time.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I think @hawaii_jake has given you the best clue so far. You’re not a Danish speaker, and you’re taking the class to improve your Danish language skills, starting from a zero baseline. That’s going to take time. But it will take more time if you give up, give in, stop at 100 words, etc. There is not going to be a substitute for increasing your Danish vocabulary, and this assignment forces you to do that.

I don’t speak much Dutch, but when I was in the Netherlands years ago I recall watching television at the hotel one night to kill some time before a group of us went to dinner. I was watching the Dutch version of Wheel of Fortune. The clue was “thing”, and the letters and blanks were:
_ _ R D V _ R K _ N
The host said that all of the letters remaining were vowels, and the Dutch contestant whose turn it was had no clue. I did what every game show viewer does when he knows the answer: I started yelling at the television, “AARDVARKEN!”

You probably know more Danish than you realize, and this essay forces you to move out of your comfort zone and start to challenge your idea of what your limits are. By the end of the class, if you do the work, your vocabulary will number in the thousands of words. So keep at it. It might help to get a Danish newspaper and start to scan it for words that you do know, and start there.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Since this is for a Danish class, I doubt your teacher is expecting it to be perfect. Your teacher knows what level you are at now, if you use a translator, it will be obvious to your teacher that you didn’t do it yourself. Take your time, focus on one little bit at a time and go from there.

Good luck!

cazzie's avatar

I’m with @CyanoticWasp… I think you know more Danish than you think…(Danish translation: Jeg tror, du ved mere dansk end du tror..) (Norwegian translation: Jeg tror du vet mer dansk enn du tror.) My Norwegian isn’t perfect, but I give it a go and people are pretty understanding and when someone corrects me, I learn from it… so I say.. give it a bash. It won’t be prefect, but you need to start working at it and challenging yourself.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Write it the best you can. The purpose is to demonstrate your writing ability as it is now, and to provide a benchmark for comparison for your progress later in the class. I would write about Iceland, but also write about Zambia. That should get you 200 words. Then write about being a citizen of the Internet, and that on Fluther, your other homeland, your written English is impeccable. for your age. :-)

declan's avatar

Try the best you can. But, you can try using Google Translate for it, but some results will come out grammatically incorrect.

BBawlight's avatar

When I try to form sentences in Japanese, I remember the sentence structure and go one word at a time. Same for kanji. I write it one character at a time, thinking of what it means while I write.

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