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Speakdanish

Rating 3.2
Price:

$158 for a year’s access ($110 for low-income learners)

Summary

Speakdanish is a pronunciation- and communication-focused course where grammar takes a back seat – although the grammar explanations are still clear and pretty thorough.  Each of the 20 classes begins with a dialogue, along with the stern reminder “Remember everything you learn. You will be tested on it later.” The conversation is then translated phrase by phrase. In many cases, additional grammar or contextual explanations are given, such as “Professions don’t get an article (a teacher)” or “Many names of British towns are derived from by (town).” It’s worth mentioning, though, that the explanation’s usefulness can be slightly limited at times: while you might understand that you don’t put an article in front of “teacher,” you still won’t know how to say “teacher” or what the Danish articles are. You’re then introduced to additional materials, which may include grammar breakdowns and word lists. In the first lesson, for example, there’s a word list, additional phrase list, and a pronunciation guide for the hard, soft and silent d. Finally, you get to the tests, in which you either type what you hear or translate sentences into Danish. Our initial impression is that Speakdanish is thorough and excellent for pronunciation and listening, yet it could be hard work. The tests take us back to school exams, the material is extensive and can seem overwhelming, and you’re left to drill lots of information on your own. We recommend going slowly and pairing it with plenty of other learning materials.

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