Introduction 01

When we are going to learn a new language, the task may seem difficult or even impossible. Where do we begin, and where do we finish? The idea behind Vores fællessprog is to compare the new and unfamiliar language, Danish, with the familiar language, our own mother tongue.

All people have a grammatical knowledge of their own mother tongue. Without thought and without difficulty we apply the rules and structures of our language. When we are going to learn a new language, we often use these rules in the new language automatically. This causes a specific type of mistake that may be avoided if we become familiar with the grammatical rules of the Danish language.

People often do not realize that they have a large grammatical knowledge of their own language. Grammar sounds difficult. It is not something we can appreciate but something we have to learn to reel off by heart. That is not correct. With Vores fællessprog, we wish to de-mystify grammar by comparing the Danish grammar with that of the mother tongue in question. This is done, however, only on a superficial level, for the purpose is not to learn our mother tongue, but to learn Danish. Thus the comparison merely serves the purpose of showing the student that he or she is really treading familiar ground when studying a specific language problem in Danish. Consequently, the comparison focuses on similarities and differences. To enable the teacher to help the individual student in the language lessons even though the teacher herself does not speak the student’s native tongue, the comparison has been translated into Danish.