I had to laugh when I saw this little news story: Company seeks Glaswegian interpreter.

Today Translations spokesman, Mick Thorburn said: "Over the last few months we've had clients asking us for Glaswegian translators.


"Usually, the role would involve translating documents but in this case its more likely to be assisting foreign visitors to the city whose 'business English' is not good enough to understand the local dialect."


He added: "We're not necessarily looking for people who are particularly skilled in linguistics, just candidates who can help out clients who may struggle with native Glaswegian."

I remember arriving in Glasgow and not being able to understand most of what was being said around me. While getting some Glaswegian colleagues helped (although I have never found a use for the phrase "that fake bake is pure dead brilliant, hen"), I struggled until I twigged that Glaswegian is basically akin to my Danish uncles attempting to speak English. There is a certain flatness to Glaswegian intonation that is very, very similar to mid-Zealandic intonation and some words spoken with a broad Glaswegian accent sound more like their Danish counterpart than the actual standard English word: home becomes hame which sounds quite like a slurred mid-Zealandic hjem. For a girl who has tried to escape rural Denmark for most of her life, all this feels a bit like a cosmic joke.

Thanks to my friend Lise, I spent most of my lunch reading about the 16th best football team in the word ever. The most recent incarnation is through to next year's World Cup which bodes well for the amount of (tense) knitting I'll get done. Huzzah!

A Lovely Land Is Ours

denmark09 From left to right, going clockwise: Copenhagen pedestrian street (Fiolstræde) with secondhand booksellers, quirky fashion and a Japanese supermarket; typical Danish pedestrian street in Holbæk with parked bikes (and bike helmets); Copenhagen City Hall tower; Mjølnir (Thor's Hammer) seen at an exhibition on amulets at the National Museum; cloudy skies over a field in north-west Zealand (note the characteristic gentle slopes); early Viking Age/Late Iron Age drinking vessel seen at the National Museum; some of the yarn I bought; and some sheep at the sheep farm just south of where I grew up.

Not pictured: the nineteen people I saw during my visit, the copious amount of delicious (and mostly organic) food I had, and the six yarn shops I visited.

As I wrote in my previous entry, visiting Denmark feels bitter-sweet. I feel so connected to Danish history - how could I not when I grew up in an area which has been populated since Pre-Historic times and where you interact with History everytime you go for a walk - and I love speaking Danish with its quirky pronounciation and lightly-nuanced intonation. I love Denmark and the Danish landscape. You are never far from the sea, the rolling hills have such gentle slopes and the woods are friendly and inviting. Denmark in spring is a beauty to behold.

It's just a shame that Denmark is populated by the Danes. This is when my problems with my nationality set in. Denmark is a tiny, tiny country with a huge ego. The average Dane truly believes he lives in the best country in the entire world and that right way to do things is the Danish way. He travels abroad and marvels at the idiotic way that other nationalities do things. He returns to Denmark, smug in the knowledge that all other nationalities envy him his Danishness. Paranoia sets in: because Denmark is the envy of all other nations on earth, Denmark must be protected from intruders. This has led to xenophobia, protectionism and a deep distrust of anything which is not readily identifiable as being Proper Danish Behaviour (such as preferring non-Danish cultural products, dressing unlike the masses, questioning rampant xenophobia or even criticising Denmark just like I'm doing here). I've always struggled to be a proper Dane and that was part of why I moved to Britain, I suppose.

So this visit was bitter-sweet. I looked with horror at how a key Danish MEP called for the exclusion of  Romania and Bulgaria from the EU on the basis of them being unhealthy and "less than clever". On the other hand, I really enjoyed the new Pre-Historic exhibition at the National Museum and I have found the bestest and nicest LYS in all of Denmark. And it was so damn good to see my family and all of my fantastic friends.